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Interview With Joelle Numainville

by John Symon

June 2, 2009 Montreal (QC) – Quebec rider Joelle Numainville has been in the news a lot lately. The 21-year-old is one of a handful of Canadians who rides for a European team, wearing the colours of French-based ESGL93-GSD (fellow Canuck Audrey Lemieux also rides for the same team).

Recently she was the top Canadian at the Tour de l’Aude, finishing 43rd there and then on Sunday, May 31 she was the second top Canadian at the Montreal Women’s Road World Cup (MWWC), finishing 16th overall – read more here.

“I am very happy with my finish here,” Numainville told the scrum of reporters at the MWWC finish line, “But I don’t know yet exactly how I did. I didn’t feel that good during the race and had to tell myself to just keep going. It’s only been five rest days since the Tour de l’Aude and I haven’t completely recovered. My calves were trembling for a while. I am more of a sprinter than a climber and didn’t have an advantage on the hilly Montreal circuit going up and over Mount Royal.”

“My plans for the near future include competing in the upcoming Tour du Grand Montreal, the Tour de PEI, the road nationals, and then taking a holiday,” said Numainville.

Numainville was not too surprised with winner Emma Pooley’s (Gbr) Cervelo Test Team 110km breakaway win to finish 1:14 ahead of second placed Emma Johansson (Swedish National Team today). “I saw Pooley do similar breaks at 5km at European races and stay ahead for a long time,” said

When she is not riding a bicycle, Numainville studies Finance at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and expects to be studying there for at least another two years. Her training schedule of 20 or so hours a week forced her to only take a lightened course load. And because of her university studies, Numainville trains in Montreal for much of the year instead of in Europe where she spent two and a half months in 2008.

A strong sprinter, Numainville has been practicing her climbing technique extensively since January. She conveyed a special thanks to her new coach, Chris Rozdilsky of the Powerwatts Studio in Montreal where Numainville trains indoors on bikes using computer programs to simulate hill climbs. “I can’t finish on the podium in a hilly race yet, but I won’t be dropped, either. I am much more motivated now.”

Numainville is looking at the Tour of Brittany and the Tour of Limousin this summer with hopes of making it to the Road Worlds. Her future plans also include competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi and the 2012 Olympics in London.

The 2007 Quebec road champion was also the 2005 Canadian junior road champ and TT champ and the 2004 TT champ. Earlier this month, Numainville was the second Canadian at the Tour de Berne, finishing 30th overall in that race. And in April this year, she took on the senior men to finish 30th in Quebec’s GP de Ste Martine.

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