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Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
Marcolini heading to the Winnipeg Games
by Randy Pascal

There will be at least one Sudburian competing at the Canada Summer Games in early August in Winnipeg.

Cyclist Emily Marcolini confirmed her spot on the team, just days after securing a bronze medal in the Time Trial event at the 2017 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships in Ottawa/Gatineau.

The graduate of St Benedict Catholic Secondary School covered the 26 kilometer distance in a time of 42:33, trailing only Sara Poidevin (40:01) and Katherine Maine (41:35) in the U23 classification.

That podium placement was anything but guaranteed in the days leading into nationals. "To be honest, 24 hours before the race, I didn't even have a properly functioning bike," said Marcolini, now safely back in Sudbury. "I was definitely not expecting much from the following day."

"My coach, Chris, was able to find the parts for the bike that we needed, get it fixed and have it ready for the race on time. That, in itself, was amazing. The bike worked perfectly in the race - I couldn't have asked for anything more."

Finishing fifth in the same event in 2016, Marcolini overcame a sluggish start, turning the tables completely on her performance from one year ago. "It took me a while to really get in the zone, get in my groove," she said. "I think I went out a little too conservatively."

"Last year, I went out too hard in the first part and wasn't able to power through the second half as much as I wanted to. A quarter of the way through the race this year, I was thinking that this doesn't feel that good right now, so I had better pick it up."

"I started to catch glimpses of my one minute person and that helped motivate me." In time trial racing, cyclists will start at one minute intervals. As luck would have it, Marcolini was directly behind Allison Beveridge, the Elite Women's road race champion and member of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team that competed in Rio de Janeiro.

Marcolini had also started the road race a few days earlier, but was one of 32 riders from the field of 67 that were dropped from the race along the way, due to the gap between themselves and the lead pack.

"That was the hardest race that I have ever been in in my life," said the local product, who readily attests that time trails and hill climbing are her forte. "The girl that won it (Beveridge) it from a team that is directed by Eric Wohlberg (Rally Cyling), and they just completely ripped that race apart, so I was dropped fairly quickly."

Donning the singlet of High Gate Racing this summer, Marcolini will now ready herself for the second week of competition at the Games in Winnipeg, with road cycling following on the heels of the mountain bike events that take place in week one.

In fairness, there will be a couple of very strong connections to the Winnipeg Games. Jumper Ryan Taylor, a graduate of Northeastern Elementary School who moved south midway through his time at Lasalle Secondary has qualified, hitting the standards last weekend, though the official naming of the Athletics Ontario provincial team will not occur, officially, until July 2nd.

Finally, rowing coach and Laurentian University professor Amanda Schweinbenz, as well as Voyageur rookie Hayley Chase (Alma, Ontario) are both heading to Kenora for the rowing meet from July 31st until August 4th.

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