Canadian Cyclist


January 6/03 7:48 am - 2003 Teams: VW Trek, Balfa, Kona Clump

Posted by Editor on 01/6/03

Équipe cycliste Volkswagen Trek 2003
Courtesy Josée Robitaille

Category 1 riders

Alexandre Cloutier
Alexandre Lavallée
Martin St-Laurent
Martin Gilbert
Pascal Choquette
Bruno Langlois
Jean François Laroche

Clara Hughes

Kevin Lacombe (junior)

The sponsors of the team are: Volkswagen, Trek, Les Ailes de la Mode, Oakley, OGC, Giro, Speedplay,Graber, Powerbar, Nike, Bontrager, Météo Média, Shimano and Base drinks.

The team will be doing some races in Quebec including Grand Prix de Beauce and will also spend more time this year racing in the US.

2003 Balfa Team
Courtesy Emmanuel Moisan

Balfa Cycles Inc. of Montreal, QC, Canada is happy to announce it's Factory Team pilots for the 2003 race season. Back on the program is 2002 Canada cup overall champion Mathieu Laurin of Ste-Adele, QC. Mathieu, at only 20, is already regarded as one of the country's three fastest racers. His Canada Cup season was nothing short of brilliant with a victory in Tremblant and three second place finishes in the Maritimes and beautiful BC. Mathieu took third at the Nationals, earning him a spot on the National team to compete in Kaprun, Austria. He managed to finish as second Canadian despite a bad virus that held him back all week long. He also qualified a magnificent 16th at the Ste-Anne World Cup before a flat tire ended a dream week-end for him. Mathieu won a Plattekill series race (NY state championship series) and a Quebec cup race over the course of the summer.

"The support I receive from the Balfa race program is vital to my progression. I learned a lot last year and gained so much confidence. The bike is great, it handles like a dream and feels so solid, stiff and strong. I know the team is behind me and that makes me even quicker." Mathieu said about his return with the Balfa Team.

New addition to the team is Geoff Pendrel, from Vancouver, BC, last year's Canada cup runner up. Geoff won two Canada cups last year and finished only 20 points behind Mat for the title. Geoff was 8th at the Nationals and was a first time selection for the National team. His Kaprun week was also shaded by sickness (like most of the Canuck contingent) but was still valuable experience for the promising speed demon.

Stephane Mailhot also joins the Balfa Factory team after a strong 2002 season. Stephane was fourth overall in the QC cup and second at the provincial championships. His constant progression and impeccable winter preparation were decisive in the selection of the 23 year old. The 2003 season should be his best ever, especially with the increased support he will receive at the races.

Our Master Expert returns in 2003: The one and only Guy Roberge will go at it again this year. His 12th overall in the Canada cup series (Elite) was excellent preparation for the Masters Worlds in Bromont, but an unfortunate flat tire pushed him back to 8th at the standings. Guy still has to decide if he will race Elite or Master in 2003, but in any case, he will keep his duties as technical director with the Balfa race program.

ÉQUIPE Balfa 2003

Les Cycles Balfa inc. de Montréal, QC, Canada sont fiers d'annoncer la composition de leur Équipe Usine en vue de la saison 2003. De retour avec l' équipe Balfa, Mathieu Laurin de Ste-Adèle, QC, qui a connu une saison 2002 renversante. Champion en titre de la coupe Canada, Mathieu a brillamment remporté l'épreuve originale de Tremblant en plus d'inscrire trois solides secondes places dans les Maritimes et en Colombie Britannique. Mat a pris le troisième rang du championnat National, étant par le fait même sélectionné sur l'équipe Nationale. Il a terminé second canadien aux mondiaux de Kaprun malgré un virus qui l'a suivi toute la semaine. Mathieu s'était qualifié 16ème à la coupe du Monde de Mont Ste-Anne avant qu'une crevaison ne vienne anéantir son week-end de rêve. Des victoires à ski Plattekill (championnat de l'état de NY) et camp Fortune (coupe du QC) ont aussi ponctué sa belle saison. Voici ce qu'il avait à dire à propos de son retour chez Balfa :

" Le support que je reçoit est vital à ma progression. J'ai tellement appris cette saison et cela me procure beaucoup de confiance. Le vélo est fantastique, il se pilote comme un rêve et sa rigidité n'a pas d'égal. Je sais que l'équipe est derrière moi et cela me rend encore plus rapide. "

Nouveau venu sur l'équipe, Geoff Pendrel, de Vancouver, CB, fut le vice champion de la coupe Canada en 2002. Fort de deux triomphes et d'une 8ème place aux Nationaux, il fut sélectionné sur l'équipe canadienne pour une première fois en carrière. Geoff, comme presque tout le contingent canadien a souffert de la maladie en Autriche, ce qui a quelque peu ombragé sa performance. L'expérience n'en fut pas moins satisfaisante pour le rapide Pendrel qui voit maintenant 2003 avec enthousiasme.

