Goldstein aims for BC Superweek, again

Less than one year after a near fatal bike crash, Vancouver’s Leah Goldstein is back to racing, winning, and finally aiming at her first BC Superweek victory, July 15-23. The former World Champion kick-boxer, now with Team Symmetrics, was marching toward her season-long goal of winning at BC Superweek last year, winning nine of eleven races along the way when her season and almost her life came to a sudden end on July 7, 2005 on a high speed descent in the Cascade Classic in Bend, Oregon.

"A rider in front of me kind of lost her nerve on a corner and cut in front of me taking out my front wheel," Goldstein recalled. "I went down face first at 70 kilometres an hour and everyone behind piled up on top of me. I fell so hard that I broke the roots of five of my teeth and now need implants. My lips got rubbed off, I had road rash from one end of me to the other. I broke my right arm, ribs, a cheekbone and my pelvis was in pieces."

After spending two months in a wheelchair doing laps on a nearby school track, she was back on a trainer three and a half months after the accident. By December she was riding again and in February she started training. "It was painful but mentally I can handle anything," said the Vancouver born 37 year-old who also holds Israeli citizenship and once spent nine years in the Israeli commandos and secret police.

This season, Goldstein has already scored four straight victories, including two of the FloraGLO BC Cup races in Hatzic Valley and Victoria. She even shocked herself by returning to successfully defend her championship in the difficult Mt. Hood stage race in the mountains of Oregon.

Goldstein's long-range target is to become the first Israeli woman to ride in the Olympics in Beijing, 2008, but her immediate goal is to pick up her first victory in BC Superweek.

"White Rock is the course for me," she said. "I love the hills and I’ll be going hard to win there [on July 15, 16, 17]. I'm still not comfortable in crits so I won't race in Gastown [July 19] unless the course is dry. In Gastown and the Tour de Delta [July 21, 22, 23] I’ll be working hard for my teammates. Delta’s road race may be a little too flat for me unless I can get away and solo but I’ll be happy to just help out my team. I just signed up with Symmetrics and I'm having a great time with old friends like Mandy and Marnie [Hambleton]. It may take a while to get back to 100 percent but I'm enjoying racing more than ever."

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