Three days after my last engineering exam, I packed my life into a suitcase and boarded a plane to spend the next four months living in Trois-Rivières. Because of its central location and the plethora of quiet roads nearby, our manager suggested that the western riders make Trois-Rivières our base for the summer. After spending a week riding in the area, I can agree that the bicycle touring routes in the Mauricie region provide a great place to train.
Growing up in Calgary, I was introduced to the Alberta bike racing scene during high school. With two velodromes and a strong road, mountain bike, and cyclocross calendar, it is no surprise that Alberta has produced many of Canada’s top cyclists. In Calgary, the legacy of support for high-performance sport from the 1988 Olympics has all benefitted summer sports like cycling. During my studies at the University of Calgary, I was able to take advantage of the cycling training facilities housed on-campus in the Olympic Oval. For younger cyclists, racing in Alberta provides an adequate platform for development, but in order to be competitive at a national level, it is necessary to travel out of province to experience higher levels of racing.
Traditionally, Albertan cyclists have ridden for BC based teams to gain that experience. Before joining Probaclac Devinci in 2018, I spent two seasons racing for the Vancouver based Applewood-Garneau team. The Applewood-Garneau team would usually spend the whole month of June in Québec in order to do the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce. Riding for Probaclac Devinci simplifies the logistics and allows me to do other high-level races on a more consistent basis. The Québec provincial racing calendar is definitely the highest caliber of provincial racing in Canada, which is the main reason why I am returning to this team for a second year. Also, our team’s calendar is designed to work with the academic calendar, which is one of the main reasons I was able to join the team in the first place. Additionally, the depth of experience of the riders on this team means that there are many learning opportunities for a less experienced rider like me.
I am looking forward to getting the main part of the season underway. Some of my goals for this year are to become a better helper for our sprinters, and to improve my French.