Whistler enduro rider Andréane Lanthier Nadeau wasn't supposed to travel at all this year.
After budget cuts with her Rocky Mountain Urge BP team, Lanthier Nadeau was in line to compete only in the Canadian race here in Whistler during Crankworx earlier this month.
The timing of the team's decision made it prohibitive for the Quebec City native to round up enough money on her own to attend any of the first three races.
But she decided to fund her own trip to the fourth Enduro World Series race of the season in Ireland, where her season took a 180 with a third-place finish. The team opted to reimburse her for the trip and subsequently added her to the travelling squad, where she's rewarded their faith by finishing no lower than sixth in any subsequent competitions.
"I decided to go to Ireland with one of my friends and fully pay my travel to go there. And then I ended up third so the team stepped up and was quite nice and reimbursed my flight and then offered to pay for my return (flight) so I could go to France and then took me to Aspen," she said, adding she's thankful to the squad for finding a way to make the season happen for her. "I ended up on the team and things turned out well for me."
Her season includes a fifth-place showing at the Canadian Open Enduro here in her summer hometown of Whistler on Aug. 13.
"Everyone knew it was going to be a big race so everyone was ready for it," she said.
Lanthier Nadeau, however, acknowledged that after taking multiple laps from Top of the World the day before the race, she may have been a little too ready.
"I thought it was a good idea but when I dropped into the first stage of the race, my shoulders were really sore," she said. "I felt a big challenge right from the start but I got better through the day. I think everyone was just super keen on accomplishing the challenge so all the girls pushed through."
Lanthier Nadeau said she liked all elements of the Canadian Open course, even if her competitors strongly preferred some stages over others.
"I really like riding down here but it's super hard to race from Top of the World, but I love trails like that," she said. "I'd never been to Howler before, but I'd always wanted to ride it.
"And everyone didn't like Stage 2, but I kind of liked it."
With her four strong showings this year, the 24-year-old is glad to finally be able to string together high results consecutively after some ups and downs in previous campaigns.
"Consistency was the one thing I didn't have last year. I had a few injuries but got a podium result (at La Thuile)," she said. "I've been taking it seriously but when I ride, I don't put too much pressure on myself. Basically, my job is just to go have a good time. Whenever I'm enjoying myself on my bike, I know it's going to be a good result."
Most recently, Lanthier Nadeau took the pro women's win at the BC Enduro Series stop at Big White Resort on Aug. 27, besting fellow Whistler residents Leonie Picton by nearly two minutes and Jennifer McTavish by six-and-a-half minutes.
"I had no plans of coming to Big White — I was just going to train in Whistler — but then some of my friends were coming up, so I came out," she said. "The trails were pretty loose here and there's nothing that's hard-packed. It was quite unpredictable."
Lanthier Nadeau's season has mostly wrapped, as she will head back to Vancouver Island to continue her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Victoria. However, she is expecting to head to Italy for the final EWS race of the season in Finale Ligure. Lanthier Nadeau currently sits 11th in the overall standings but could finish as high as eighth with a win and some other mathematical luck.
"The team has decided to send me, so I am going. I'll get out of school for that week," she said.