Maple Ridge cyclist Maggie Coles-Lyster is doing some of her best racing as she heads to Lima, Peru to represent Canada at the Pan American Games this week.
Coles-Lyster mounted the podium for the first time at the prestigious Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix in Vancouver earlier this month. She calls it the “crown jewel of B.C. Superweek.”
Leaving BC with a 💥! Always been my dream to win the crown jewel of @BC_Superweek, @gastowngp, and came the closest I've ever been last night, landing myself on the third place step 🥉 #gastowngrandprix… https://t.co/T3Gnk7vdSv
— Maggie Coles-Lyster (@M_ColesLyster) July 12, 2019
Coles-Lyster took third place in an epic finish at the event. The race saw Kendall Ryan, a 26-year-old Californian, make history by winning the race for the the third straight year – just the second woman to ever do so. She is a three-time U.S. national champion.
It was a field of 82 riders, which was the largest in the Gastown Grand Prix’s storied history. A downpour earlier in the day left puddles on the road to add to the challenge.
“I knew I had to be on Kendall’s wheel to have a chance to podium in that sprint. It was just elbows bumping through that last corner and it came down to my confidence in riding on wet cobble,” said Coles-Lyster, who rides for the US-based Pickle Juice Pro Cycling team.
“I just took a chance to shoot that last corner on the inside and it put me in the perfect position because I lost her wheel for a bit. I felt like I was gonna puke on that last sprint, but I got on the podium, so it was worth it!”
Coles-Lyster has become a crowd favourite over the years at BC Superweek, since she first began riding the series as a junior at age 14.
“It feels so amazing, I remember my first year doing this – six years ago – and going into it, my dad always told me, ‘Every race you go into, just say you’re going to win it!’ So I went into it saying that, but of course I didn’t finish it at that time,” she said. “Now to be able to actually make that dream a reality and get on the podium, and in the future, hopefully win.”
Her father is longtime Maple Ridge race organizer Barry Lyster.
She has been climbing every year – before the third-place finish this year, Coles-Lyster finished fifth in 2018, and eighth in 2017.
This has been a great comeback year for the young cyclist, who is rebounding from serious crash injuries.
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $140,000 in prize money with nine races over ten days.
The Pan Am Games will be run from July 26 to Aug. 11.