Bikes are assigned and LAMP riders have begun their season on the track. The newest group of C3s was split in two for the first session - to assist with more individualized instruction. Next week they will all be riding together, experiencing the excitement of the Argyll Velodrome. But first, Gail ensured the cyclists understood the requirements for safe riding, answering questions.
Bill Burtnik has been our LAMP Director for several years now. He ensures everyone has the right bike, and is grouped appropriately. He also manages to organize coaches, parent assistants, and schedules! His own boys, Evan (Team Race Clean) and Mason (Hewdog Racing), are LAMP graduates - Bill understands the value of LAMP training regardless of cycling goals.
At 11 AM, the LAMP C1s got a refresher before going onto the track. C1s are our most experienced LAMP group.
When you live and cycle year-round in Edmonton, it is slightly counter-intuitive to learn Junior Track Nationals are held in April. After all, Argyll Velodrome is outdoors, and April is the month we typically begin outdoor training and racing. However, this makes some sense: there are Junior World Track Championship selections to consider, and having the event in the spring gives riders at selection age access to Canada's only 250 m indoor track - with time to prepare and develop at future camps.
Juventus Juniors and U17s trained with dedication and intensity over our long, LONG, cold winter. They rolled the long rides to nowhere; in the clubhouse, at home, back to the clubhouse, back home, hauling bikes, hauling equipment - all to get fit, all to get fast. They trained with Jeff at track sessions, with Alex at AVRA sessions, and with Tracy at junior sessions. They did a lot of work.
Finally, 8 of our Juventus youth were ready to head to Milton, Ontario for the 2018 Junior and U17 Canadian Track Championships! Annie Scott U17-1, Ngaire Barraclough U17-2, Mikael Goh U17-2, Lukas Bonkowsky U17-1, Abbey McGill Jr-2, Alex Webb Jr-2, Mat Meurer Jr-1, and Chris Heinemann Jr-1 packed bikes, rollers, helmets, shoes, wheels, and gears. Together with a team of dedicated parents, and team equipment manager Adam Todd, the group flew to Toronto, loaded the rental van, and drove to mythic Milton (unfortunately, Alex arrived sick and had to return home).
As you can imagine, Juventus youth represented our club and province with humble tenacity. Juventus raced the entire gambit: Match sprints, Keirins, bunch races, Madison, Team Sprint, and Team Pursuit. They learned every race, adjusting to the smooth, wind-free, 250 m wooden track.
Abbey proved to be a tactical bunch racer, Annie figured out which wheels were safe to follow, Ngaire learned how to take advantage of her sprinting ability, Mikael found out a thing or two about the track compared to roller riding, Lukas realized he really liked to race -and that the neutral lap can be critical in an elimination. Mat and Chris had the opportunity to experience junior national level of competition - and managed to work and get comfortable. They worked VERY hard. All of our youth came away inspired - and a whole lot smarter.
Performances also yielded our latest U17 National Track Champion: Ngaire Barraclough won the Points Race! She also raced to silver in the 500 TT, and bronze in the IP, Keirin, and Match Sprint. Ngaire also teamed with Annie Scott and Quebec for a Team Pursuit, and Annie for Team Sprint.
A great feature of all Canadian Championships, is the opportunity for riders from different provinces to join together for team events. Mikael Goh teamed up with 2 Quebec riders to win silver in the U17 Team Sprint!
Throughout the weekend, Adam Todd supported the team with thoughtful advice, track knowledge, mechanic skills, wheel management, and his unique calm when things seemed to get a bit crazy. Adam provided an extremely appreciated overall confidence to the Juventus pit.
Upon return to Edmonton, a few of our racers were able to respond to a selection of questions. Enjoy!
Milton is indoor, 250m, and wood; how does it compare to Argyll and how did you adapt?
Lukas: Milton is amazing compared to Argyll. The smooth wood makes it super fast and a lot more comfortable to ride on.
You raced many events; which was your favourite? Why?
