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Vancouver Island’s Jenn Jackson golden at Pan Am Games

“I had an amazing experience in Santiago”
Jenn Jackson rides a ramp following her big win at the Canadian X-Country Mountain Biking National Championships on July 22 in Kentville, Nova Scotia. (Tim Foster/Dose Media Inc.)

After nearly two months away from home Jenn Jackson can finally rest.

After her first World Cup Top 12 finish in Mont Sainte Anne earlier this month, the elite mountain biker capped off her season with a gold medal at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile last week, and she couldn’t be happier.

“I had an amazing experience in Santiago,” she said from her home in Maple Bay. “From getting the full Team Canada uniform, to meeting such a variety of sportspeople in the athletes’ village, and then competing to win my first international race — at a major games no less — it couldn’t have been a better way to wrap up the season.”

Competing in the women’s elite cross country Olympic length race, the 28-year-old beat out Chile’s own 22-year-old racer, Catalina Viduarre Kossmann for the top of the podium.

“The course was fast,” Jackson said. “A lot of lower-grade, undulating descents which I’m quite good at carrying momentum through and enjoy racing, and mix of paved, steep, and dirt climbing. The single track sections were quite extended, so I knew my best strategy was to push to the front early and try to control the race from there where I wouldn’t risk getting stuck behind other riders and potentially losing time.”

The rider said once she got to the front after the start climb, she set her pace and just stuck to it.

The strategy worked.

“I knew that even if they could match the pace for the first couple laps, that it would probably be above their limit and would burn them off in the later laps, which worked perfectly,” she said.

After an extended period away from home while competing, for now, Jackson is happy to be home.

“I’m back home in Duncan now and will take a few weeks of rest, no structured training, just riding with my friends or hiking when the weather is nice,” she said.

“This last trip was really long; I haven’t been home since Aug. 5, which was a big trip but fortunately I managed it well, the racing was successful, and didn’t get too homesick. That said, I’m very happy to be back.”

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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