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Catching Up with Maddi

Pedalling on Lions Bay Avenue leads to World Championships

Cyclocross racing is not as common on the North Shore as mountain biking, but many of the best riders in this sport – which has been described as a hybrid of road and mountain biking and even steeplechase – come from the other cycling disciplines.

One has strong roots in Lions Bay. Readers first met Madeleine Pollack last February, after her return from representing Canada at the 2023 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Cyclocross Junior World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. She is the grand-daughter of former mayor Doug Pollock and his wife Sally, long-time residents of Lions Bay, and spent many of her childhood summers in the village. It's been a busy year for Maddi, who is currently attending Brevard College in North Carolina.

"I've recently spent five weeks in Europe racing cyclocross," Maddi said, speaking to The Watershed during a recent break in her schedule. "I raced five world cups, two high level UCI races, and world championships. I was able to visit Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic during my travels."

Cycling Canada fielded a team of 20 athletes at the Cyclocross World Championships, held February 2-4 in Tábor, Czech Republic. Maddi moved up from 38th in the Junior Women's race last year to place 27th in the Women's Under-23 race, one of her best European results ever.

The serious ankle injury she sustained after last year's season doesn't appear to have set her back, and Maddi says she's working harder than ever, training with the mountain bike team at college.

"I've been racing cross country, downhill, short track, and dual slalom for Brevard. The team is awesome, and it is a great way to pursue a bachelor's degree and continue my cycling career."

In North Carolina, Maddi trains in Pisgah National and Dupont State Forests, as well as on the roads in the surrounding area. Back home on the North Shore, she trains on Fromme and Seymour mountains, and in Squamish and Whistler.

This spring, Maddi will continue her training closer to home with TaG Cycling Race Team, a Canadian trade team out of Vancouver that competes in both road and mountain bike racing.

With such a demanding cyclocross calendar, Maddi has actually spent more time in Europe this season than she has in BC, but she's hoping to be home – and spending time with her grandparents in Lions Bay – when not racing this summer.

She says she has many fond memories of riding her bike up and down Lions Bay Avenue as a kid. "I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement I receive from the Lions Bay community."

Good luck, Maddi!

Madeleine Pollock competes at the 2024 CX World Championships in Tábor, CZ

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What a wonderful, uplifting story about Maddi, a superb athlete, and how she attributes part of her success to her early days cycling along Lions Bay Ave.


An interesting and informative piece on a world-class cyclocross competitor, with Lions Bay roots!

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