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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read