Track cyclist Jay Lamoureux of Oak Bay is representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Rob Jones photo Track cyclist Jay Lamoureux of Victoria is representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Rob Jones photo

Lamoreux on track for Canada at Commonwealth Games

Victoria’s Jay Lamoreux spinning on road, track at Games

Competing in track and distance running for Oak Bay High, Jay Lamoreux knew he had the lungs.

But it wasn’t until he switched tracks, from the Jack Wallace Memorial at Oak Bay High to the Westshore Velodrome, that Lamoreux found his way in cycling.

The 22-year-old will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in both track and road cycling, starting with the men’s 4,000-metre team (four-person) pursuit on April 4 at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Gold Coast. He’ll then lineup along side some of the world’s best for the (road cycling) individual time trial on April 10 and the road race on April 15.

For Lamoreux it’s the latest world-class event, as he’s competed for Canada on the World track cycling tour and with national road cycling development program, team Race Clean. In early March Lamoreux helped Canada to a best-ever eighth place finish in the men’s team pursuit at the World Track Cycling Championships held in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.

“Eighth is a big accomplishment for us with so many good nations, and so much ground to make up,” Lamoreux said. “Our goal was to hit top-8, to hit a four minute time, and we did that.”

Following the World Championships Lamoreux and the national team held a training block in Calp, Spain. It’s a chance to immerse in the culture of pro cycling, he said.

“Every ride you’re out on you see three or four pro teams training, it’s great to be part of.”

For Lamoreux, the future is a choice between two roads. Choose track cycling and follow a dream of competing at the Olympics, or sign with a domestic continental team and chase a career in the pro peloton. To do both concurrently is not an option, as the seasons don’t compliment each other.

“Competing at the Commonwealth Games has been a goal and a dream of mine, it is a stepping stone on the way to the Olympics, a way to check-in and see how you’re doing against the rest of the world,” Lamoreux said. “It’s another chance to get a large games under your belt, I’ll take a lot away from it.”

Training all year round would the leave the rider fatigued. Currently, his affiliation with the national track cycling team does include some additional road racing and training with Race Team Clean. Mostly, Lamoreux is based out of a house with the rest of his team pursuit teammates in Milton, Ont.

“I’ve had offers, certainly I’ve considered going with a continental team,” said Lamoreux, who raced for Trek Red Truck two years ago. “With track cycling you’re peaking in the winter, which is when road cyclists are taking time off to recover.”

Otherwise, he can be seen chasing the best Strava times for local hills here in Victoria.

One thing about the Commonwealth Games is the absence of a great number of top cycling nations.

That said, the host country is loading its national cycling team with pro talent. Team Canada will dodge one bullet, as Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis (BCM Racing), a former Commonwealth Games silver medal winner, won’t be there. However, 2016 Paris-Roubaix winner Matt Hayman will be, and so will Hayman’s UCI World Tour teammates Alex Edmund son (Australian national champion) and Cam Meyer from pro team Mitchelton-Scott, as well as Mitch Docker of Ryder Hesjedal’s former team Education First-Drapac (known previously as Garmin-Slipstream).

It’s a big stage for a kid who got into the sport through some summer touring with his dad, some races in the School Bike League and some fall cycle cross. He credits Lister Farrar at the local Tripleshot Cycling club for introducing him to the competitive side of the sport.

It got serious when he joined the Westshore Velodrome’s FastTrack program led by 1992 track cycling Olympian Kurt Innes.

Following the Commonwealth Games Lamoreux will return to Fairfield on May 5. Look for him to chase some of the popular local Strava times such as the Observatory and Mount Douglas.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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