Mikael: My favourite event at nationals was definitely the Match Sprint. Almost all of my sprints were super tactical and I learned a lot about my own strengths, and how I can apply them in future races.
Ngaire: The Points Race was my favourite event because I left everything I had out there, and was successful. It was so fun because the competition was really strong and I felt like I had worked as hard as I could. However, I was also surprised with how much I enjoyed the Individual Pursuit. It was really painful, but I hit my goal for that event so I felt accomplished and I also felt really strong while riding it.
Every race is an opportunity to learn; did you try something that didn't work? What would you do next time?
Ngaire: Since I had only done most of the races a couple times before, I felt like I was always trying new things. In the scratch race I attacked with two laps to go - and it did not pay off. I was fairly sure I couldn't hold it, but I wanted to make a move and it was worth a try. I ended up getting caught just before the line, so I think in the future I would try and sit in the pack a little more.
In the elimination race I raced off the back and sprinted for each elimination and that definitely didn't work because I found it exhausting. And in my sprint finals, Tanya and I decided that I needed to make the attack and lead the sprint, which ended up working really well and I was happy I tried that.
What was your favourite thing about Milton?
Lukas: My favourite thing about Milton is that it's indoors. While the heat may be a bit much at first, the controlled climate year round, with zero wind, is awesome.
This is your first experience at Junior/U17 Nationals; what did you think of the competition?
Ngaire: I thought the competition was really fast which created a fun racing environment because every race was really tight.
One of the supports Juventus made available to the team was our Track Equipment Manager and mechanic, Adam Todd. How did Adam assist you?
Mikael: Adam was a huge help. He always had equipment and tools on hand, and it was really helpful for him to bring my bike to bike check while I got ready for my races.
Lukas: Adam was extremely helpful, running bikes through bike check, swapping wheels, and making sure tires are always full. Without him we would have had to spend more time worrying about our bikes than preparing for our races.
Ngaire: Adam always made sure my bike was good to go and through bike check, which helped with my nerves a lot! I wasn't constantly stressing about if I had enough time to get everything organized. Thanks Adam! :)
What advice would you give a first-timer to the Mattamy Velodrome in Milton?
Mikael: The track isn’t something to be scared of. Mattamy Velodrome is really grippy (so you’re not likely to slip off the banking) and the corners don’t feel nearly as steep as they look when riding it. It takes no time at all to get used to it, and once you do it’s super fun to hit speeds that you can’t on our bumpy concrete track.
Many competitors listen to music on their headphones before a race. Who were you listening to?
Lukas: I never listen to anyone specific; I just find upbeat, loud songs to pump me up so I'm ready to go for the next race.
Ngaire: I was listening to Pitbull.
Do you have a special food you eat at races? What is it?
Ngaire: I find it really difficult to eat at races because of my nerves, however I tried gels and they actually worked really well for me, so maybe that's my special food now.
Finally, we have to address the excitement of the last day of competition when the infamous Madison was raced. Naturally, this is quite a challenge for Juventus riders, as there is no opportunity to practice exchanges through winter months. Well, suffice it to say we have 2 young men, Mat and Chris, who will return next year ready to race the full Madison. In fact, prepare for this to be 'The Summer of the Madison'!!
Hello Juventus Cycling Club,
My name is Kelsey Mitchell and I am one of the newer members to Juventus Cycling..and cycling in general. A little background information on how I ended up joining the beautiful sport of track cycling:
I have played a variety of sports my whole life, ranging from basketball, to ringette, to judo. You name a sport and I've probably tried it. My main sport though, and one true love, was soccer. I had the opportunity to play post secondary soccer with NAIT, and the University of Alberta. Once I finished my five years of eligibility, I had a “mini” life crisis when I realized my sports career was coming to an end. Or so I thought...
I heard about a competition called RBC Training Grounds - where they test an athletes power, endurance, strength, and speed across a variety of national sport standards. So I signed up!
Long story short, my peak leg power tested well, and I have now signed with Cycling Canada as a Fast-Tracked Sprint Athlete. Being from Edmonton, Cycling Canada contacted Mr. Alex Ongaro, in hopes that he would work with me, and teach me how to actually ride a bike! He accepted (poor guy).