Stéphane Mailhot se joint aussi à l'équipe à la suite d'une remarquable saison 2002. Quatrième au général de la coupe du Québec et second au championnat provincial, Stéphane est en nette progression et sa préparation hivernale est sans égale. Le support d'une équipe de niveau National devrait lui être bénéfique en vue de 2003.

Notre Maître Expert est de retour pour 2003 : L'inimitable Guy Roberge, qui a finit 12ème au général de la coupe Canada chez les Élites en 2002 prépare son retour aux Mondiaux des Maîtres de Bromont ou une crevaison l'a relégué au 8ème échelon l'an dernier. Guy décidera sous peu s'il s'inscrit chez les Élites ou les Maîtres en 2003, mais dans un cas comme dans l'autre, il garde ses fonctions de directeur technique au sein du programme de course Balfa.

Kona Clump Team 2003
Courtesy Kona

Ferndale, Wash - Rest and recovery season is over for the Kona Clump, the cycling industry's most progressive team of out-of-bounds riders. The Clump has packed their quiver of Kona out-of-bounds bikes, body armor and full-face helmets, and for the next six months will be traveling the globe competing and filming in man-made and natural elements and locations not usually associated with mountain biking. The Kona Clump is composed of John Cowan, Robbie "Air" Bourdon and Joe Schwartz.

In January, the Clump's technical bike handling specialist, John Cowan will be in San Diego filming "Higher Education" with his wife Stephanie. It's a how-to dirt jump video featuring John and Bryson Martin, Jr. on a Kona Stuff JR. The release date is set for March 1, 2003.

Also in January, Robbie will head over to Australia and join Grant Allen to compete in the Red Bull Ride. This year's course will feature unique man-made stunts, big drops, steep technical sections, ramps and dirt jumps. After the competition, the duo will hit the road with Derek Westerlund and the rest of the Freeride Entertainment film crew to start filming New World Disorder IV at Grant Allen's insane cycling compound in Adelaide, Australia.

In February, Robbie, Joe and John will compete at the Red Bull Freezeride in Big Mountain, Montana. The Freezeride is the first ever mountain bike competition to bring together the elements of free riding and technical park riding...on snow. The course will include wall hits, gaps, kickers, and table-tops, with a few more "urban" obstacles thrown in.

In March the boys will get the star treatment on a warm weather trip to Mexico or Cuba, the final itinerary is not set. The key word here is 'warm'.

The Clump is still finalizing their summer schedule, but have tentative events set at the Mt. Ste Anne and Grouse Mountain World Cup Freeride and Dirt Jump competitions as well as the Kona Festival at Whistler, tentatively scheduled for July 26 & 27.

The team is also in the midst of finalizing plans for guest appearances at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park freeride clinics in the summer of 2003


John Cowan

John went from a day job as a UPS driver in San Diego to Superman status in 2000, with a featured segment in New World Disorder. He won the Big Air contest at the NORBA National in Snow Summit, California and nabbed his first magazine cover with the October 2000 issue of Bike magazine. John is famous for building his own jumps and stunts including the world-renowned Hell Track I in San Diego and Hell Track II in Kamloops, BC. John also led the Factory Team Clump throughout Southern California and Texas on the Kona Ford Focus Big Air tour during the summer of 2000

Robbie "Air" Bourdon

Robbie is just 20 years old from Nelson, British Columbia. His segment in New World Disorder revealed a super smooth rider that will go as big in the air as anyone. Robbie's main events are in the Red Bull Freeride Extreme series, finishing as high as 3rd in Utah 2001, but gaining exposure for his daring, creative descents.

Joe Schwartz

Joe is Robbie's riding partner from Nelson, BC,- taking out-of-bounds riding to another level with his segments in the New World Disorder series.


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