And so it is with
irony that Sudbury has produced world-class cyclists.
The men have led
the way in Olympians Gary Trevisiol, David Spears
and Eric Wohlberg.
Now finally, a
woman is racing the elite levels of cycling in Ontario
and Canada, despite the challenge of being a Northern
21, a member of HighGate Racing of Toronto, and the
Sudbury Cycling Club, is poised to ride for Ontario
at the upcoming Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on
July 28-August 13.
She put herself
in perfect position to qualify for the Games with
a first-place finish in the Ontario provincial cycling
championships, U23 division, last weekend. She was
fourth overall, mere seconds away from the podium,
despite this being only her second year of competitive
at a nearby diner last Wednesday, she reflects on
her sport and the added elements of being a Northern
hard. I definitely find that I’m pretty tired
two to three days following. But it’s, like,
what I have to do,” she says. She drives, often
on her own, to her races around the province and in
the northern U.S., shored up on ice cream and “peanut
butter and banana with anything.”
Last year, she
raced for the now disbanded P.K. Express in Hamilton,
where she also lived.
In March, she
took to the road and raced the Tour of Marietta in
California. She was then invited as a guest rider
on a U.S. team for the Redlands Stage race in Californian.
In May, she was 58th overall in a 104-km UCI Gatineau
Grand Prix in Ottawa. She was actually leading that
race by 25 seconds until the pack brought her back.
Two weeks ago she was second in the 100-kilometre
Bristol Mountain Race in New York State.
Back in the day,
Marcolini was synonymous with running prowess.
Her powerful legs
and competitive nature led her to a bronze medal for
Cambrian College at the Canadian College Athletic
Association cross-country running championships. She
had been undefeated in all Ontario college races that
She ran for Laurentian
before switching schools to pursue her studies at
Cambrian. She was a multiple city and Northern Ontario
high school champion, and OFSAA qualifier during her
stellar high school athletic career.
took their toll and she lost her love of running.
Shin splints and stress fractures took their toll.
The “nail in the coffin,” she says, was
a “weird” hip injury that never really
went away and whose cause was never defined.
entirely ruled out a return to the sport as she has
two years of eligibility left in her varsity athletic
She always loved
cycling, but her dedication to the sport began after
she was running on a team at the Beaton Classic.
That year, SCC
rider and triathlete Jody Nadjiwon rode the bike leg
of the Beaton and talked to Marcolini about the sport.
The following year, Marcolini picked up her first
road bike so she could race the solo division of the
Beaton. Nadjiwon talked her into racing.
no quit at all,” says Nadjiwon. “She starts
every race planning to win. She is an outstanding
climber and time trialist. She is also an excellent
teammate as she understands how to work for her teammates
to execute a race plan and achieve team goals.”
at all this full-time: she rides hard and virtually
every day. She works full-time as a summer student
lab tech at Cambrian, where she is also a full-time
student in the chemical engineering technology program.
her commitment to training, despite her full-time
status at school and work.
the sacrifices necessary to put the hours and hours
of training in that are necessary to be successful
at the highest level of the sport. She is often racing
women with many more years of experience who have
way more time to train.
to mention also that she is the first to volunteer
local running races, mountain bike and cross-country
ski events,” Nadjiwon adds.
easy to whine about riding in Sudbury. On the up side,
the city is packed with athletic talent that supports
Case in point:
Marcolini learned her work ethic and earned fitness
level through her years running for Laurentian under
the training of coaches Dick Moss and Darren Jermyn,
says Nadjiwon. As well, Battista Muredda, the SCC’s
master coach, remains a key resource.
“It is very
difficult and expensive to be a competitive cyclist
and live in Sudbury,” Nadjiwon says. “Battista
Muredda ... is an excellent coach and plays the most
important role of providing a world-class training
program and support through the club.”
Support has also
come from Accelerated Cycling fundraiser and the Sessions
Ride Company. As well, “I wouldn’t be
able to do this without her,” Marcolini says
riding is an intense experience she loves.
just love to cycle. I look forward to it every day
She is superstitious
about her goals for her racing. It’s one step
at a time right now. “I am still new to the
sport. I don’t know how far I can go with it.
Young's Personal Best appears every other Monday in
The Sudbury Star.