The unofficial “Queen of Delta” will be racing through the city streets again next week.
Three-time U.S. national champion Kendall Ryan will be returning for the 19th edition of the Tour de Delta — slated for July 5-7.
The California native won all three races last year and went on to reach the podium six times during BC Superweek.
“Last year I showed up to BC Superweek with a pretty ruthless mindset. I knew I felt good, having Pro Nationals the week before. I was extremely frustrated with my performance there and how the races played out in both the crit and road race. I think I just had something to prove to myself and I was going to try to win as many races as I could,” explained Ryan, who rides for TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank.
It was Ryan’s familiarity with all three Tour de Delta courses that led to the trio of wins a year ago. She is also a back-to-back winner of the White Spot Delta Road Race in Tsawwassen.
“The White Spot Road Race has to be one of my personal favorites. It is a course that suits my strengths and it is also a race where you have to really pay attention. It has so many corners, flowing terrain, technical bits and a long drawn out sprint where it’s important to have good timing,” added the 26-year-old who was born into a family of cyclists.
“It really is such a great course, the loops are like the shape of a butterfly. I love how sprinters like me can hang on the short hills for a bunch sprint or how a breakaway can get out of sight with all the turns.
Although she’s been dominant over the last two years on the Tsawwassen streets, Ryan is a pure sprinter with speed to burn. It means all eyes will be on her as a major player at the North Delta and Ladner Criteriums.
“North Delta is a hard course, last year my teammate Emily Newsome and I ended up in a breakaway - we took the first downhill left hand turn as fast as we could on every lap to save energy for the uphill drag on the other side of the course. It’s a battle to the last turn with the finish line less than 100m after it,” described Ryan.
“The Ladner Criterium looks simple on the map, but it’s not. The start/finish straightaway is about half the size of the back straight, which makes for some difficult maneuvering for the finish. That course is all about fighting for position into the final corners. The finish line is pretty far from the last corner, which suits my sprint well.”
After taking a break from cycling in April at her home base in California, Ryan is feeling strong heading into this week’s USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee after which she’ll travel north to defend her titles at the Tour de Delta and BC Superweek.