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March 28/18 18:45 pm - Commonwealth Games Profile - Steph Roorda


Posted by Editoress on 03/28/18
 

Steph Roorda will be one of the more experienced members of the women's endurance squad, having attended the 2014 Commonwealth Games.  Roorda will race both track and road events.  The 31 year old Roorda is from Vancouver, BC.

This will be Steph's 11th year as an Elite cyclist, both on the road and the track.  She has been a member of Canada's medal-winning women's Team Pursuit squad since it first began to take shape.

"I first got into cycling as a teenager; I was training for Alpine ski racing and in the summer we rode bikes. In the years after I stopped ski racing, my passion and talent grew for cycling. In late 2006 I met and started working with [BC coach] Jeremy Storie. In the summer of 2007 I won two Canadian National titles on the track, the Points Race and Keirin."

"At that point there was no clear path to the national team, but I loved the sport and competition so I kept at it. This was the start of my career on the track and road. Over the next few years [former national coach] Richard Wooles was scraping together the beginnings of the National Track Cycling Team."

"In the fall of 2009, after attending a high performance camp in Los Angeles, with my teammates Tara Whitten and Laura Brown, fellow passionate track cyclist, we put together a Team Pursuit. Richard Wooles was Cycling Canada’s head track coach at the time and sent the first team pursuit team to the World Cup. This was my first race with the maple leaf on my back, at the 2009 Track Cycling World Cup, Cali, Colombia. We won gold in the Team Pursuit, against the United States. I have been on the national team ever since."

 

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2014 Track Worlds, silver medal



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2015 Track Worlds, Bronze medal

 

Steph has been part of three medal-winning teams at the world championships - silver [2014] and bronze [2016] in the Team Pursuit, and bronze in the Scratch Race [2016].  She was also part of the gold medal Team Pursuit squad at the 2011 Pan Am Games and at the 2015 Pan Am Championships won gold in Points Race and silver in the Team Pursuit.  On the road, Steph has raced all over the world with the national team, and was fifth at last year's Road Nationals.  She lists some of the most important moments in her cycling career?:

• The first World Cup gold medal in Cali, Colombia.

• All of the fun, beautiful, demoralizing, heartbreaking, inspirational, magical, hard, and uplifting times with my teammates. There is nothing better than riding bikes with some of your best friends.

• My first World Championship medal: 2014, a Silver, also in Cali. We came the closest we ever have to winning the jersey that year.  I will always have goosebumps thinking about that race.

• 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze Medal Final: I wasn't with the team for that race. I wasn't selected to race and faced a massive heartache because of that, I felt destroyed. It still is one of the most important moments to me. I was not there with them, but I know what the team went through, in the days, and maybe more importantly, months and years before that final ride. They put together something really great for that medal, and I will always feel proud of the girls for that.

 

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2016 Track World Championships, Scratch Race Bronze medal

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2017 Canadian Road Nationals 7th

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3rd Criterium Canadian Road Nationals

 

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2018 Track World Championships, Madison

 

Steph admits that having attended two major Games before helps, "There will be less unknowns for me about the major competitions, everything might be a little more familiar and that is always more settling.

Canada was fourth in the Team Pursuit at the recent world championships, however, the gold and bronze medal teams will not be in Australia.  Having said that, there is still a strong field for the women's Team Pursuit, but Steph is clear:  "The team's expectations are to be going for the gold medal."

 


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