Posted by Editoress on 01/23/09
2009 Trek Canada's Mountain Bike Team
Courtesy Charlotte Batty
The Trek Store of Toronto Mountain Bike Team has re-assessed its goals and focuses in preparation for the 2009 race season. Barry Near, owner of the Trek Store stated:
"It became very evident in the 2008 season that we had a tremendous amount of talent riding on our team." He wants to improve on the Team's potential and feels that the best way to do so is by taking the competition up a level.
"It is really apparent that we need to get the riders to compete on the International level, but in order to so, they need more funding to support them while racing in Europe and more coaching support was needed as well."
Steve Neal Performance Development will be assisting the athletes with coaching support.
With the need for more funding, the Trek Store began a timely search for a new title sponsor back in July of 2008. Unfortunately, with the economic times being so uncertain, they had to put the hunt for one on hold.
"We haven't given up on trying to find that sponsor, it just became too late in the year for the riders not to know what they were doing for this year and what they could expect in support".
So, between Trek USA and the Trek Store of Toronto they came up with some of the support needed for 2009.
For this year you can expect to see top Canadian riders Emily Batty, Eric Batty, Mical Dyck, Peter Glassford, and Adam Morka ripping it up on the trails all across North America in the Trek Store's Team clothing.
While the team competed seriously at the national level in 2008, they felt that they needed more experience racing in the United States and Europe.
"For them it is like being the big fish in a small pond." Near explained, "It's great if that's all you want to do, but these riders are really talented and have proven that they are capable of competing on the International level. So that's what we're going to focus on. More races in the United States and some in Europe."
The long term goal of the team is to get two or three of its riders to the level where they can represent Canada in the 2012 Olympic Games.
"This is where the extra funding from a title sponsor is needed." says Near, while referring to mountain biking as a 'North American Sport'. "It started here and it should be dominated by North Americans. But when you witness the Europeans race, you can see why they win so many World Cups and Olympic medals. They're simply faster over there."
He feels that the solution is, "To get our athletes over to Europe to train and compete more, so that they can get to the World Cup speed. Canada was in the same predicament with International hockey a little while ago and look at the turn around they've accomplished."
Near feels that the same thing is attainable with mountain bike athletes in North America.
Be sure to watch out for the team competing in the early US. Cup Races and Canada Cups.
The Team riders for 2009 will consist of:
Emily Batty - 20 years of age, U23 Canadian National Mountain Bike Champion 2008
Eric Batty - 25 years of age, second in Ontario Provincial Championships 2008
Mical Dyck - 26 years of age, winner of two Canada Cups 2008
Peter Glassford - 24 years of age, seventh in the Canadian National Championships 2008
Adam Morka - 22 years of age , U23 first overall Sea Otter Classic
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