So, I started my cycling journey on October 17th, 2017. I attended training camps in Burnaby, Milton, and California. I also raced in the Eastern Cup on the Milton track for my first race. One accomplishment I would like to share is now having the ability to ride the rollers and watch Netflix at the same time. Took awhile, but I am slowly getting better at it. I intend to join in on one of Juventus’ Roller sessions, just don’t ride too close to me!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you! I can honestly say that my dream of potentially attending the Olympics in 2020 would not be possible without the support I have received from Juventus Cycling Club. Bikes, bike shorts, training facility, shoes (shout out to Gail), bike tips and tricks . . . everything!! You guys are a special group and I am excited to get to meet and know you all.
Thanks to Jeff Bakal for his stellar reporting and Gail Wozny for the photos!
The Western Canadian Track Cycling Championships were raced Feb. 16th - 18th at the Harry Jerome Velodrome in Burnaby BC.
Team Juve Track showed up with the full Formula 1 experience: Transit van full of gear, and kids rolling out of the Kia like a clown car.
Juventus brought a good sized crew, but it was also cool to see the thread of Juventus represented throughout the event. The Rubuliaks . . . (founding member Chris) with his kids . . . Chief Commissaire Mike Pinkoski (Juve soccer coach) . . . the vibe was friendly and fun right from the get go.
Juventus began with a mini track camp, with firsts on the track, and firsts in aero bars; it was a good chance to test and tune . . .
Day 1 racing included pursuits, the 500, and kilo . . . Jeff conned Gail into both - and himself into neither. Yet, Jeff could not resist the Chariot (win). . . or an Antiquoena (win) . . . or a Points Race (2nd)!
PBs were the standard of the day for just about everyone. And that included a variety of categories. We had Ngaire and Annie in U17, Mat and Chris, as well as Lukas in with the Juniors, Zac with Elite Men, Gail (3 km IP!!) and Abbey in Elite Women, and Jeff clobbering the Master Men.
And then the bunch races began and really charged the atmosphere! Zac learned a few lessons, Annie ripped the wheel off her bike in a dramatic Chariot super final . . . and Abbey discovered her calling as an Antiquoena specialist.
Lukas not only got to mix it up with the taller boys in U19, but toughed it out through birthday eve.
Day 2 of racing brought on the sprint contest which began with a bunch of 200 m PBs. Additional lessons were learned, but Chris, Ngaire and Zac found themselves podium bound again . . . and there was more Juventus Family time.
Day 2 also meant the Omnium - and where Abbey found out how fun it will be to head with the others to Junior Track Nationals in April. Gail was very pleased with her racing, taking 5th place in the Omnium. Chris and Mat both took some some big risks (apparently it's an Edmonton thing to do): they didn't land the way they wanted, but their gambles made for some great racing.
Although limited by their smaller gears and alloy rims, Lukas, along with Jacob Rubuliak [Red Devils (secret Juventus)] raced tough with the 'tall boys' . . . and Lukas celebrated his birthday track style.
Ngaire, Annie and Noah (Rubuliak), worked the mass start events super hard, with various goals moving through the packs, makings some attacks, and showing us all a few things about how to race.
The battles went long into the night, and included a visit from Alex Ongaro that revved up the team. Racing wrapped up shortly before midnight, only to start again the next day at pretty early o-clock . . .
Day 3 brought on team events, testing the dynamics of sprints and pursuits. The kid and combo teams (including coaches, and sometimes Juve rider and always fast Ross Wilson), paced and executed . . . and yeah, did a bit more learning . . . Memorable was a super gutsy Madison starring Mat and Chris. We had riders that stayed through to the bitter end, highlighted by Annie mixing it up in the snowball.
The final race of the weekend turned into a battle between Dave travelling with the cargo, and an endless delay at the airport for the rest of the team . . .
Juventus Track at the Western Champs - Burnaby 2018 - definitive, and impressive!! Congratulations to all!
