Track cycling riders Erik Diertens

Victoria track racers get in pre-nationals training at velodrome

Victoria bicycle track racers get in pre-nationals training at velodrome

It’s near freezing outside 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.

While only the most hardy are here on this day, 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, who was named Cycling B.C.’s Youth Coach of the Year this summer 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.

Other riders from Capital Region clubs who will be competing this weekend (with 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 (Vancouver 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.

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

 

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read