Posted by Editor on 03/19/09
Catharine Pendrel had a breakthrough year last year - fourth in the Olympic cross-country, second overall in the World Cup, winner of the Bromont World Cup and, of course, winner of the Canadian Cyclist of the Year award ...
We spoke with Catharine earlier in the month from her home in Kamloops, as she was preparing for the first races of the season. This coming weekend, Pendrel will be one of the favourites in the women's cross-country at the Pan American Mountain Bike Championships in Santiago, Chile.
Canadian Cyclist: So how was your off season?
Catharine Pendrel: It was really good. Catherine Vipond and Matt Hadley have been living with us this winter, and it is good to have other athletes to train with. Recently I was in Palm Springs [California] with the Team B.C. Training Camp, which gave me an opportunity to get some longer rides in.
CC: So, do you feel you are on track with your conditioning?
CP: Yes, I would say that I am equivalent to, or even ahead of where I was last year at this time. I just need a couple of races to get into shape, and that will start with the Pan Ams on March 22nd.
Every year Dan [Proulx], my coach and I, switch things up a little bit. Primarily the program is the same, with lots of cross-country skiing, mixed with work on the trainer and in the gym.
CC: How about your schedule for this year? It is obviously a post-Olympic year, so the focus has to be different?
CP: Yeah, it will be different ... because we won't be going to all the World Cups to start with. We won't be going to the [World Cup opener in] South Africa. It's very important to our team and to our sponsor Clif Bar to be at Sea Otter, which is a week after South Africa, and then the European World Cups the next weekend, so I will do the European World Cups in the spring and then the Canadian ones. After that, we will look at the rankings and maybe do the final Eurpean World Cups. This year we are going to focus on quality rather than quantity.
It's still going to be a pretty busy season, though. We have a team camp after the Pan Ams, and it is looking like I will be doing some of the US Cup series. Then I'm throwing the BC Bike Race into the mix, which will be very new.
CC: What would you say your main goals are for the season?
CP: Definitely to finally crack the top five at the Worlds (Pendrel was sixth both last year and the year before). I like to have a couple of really stellar World Cups as well, and especially to do well in Mont Ste Anne and Bromont.
CC: This is the second year of your two year contract with Luna ...
CP: No, I have already re-signed through 2010, and I feel really positive. This is my second year with the team, and I feel more relaxed going into the season, and I know how to prepare for the bigger races.
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