Canadian Cyclist


January 29/09 9:00 am - CCA Track Camp Underway at FCV

Posted by Editor on 01/29/09

Yesterday, despite the snow storm hammering southwestern Ontario, over 40 potential Olympians showed up at the Forest City Velodrome in London to meet national track coach Richard Wooles.

The camp, the fourth one so far, is "us looking ahead to 2016," explains Wooles. "We need to find a pathway for them for the future. Of course, if we find anyone suitable then we will fast track them for 2012, but this is mainly to start setting up building blocks with Junior and development riders."

After Wooles announced the camp, he had over one hundred responses from interested riders, with over 60 signing up. "The weather has certainly cut that back a bit, but we still had 22 show up this [Wednesday] morning, and we'll get at least that many this evening when the Espoir and Elite riders come out [23 participated]. Big groups have come down from Quebec and Ottawa."

Juniors and new riders

The camp is running two sessions a day until Saturday, with the younger and less experienced rider session underway from 11: am to 2:00 pm, and the Elite/Espoir group from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Coaches Jim Glover and Eric Van Den Eynde are assisting Wooles put on the camp, where riders are being assessed and put through drills, as well as getting an introduction to the sort of programs they need to plan if they hope to advance.

Of those who had timing chips at the morning camp, Tom Hums and Jason King did laps in the 8.4's while Daniel McKenzie Picot pulled off an 8.6. In the evening, with strip timing, Allan Leparskas did the fast time of 11.65 in the flying 200m, followed by Daniele DeFranchesci at 11.80, Joe Veloce at 11.81, and Stéphane Cossette at 12.04. Wednesday and Thursday night regulars will be familiar with many of the drills: intervals off the blue chasing the rider ahead on the whistle and team pursuit efforts. There will be more tomorrow and the public is welcome to come and watch.

Elite riders

"This is where we start building for the next cycle," explains Wooles. "The emphasis should be on development. Seeing some of these young guys and girls ... they are good enough. They just need development stages put in place before we try to jump them into a World Cup. Right now, there is no A and B and C before we try and jump them onto the podium, there need to be steps in place."

Wooles is developing those steps but, of course, it will depend on funding. "We made our presentation to [Own the Podium], and now we are just waiting to see how much funding we get. Then, I will sit down with [CCA CTO] Jacques [Landry] to see where we go for the next four to eight years."

So, has Wooles already seen anyone that catches his eye?

"Yeah, there are definitely a few, like David Boily [Quebec] and Allan Leparskas, he's a phenomenal young rider."

Allan Leparskas is a 17-year-old London High School student and the National JR Sprint Champ, who was one of the riders the Forest City Velodrome took to Manchester last month to race on a world class track.

"The first day of camp, I thought it was a hit! Richard and the coaching staff are doing a top notch job, I can see already that he knows what he is doing and is pointing us in the right direction.

"Camps like these are great and get everyone out working hard and having fun which builds a team. Having little group talks between sessions is a great idea and it is something that we witnessed and participated in in Manchester. Having that feedback there is great and really helps because the next time you go on the track you can change what you are doing or try something different.

"As for myself, the plan is to keep training harder and smarter and hopefully it will pay off. I would like to actually compete at Jr. Worlds in the sprint (not just make the time standard!). There are certain sacrifices that need to be made, but I am ready. In all honesty I have no idea where I am headed but I am open to new ideas to keep going fast and turning left!"

Leparska also commented on his trip to Manchester:

"This was absolutely wonderful. Not only seeing and using the world class facilities but the whole experience. To sum it all up, the trip was a real eye-opener, it made me see what had to be done to reach the next level, and some of what the top nation in cycling was doing to get there. The boys there are just that notch up and they have their heads on right with the coaching staff to back it up.

"However, now that I have experienced that I know that I need to pick up my game. Gordon Singleton told us [the four juniors that went to Manchester] something I think is very important: 'Chris Hoy does not pick up anything that does not have a benefit to his cycling.' This is the kind of thinking that will help any athlete take it to the next level. Then again, humans will be humans, and I think it is necessary to swerve across the line (no pun intended) once in a while, but one must know the task on hand and not get out of control. Simple things like a good diet can translate positively to the bike, its all the little things that add up."

For more information, visit the Forest City Velodrome at:


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