We took five with Canadian Cyclocross Champion, Maghalie Rochette. Maghalie was 2nd Place at the 2019 Rasputitsa and the artist behind our winner’s trophies. In general, she’s like an overflowing cup of creativity that you just can’t get enough of.
RASPUTITSA: Name top three reasons you'd return to Rasputitsa
1.The pre-race party was awesome. The vibe, the people, the food - I had never seen anything like it at a pre-race registration! (Post race food & vibe were also next level, even if everyone was completely frozen!)
2. The course was fun — plus I heard it had been changed from the originally planned course because of the water. So I have to go back to see the original course!
3. I was second place…
RASPUTITSA: How did the Specialized Diverge perform for you?
ROCHETTE: Great! It was one of my first ride on the Diverge, and quite honestly, I was not fit at all. So although everyone was saying we had to be careful in the downhills and fast on the climbs, my strategy was the complete opposite. I was bombing down the hills as fast as I possibly could, and I was hanging on the climbs! The Diverge allowed me to do that and feel completely safe and comfy. I felt the bike was very stable on the gravel and uneven terrain, and that gave me confidence. Maybe it’s the Future Shock out front? Or just the geometry of the bike? But it felt great. I had it built with the SRAM AXS 33-46T Front chain ring and an 11-28 in the back. I think that gear ratio, as well as the lightness of the bike helped to minimize my lack of training on the climbs :)
RASPUTITSA: What gravel plans do you have for the rest of 2019?
ROCHETTE: I will definitely do Grinder Canada. I’m also signed up for the Big Red Gravel Run in the Laurentians. I’d like to do more, so I’ll keep my eyes open for some other fun events.
To me, gravel events are about the fun. I like the chill vibe, and the adventure. I don’t want to stress over those events. To me, they are juste that; events, not races. I want to compete if I’m there, but primarily I want to have fun. And hopefully celebrate with a beer or good food afterwards :)
RASPUTITSA: Why woodworking? How did this come about?
ROCHETTE: I’m not sure exactly why…maybe because I love creating something. I absolutely love thickening about my next project and how I will make it work. When I’m actually making it, it feels very relaxing and pretty satisfying. It’s just a simple thing you are creating with your hands, and that is refreshing to me.
My grandfather was a woodworker and I remember I loved watching him work with wood. He was so ingenious! He showed me a few things, but I was too young to fully appreciate the craft. When he passed away, we got a few of his tools at home and that’s when I got curious to try for myself…One day, I got it in my mind that I wanted to make a pizza peel, so I started creating it and figuring out how to play with the tools. That’s when I first got the “bug” for it!
With each project, my interest is growing and I always want to learn more. I’m still very amateur, but one day, I’ll take classes!
RASPUTITSA: What does #womenrockrasputitsa mean to you?
To me, I think it specifically invites women to come out and play at the Rasputitsa event. The fact that you make it so welcoming makes it easy for someone to come out and try what may be their first gravel event. I think that’s cool, because otherwise, it can be a bit intimidating…But Rasputitsa is a welcoming event, and although it is super challenging, you know that no matter how the actual “race” goes, you will have a great time during the weekend and you’ll feel welcomed in the community - no matter who you are.