The Peloton Brief: tomorrow's gold medal cyclists train in the Golden City today!

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
August 11th, 2010

Have you been passed by a uniformed peloton of road cyclists in the last few days? If so than you’ve witnessed some of BC’s top young cyclists.

The BC provincial road cycling team has been in Rossland since Sunday, August 8th for a weeklong training camp. Staying at the Ram’s Head Inn, the group of 25 riders, both male and female, have been tearing up some high altitude pavement and learning from the best while they are here.
This camp is the team’s first camp in Rossland, and by the sounds of it is not likely to be their last.


“One of the best bike riders in Canada at the moment uses Rossland as his base and comes here to train quite often. Sven Tuft is his name,” explained team coach Richard Wolles. “He was the silver medalist in the world championships last year. It was that and the connection with Juan Hayman that brought us here. Juan’s from Penticton but has a house here in Rossland and he said Rossland would be a great place to train. The Ram’s Head has been really good to us as well.”


Designed as an inspirational and coaching camp as much as a training camp the group has been bringing in a number of well-known Canadian cyclists to coach and mentor the young riders.


“This is providing information and motivation to some of the younger riders on how to make a career as a professional cyclist,” added Wolles. “We’ve got the provincial and national coaches here with us as well as a number of top cyclists to motivate and coach the kids. It should really be a great experience for them.”
The lone semi-local on the team is Josh Hall out of Nelson who’s been enjoying a chance to show off his home turf to the rest of the team.


“The camp is awesome,” explained Hall. “It’s nice to have something local. Normally, we have to travel out to the coast or somewhere. It’s not a big mileage camp and we’re learning a lot from some of the speakers. They’ve got all sorts of inspirational stories and great insights. I’ve been on the team for two years now but I’ve still got a lot to learn. It’s my goal to make a professional career out of cycling.”


While many young West Kootenay kids are picking up mountain biking, Hall sees a resurgence in the ‘cool’ factor of road cycling of late and recommends the sport to other kids out there, so long as they don’t mind a bit of hard work.


“You have just got to have the right mindset, I guess, to be good at it. It’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off for sure and can be a lot of fun.”


The next time you’re passed on the hill while headed down to (or up from–they’re that good) Trail, keep an eye open as you might just be looking at the next Tour de France or Olympic athlete pedaling past.

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