A final note to the organizers, officials, and volunteers in Burnaby that made this weekend so wonderful: we sincerely thank you. You will have to come visit us this summer, so we can show you how we do on Argyll's 333!
As many of you know, June was not my month with two big crashes in Trexlertown PA. These crashes had me sitting on the sidelines for the rest of the summer. However, spending the summer at home was a nice change of pace. Before I new it, September arrived and my unintentional summer vacation, full of rehab and relaxation, had come to an end. My collarbone and concussion rehab was going very well, so it was time to head back to Milton to start training again. And this time with a new coach - Franck Durivaux.
I was really looking forward to working with Franck, as in France he had helped train some of the biggest names in track cycling . . . guys like Pervis, Bauge and D'Almeida. September and October whizzed by, and I was starting to find a little bit of form on the track and in the gym. In early November, I had another small setback. In the final lap of warm up, I was passing a rider coming out of corner four when he decided to swing up without shoulder checking. Always shoulder check! My front wheel got taken out and I hit the deck. A couple of X-rays and concussion protocol tests later it was determined that my head was fine, but I had somehow managed to bend my collarbone. Yes, bend my collarbone and the metal plate that was bolted on to it. After a short period of even more shoulder rehab, I was back - and on the bike. The next week we had some on-track testing and I rode two 10.0 flying 200s. Not bad, but I really wanted to get back under 10 seconds again.
One aspect of training that Franck places more emphasis is aerobic power. This meant more road rides and some Madison training on the track, something I was not opposed to! Franck and I even did one 70km ride, which was easily the longest ride I have done in 2 years. Longer rides really broke up some of the monotony of riding on the track everyday, which was really nice.
Next up on the calendar, in December, were two UCI C1 races - in Anadia, Portugal and then Grenchen, Switzerland. After a couple days of training it was time to suit up and race. First up for me were the sprints. I qualified first with a 9.993s 200m; and the two Lithuanians, Lendel and Jonauskas, rounded out the top three. The sprint tournament was reduced, as only the top eight riders qualified. I made my way through the quarters and semis, racing Patrice, my teammate, and Sam Ligtlee of the Netherlands. I met Lendel in the final. For those who don't know, Lendel had won the sprint at the World Cup in Chile one week earlier, besting Dennis Dimitriev, the current sprint world champ. It was good competition to say the least. Lendel took the win in two rides straight. Considering it was my first race back, I was pretty happy.
The next day was the kilo. The last kilo I had done was at the World Championships in Hong Kong in April, so I was not expecting huge things. After a pretty rough ride, I finished second with a 1:02.7. Not the greatest kilo ever, but good enough to get on the podium and get much needed points to qualify for the world champs.
It was now time for the Keirin. I drew position one, so I just held the front and razored for three laps, and qualified on to the semis. In the semis, I hesitated (where I should have attacked) right when the bike pulled off; with two laps to go, I was caught three riders high and riding above the blue - I just could not come around. You need to be decisive in Keirin racing! In the 7-12 final I drew position 4, and as soon as the bike pulled off I just went straight to the front, holding the lead all the way till the finish. With a solid three days of racing under my belt, it was time to fly to Switzerland for the next race.
First up in Switzerland was the sprint. I qualified second to Sebastian Vigier with a 9.921. After a bye through the 1/8 round, I took Dubchenko to three rides in the quarter finals - winning with probably the best bike throw of my life. Next I was up against Michael D'Almeida. I won the first ride, but made some pretty big tactical errors in the second and third rides; he qualified for the gold final. In the bronze final, I was up against Gregory Bauge, yet another French Olympian medalist, world champion superstar. Bauge took the first ride, but I managed to get the second with really late rush, where I just managed to pass him in corner four. Bauge ended up winning the third ride for an all French podium.
In the Keirin, I made it through the first and second rounds without much issue. In the final, I drew fourth position and after the bike pulled off . . . I waited . . . and waited. After one and a half laps, the three riders ahead of me had not picked up the pace at all - so I went. I got to the front and did not look back. Vigier came flying by, but I held on to second through the finish! A great conclusion to a jam packed week and a half of racing.
