By Jill Bellefontaine
Mackenzie Myatt, 20, of Musquodoboit Harbour, is making waves around the world with her bicycle.
So far this year, Myatt has raced in Nevada, Georgia, British Columbia, California, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, and Andorra, Alberta, and Quebec. “I think it's safe to say I know how to pack a suitcase and bike for travel," Myatt said. "One of the most important things for me when I travel is to make sure I bring gluten-free options, so I don't get stuck hungry or having to eat something that will make me sick in Europe, such as their amazing bread and pastries.”
Myatt’s level of competitiveness is a sure 110% every time she hits the trail. “The only thing that differs for each race is my expectations for results… I prioritize my races in A, B and C in terms of importance and where I want to perform the best,” Myatt said. 'A races' for Myatt this year have been the four World Cups in Europe because each race gave her the opportunity to represent Canada in the next World Cup.
Myatt’s fourth and final World Cup of 2018 in Vallnord has been the highlight her year. She finished top-20 in the U23 women’s category at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. Adapting to altitude is one of the greatest challenges professional mountain bikers face. Oovercoming it with careful pacing and patience is one of the things I'm most proud of,” said Myatt.
In a recent race at the Canadian National Championships in Canmore, Alberta, Myatt found herself in an unpredictable situation. “One of my best memories is this really dramatic crash that I had mid-way through the race. I slid off the trail on a loose corner, went over the handle bars and landed on my back, bike on top of me. I was totally fine, I was just disoriented and in such an awkward position that I couldn't lift my bike up.” After a minute or two of lying in the bushes a spectator came to the rescue and helped Myatt up, and after all of that commotion, she ended up placing fifth in the U23 Elite Women’s Category.
When it comes to pre-race nerves, Myatt still struggles. “The hardest thing is still forcing myself to eat breakfast with butterflies in my stomach. Anyone who has seen me eat pre-race has probably seen me fighting nausea firsthand, but it's always better than racing on an empty stomach,” said Myatt.
Myatt’s primary sponsors are Cyclesmith Halifax, Trek, and Bontrager. As of August 1st, Myatt’s top 20 World Cup result qualified her for World Championships in Switzerland on September 7th.