Track cycling riders Erik Diertens

Riders prep for track nationals with workouts at Colwood velodrome

National team member on hand to give guidance to young riders

It’s near freezing at the Colwood velodrome and four teenaged track cyclists dressed in riding spandex are doing their best to keep warm inside a heated training tent.

The group, including 15-year-old Saanich residents Erik Diertens and Erin Attwell, who compete this weekend at the 2014 Junior National Track Cycling Championships in Burnaby, are on bikes attached to wind trainers that allow them to ride in place.

At one point, the frigid wind gusting outside threatens to carry the tents away, leaving Diertens and fellow junior rider Riley Pickrell, 13, to reach up and hang on while continuing to ride. Ah, the joys of winter training in Victoria.

Triple Shot Racing club coach Lister Farrar says the Victoria Velodrome Association’s member clubs have upwards of 60 young riders in various stages of development. “The next stage for us is to get local competition for them,” he says.

Farrar, named Cycling B.C.’s 2014 Youth Coach of the Year for his work promoting the sport and helping train area youth, says some riders make their way up the competitive ladder rather quickly, while others are content to ride for exercise and the social aspects of club riding.

Diertens, a member of the ProCity Racing club, and Attwell, who rides for Tripleshot, are among 11 riders from Vancouver Island who are part of Team B.C. competing in Burnaby. Illustrating the youth movement in Greater Victoria, the pair will be among the youngest riders in the under-17 categories.

Others area riders competing this weekend (club listed) include Saanich residents Clara Mackenzie (Local Ride) and Eloi Battista (Pacific Cycling Centre), Victoria’s Trevor Stothart (Red Truck), Esquimalt’s John Wilcox (ProCity) and Oak Bay’s Rachel Carey (Van. Island Youth Performance Racing Squad).

Former University of Victoria student-athlete Laura Brown, who won a silver medal in the team pursuit event at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia earlier this year, was on hand last weekend to speak at the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association’s annual general meeting with fellow national teamer Gillian Carleton.

Still nursing a shoulder injury and absent from the world circuit She also led a spin class for junior riders and was at the velodrome Saturday morning to offer her guidance to the young riders. The native of Calgary is impressed with the number of teens taking up track riding and other disciplines.

“The more kids on bikes, the better,” she says. “It creates a fun training atmosphere.”

The competition on the steeply banked Burnaby Velodrome track includes an omnium event. Track cycling’s version of the heptathlon, the omnium is designed to create generalists among developing racers, Farrar says. The weekend also includes individual sprint events, team sprints and team pursuit.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

Excessive speed is classified as going more than 40 km/h over the limit in that stretch

Rickter Scale: ‘Twas the night before mayhem

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

Fire hydrant testing in Saanich may cause temporary water discolouration

About 100 locations to be assessed between Dec. 11 and 20

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

Most Read