After a great Christmas break at home, and two weeks of training back on the track in Milton, I flew to Belarus for my sprint and Keirin world cup debut! The weather in Minsk was not dissimilar to that of Edmonton - a dry minus 10 degrees, with snow. Our hotel was roughly an 800m walk from the track and along the way was park, a church and a big shopping centre. Four days of training later, and I was warming up for the first round of the Keirin. I drew position five, but made some tactical errors which preempted a direct route to the final. Not the ideal way to start a world cup, but my legs felt great - I just needed to go through the reps now. I drew position five. Again. What luck. Starting at the back, I really only had one option - to rush and get to the front as soon as the bike pulled off. So I did. I made it to the front posthaste, and then just held the front till the end. I had qualified to the semis! In my semi heat I drew position two; as the bike pulled off, there was a big rush and I quickly found myself in fifth position going into corner three. At this point, everyone settled down and the pace slowed, so I launched my counter attack and made it to the front with two laps to go. On the second lap I floated where I could, and then opened the throttle in the last lap, buying my ticket to the Keirin final. Here I found myself beginning in third position. I left a gap, waited one lap, and then I attacked - getting to the front and riding it the exactly as the previous semi. The only difference was that Matthijs Buchli came flying over top of me to take the win. Meanwhile, I went head to head in a race for second place with Lewis Oliva; coming out of corner two on the last lap, I kicked as hard as I could - I knew if I could keep him beside me going into the last corner I should be able to medal. It worked out and I finished second!
After about as good of a six hour sleep as you can have, I was up and ready for the sprint tournament. I fueled up with coffee, four slices of rye bread and four eggs, and was off to the velodrome to start warm up. The flying 200's were the first event of the day, and I was able to warm up on track. Three slightly sketchy warm up efforts later, and I was being pushed up the track to start my 200m TT. I hit all my push-points perfectly in my wind up and came swiftly down the banking and into the sprinters lane. I focussed on being smooth, and riding a clean line. One lap later I looked up and saw my time - 9.820. That was a new pb ( Minsk is pretty much sea level)! I ended up qualifying fourth. This gave me a bye to the 1/8 finals where I raced the legend himself, Theo Boss.
We arrived at the start line with Theo leading it out. The whistle blew and to my surprise Boss took off like a rocket with a full on standing start. All of a sudden the commissaire's gun fired - it turned out that Boss' coach had given him a very big illegal push. So we restarted, and to my surprise Boss deployed the same tactic yet again. I chase and he starts to ease up going into corner three, so I let off the gas slightly. On the home straight he swung up to the rail and dumped speed. I had two choices: a smart one, and a not so smart one. Instead of following his wheel and maintaining my position in the rear (smart choice), I chose to take the front. Theo ended up coming around me on the last lap in corner four and that was that. The Dutch rider went on to finish third, after qualifying 13th (quite remarkable in itself), which lifted my spirits slightly - knowing that he had also beaten other faster riders.
All in all, I was pleased with a second in the Keirin and ninth in the sprint. I came away from the Belarus World Cup quite content with where I had come from since summer, and looking forward to the next two big events on my calendar: The World Championships in Apeldoorn Netherlands, and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia! But first, back to Milton to put in another training block.
Till next time,
Juventus Olympian Alex Ongaro may have a few wise words for 2018 Commonwealth Games selectees Stefan Ritter and Kinley Gibson. Alex chats frequently with both, and he knows a thing or two about podiums. Alex took silver at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. [Did you know his Canada team skinsuit from the race (with the number hand-sewn on the back!) is framed, and on the wall of our Juventus clubhouse meeting room?]
This selection to a major games is an exciting first for both of these young Juventus members. But it is not a surprise: Kinley and the pursuit team have been competing well on the world stage all season with 3 World Cup podiums, including winning gold at World Cup III in Milton. Stefan showed his return to form when he took silver in World Cup V in Minsk. His journey back to fitness and performance was subsequent to recovery from a summertime crash.
