Out of the Blue: Élizabeth Lavoie
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Élizabeth Lavoie
Birth Date: 12 Oct, 1995
Hometown: Sherrington, Qc
School Grade or Occupation: Electrical Engineering, Sherbrooke University
Bike: KTM 250 2012
Race Club: AMXQ, CMRC
Classes: Femme Junior
How did you get started in racing?
When I was young I started with a CRF 70 in my backyard and started riding in the woods with my family and family’s friends.
My dad restarted racing when I was 8 years old and I began to race too. I wasn’t really good but I liked it. It was more a good opportunity to pass some time with my dad. I raced for fun for 2 years and then I stopped doing motocross for 8 years because my bike was stolen and I started playing soccer. I always wanted to restart but my parents were not in the mood anymore.
The idea of doing motocross again came after I finalized my road bike lesson. I went to Ste-Julie for the AMXQ race last summer to see a friend and a friend of a friend of mine lent me his bike for a race. Two months later I bought my bike, my van and all my stock to race. My family thought I was crazy, but now they know that when I really want something, I can do it.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross
Humm… I can’t say that I’m deep in this sport yet because it’s my first season, but as a child I thought that it could be possible. When I grew without bike, it became more of a dream than a reality. When you really want to [race a] bike but your parents don’t want it anymore, it’s hard for a child to understand that it costs a lot.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I think it’s harder for a girl to compete against boys, but not against girls. The difference is there are less females, so it’s harder to get someone of the same caliber, so the difference between women riders seems bigger. The good female riders are easier to see. A woman needs more training to be as good as a boy, normally, because of her physical and maybe because of the sense of the competition. In women classes, if you touch another girl during the race she can be mad at you. It is not in this circumstance that you can be better – a girl is still a girl (Laughs).
Who is your favourite rider and why?
When I was young I liked Jean-Sebatien Roy when he raced. He was my idol in motocross, but now I don’t know a lot of riders yet because I started this year and I don’t have a lot of time to follow riders and watch races.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
Eve Brodeur is a good example of the female power. She is very young, but she puts the effort she needs to put to be where she is today. She proved to everybody that girls can also ride a bike like a boy. This is not all about shape or muscles, this is about your thinking and your devotion.
What is your favourite track and why?
Ulverton is my favourite track because there are different kinds of tracks in one. It has rock and sand in the same track, and there is a lot of elevation. This is not a straight track.
Who is your hero?
Of course my hero is my dad. He is the best example of happiness. He shows me how to conciliate occupation, school, work, friends and family. This is why today I can do everything I like to do and everything I need to do. Even if I always want to ride a bike and he knows it, he shows me different sports and always teaches me how to be able to do everything by myself. This is the reason why for me this sport doesn’t consist of just riding a bike, it is also being able to prepare, repair and maintain all the stock I need to ride. I am very thankful for all he has taught me, he always supports me even if he thought it was a bad idea. He wants me to grow by myself by doing what I like the most.
What were your goals for this season?
My goal was to prove to myself that I can do it even if I was alone and knowing nobody there. I also wanted to win the championship in Junior Women class. It did not happened because I missed races but I always won top 2 in my category.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment in this sport is to change of class of race. At the end of the season I raced in Women Intermediate. For my first season I improved a lot and I look forward to next summer to learn more and give myself other goals to reach.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
My favourite part is about relaxing. I don’t have to think about school or work, I just have to do what I like the most and being with great people. I also liked to move to Quebec. I discovered a lot of different kinds of tracks, it’s new for me. I feel like if I was doing camping every weekend, I’d like it.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I play soccer and deck hockey, but most of the time I have to work. Riding a bike, race and be equipped is expensive.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend, or just a bonus?
I think it’s important because it’s hard for someone who doesn’t know this sport to understand all the time you have to invest.
My boyfriend is a motocross rider, so it is a lot easier to fit our schedule. Each weekend we know we are together because we share the same passion. He can help me and he is always there to support me. As a girl rider, I have a lot to learn and a rider as boyfriend makes learning [easier].
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
They will choose what sport they want to practice. I want to show them a lot of different sports. I think it’s important for them to have the choice. But of course, if both of the parents are riders, I think passion of motocross is transmitted so they would probably want to try.
Who do you want to thank?
I want to thank my parents who help me a lot to start in the sport. My boyfriend, Miguel Majeau and friend of the family, Michelle Lambert who always believes in me. Also my friends who don’t know this sport but understand that my summer weekends are all taken. I want to thank to best golf in town, Cascade Golf on the rive-sud in La Prairie,who sponsored me this summer.
(One day I hope I will have a lot of sponsorship to mentioned (Laughs) )I have the chance to be be well surrounded.