Posted by Editoress on 02/2/07
Canada's National Cycling Team Gears Up to Beijing
Photos by Andrea Brewer
The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) organized a national team training camp in Victoria last week, specially designed for identified top cyclists from all disciplines, to help them achieve their goals at major games for the two upcoming cycling seasons leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
This camp was held at the National Team Training Centre for Cycling in Victoria, BC (NTTC-V) and brought together the CCA coaching and support staff, as well as its Performance Enhancement Team members in a week of tests and information sessions for selected athletes who have had success at past Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
"The camp was a step in the right direction towards preparing Canada's top cyclists for the Olympics," said local track cyclist Gina Grain of Victoria, silver medallist at 2006 Track Worlds and leader on the UCI World Cup circuit.
The objective of the camp was also to have first contact with pool of athletes likely to compete in major Games, and bring them all together to have experienced riders interacting with newer riders, in a place adapted to all cycling disciplines and offering high quality facilities (NTTC-V).
As 2006 Commonwealth Games mountain bike bronze medalist Kiara Bisaro of Courtenay, BC pointed out, "The camp was a great opportunity to meet with athletes from other cycling disciplines. It was great to meet the support group, get in some gorgeous riding, and do the testing but I appreciated the social aspect of the camp the most!"
Track (velodrome) specialist Travis Smith, silver medalist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 9th in the international rankings, found this camp helpful. "The press day and team photo shoot was enjoyable, and because the whole team was together in one spot, it made it for a fun motivating day."
"The camp was an important milestone in creating the environment we need in order to help our athletes be competitive on the world stage," said Kris Westwood, CCA high performance director. "This includes a solid foundation of sport science, a closer relationship between the athletes and coaches, and sharing the information that will shape our programs through 2008. Last but not least, there is also enormous value in giving our younger athletes the chance to meet and learn from some legends of the sport of cycling."
"If there is follow up on events and appointments that we attended then hopefully we can see the value in doing this camp - making us going faster and stronger," added Gina Grain.
"Overall the camp was a success, and is a good foundation to build on for next year," concluded Kris Westwood.
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