And Juventus boasts another selection: NextGen rider Devaney Collier has been named as an alternate to the CG team. Devaney rode well at World Cup V, where her team won bronze in Team Pursuit, and she raced in the 4 event Omnium.
The quad annual games will be held on the Gold Coast of Australia with the track events run in the new Anna Meares' Velodrome, located just outside Brisbane.
Stefan will be competing in the Sprint events, while Kinley is designated for the endurance side - Team Pursuit on the track, and the Road Race on the Gold Coast.
Both Stefan and Kinley are currently preparing for the 2018 World Track Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands (February 28 - March 4th).
The Cranx program, as well as the Juventus LAMP, are both designed as the next step in development for kids graduating from the Juventus Sprockids Program. Cranx is for riders 11 to 15 years of age. The program incorporates Cycling Canada's Athlete Development Model. We introduce young athletes to advanced mountain biking techniques and skills, teach specific safety rules, and foster a love for the sport of cycling.
Competition is in a fun, friendly environment with emphasis on personal achievement, camaraderie and teamwork. Riders must have the maturity, skills, stamina, commitment and desire necessary for success in this 8-week program. Age, experience and physical ability are used to group athletes appropriately.
The progress of each rider through cycling basics is monitored by Juventus coaches. Advancement depends on skills demonstrated throughout the year. We recommend that riders attend every class but attendance is not mandatory.
Cranx will run on Saturdays from 9:30AM to noon, and Tuesdays from 6:30PM to 8:00PM.
We are offering two Cranx streams, recreational and competitive again this year. Saturday rides will be group rides. Tuesdays you have the option of a recreational group ride or training/racing in the competitive stream.
The Cranx competition stream is designed for registered Cranx riders who intend to cross-country (XC) race during the 2017 season. The goals of Cranx Comp are to introduce athletes to XC racing, prepare athletes for competition, and provide guided opportunities for race training and practice. Cranx Comp participants will be well-prepared both mentally and physically for the challenges of XC mountain bike racing.
Offered every Tuesday evening during the regular Cranx schedule, Cranx Comp will feature 2 structured introductory sessions followed by regular participation in Edmonton’s “Fat Tire Tuesday” race program and Alberta Bicycle Association’s (ABA) Trailblazers youth race series. We also encourage Cranx Comp kids to race in at least one Alberta Biking Association (ABA) sanctioned mountain bike race (Cranx Comp athletes will incur extra costs for race registration and possibly ABA licensure).
This winter we are partnering with a couple of our other youth Juventus programs to get ready for spring. We are able to join the Juventus LAMP and JUNIOR riders in their winter training such as spin classes (Tuesday and Sunday), winter riding or running stairs. You must be a current Juventus club member to participate. Please let Cranx Director Carrie Wiklund know if you are interested in winter training and I will ensure that you are included in the appropriate correspondence.
We are looking for Parent Assistants to ride with the kids again this spring. As in previous years, we will need to have all Parent Assistants insured by the Alberta Bicycle Association. Please contact us if you are interested in riding with us this year.
We are looking forward to seeing you and your kids this spring.
We are looking for coaches to lead groups in rides again this spring. Please contact us if you or someone you know is interested in coaching with us this year.
Juventus Juniors are putting in the roller and trainer miles now: they need to be ready for their first big push at Spring Road Camp. Tracy and Ken will take the group to Penticton March 24th to 31st. A whole lot of learning and riding goes into a Junior Camp.
On the riding side of things, the terrain is well scouted and the daily miles are long. Fortunately the coaches are used to a variety of riders; good preparation means success for everyone.
Every cyclist needs decent cooking skills, and learning how to take care of sustenance is also a part of spring camp. The team will stay at the HI Hostel, buy groceries and cook together. Costs should be around $800-$900. Everything is included except what you eat on the way to and from Penticton.
Be sure to let Ken know by Monday January 29th if you are interested in this year's Junior's Spring Road Camp!!