January 30, 2018 (Belgium) – Maggie Coles-Lyster took on a world class field at the Belgian International Track meet this past weekend, and came out knowing that she can compete to win against the worlds best.
What Maggie needs are opportunities to race against the best riders in the world at high sanctioned UCI races. Not only does she need the racing experience, she will need to collect enough UCI points to make her eligible for World Cup races next season. After a somewhat challenging transition from Junior to Elite, Maggie has now found her place in international track cycling.
Later that evening, she teamed up with another first year Elite, Chiara Consonni of Italy, for the Madison, where the two arm slingers held their own against the likes of the local favourites and current World Champions Jolien D’Hoore and Lotte Kopecky to place a respectable 8th at the finish.
The Omnium, Maggie’s favourite and strongest event, was held on Sunday, January 28. Due to the large field of 31 competitors, they had to run two qualifying heats to make the track limit of 24 riders. After successfully qualifying, it was on to the Omnium.
In the Elimination race, Coles-Lyster drag-raced with the best to a 6th-place finish. With three races down, and only the Points Race to go, she sat in 10th overall.
Heading in to the Omnium, Coles-Lyster had the lofty goal of a top-5 finish. At the start of the final Points Race, she was 16 points out of a top 5, knowing it was not going to be an easy task.
In the first sprint, she took second place, then after some more sprint points, got into a break and lapped the field to gain 20 points. This put her in third and on the podium, but with the race was not over as Diana Klimova of Russia got away and took the podium spot with her. Coles-Lyster ended up winning the Points Race, leaving her with an impressive 4th-place finish overall in the Omnium that saw Lotte Kopecky of Belgium take the win.
“Going into the Points race, I had nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain, so with this in mind, it gave me the freedom to play and push myself to a place I haven’t felt since Junior Track Worlds last year,” said Coles-Lyster. “When I looked up at the lap board and saw myself sitting in 3rd, I was surprised at first but then was like…hey! I can race at this level.”
“This race was huge for Maggie in many ways. She had 3-solid days of training on the Belgian track and came into the races with a positive attitude. I gave her full reign to try things, accept mistakes and have fun. This recipe has proven successful for her over the years. As a coach, this is my first time working a race at this level, and I am very grateful for the experience,” commented coach Barry Lyster.
Coles-Lyster now heads to Denmark for the Copenhagen 6-Day / Ladies Cup. Once there, she will join top Canadian track riders Steph Roorda, Jasmin Duehring and Allison Beverage for the event.
These projects are all self-funded, and would not be possible without the amazing support from sponsors and supporters. Maggie would like to thank TaG Cycling, Vision, FSA, Power2Max, Evoc, TheBlack Line.ca, Born Sportscare, Ryders Eyewear, ISM Seat, Local Ride Racing, Cycling Canada, Macogep-Argon18-Girondins pb Mazda, and all of the generous people who have helped out this project financially.
For more information, and to help with Maggie Coles-Lyster’s 2020 Olympic project please contact Barry Lyster at email@example.com.