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Cycling in Canada

Axel Merckx talks about the World Tour races in Quebec

Cycling in Canada.

Besides the fact that cycling’s main event is happening in Spain at the moment with the Tour of Spain, I’m still paying close attention to the development of cycling in Canada. The two World Tour races in Quebec City and Montreal this weekend are the best opportunity to see how much cycling is growing in Canada. Thanks to a great organization, thousands of people will gather around the streets of those two beautiful cities where some of cycling’s most talented riders will come and measure themselves against one another.

Also going on at this moment is the Tour de l’Avenir, a mini Tour de France where the world’s best U23 riders tackle terrain similar to the real thing. The main difference is the distance of each stage and that it is limited to one week of intense racing. It is really nice to see Canadian rider David Boily doing so well. David is a promising Canadian who is racing for Canada’s biggest and most prestigious cycling team. Under the expert tutelage of Steve Bauer and his entire crew, the SpiderTech team is really the example to follow in Canada. Ironically, I wanted to have David on my U23 Trek-Livestrong team two years ago, but he decided to stay closer to home and made the decision to race under their colors. His results today prove that every rider can take a different path. I am really proud of the Trek-Livestrong team but also know that it is important to have several options for developing Canadian riders. With this in mind, I am working intensely with Cycling BC to organize a camp next spring in Penticton under the Axel Merckx Youth Development program. I will try to guide some young riders in the right direction with a weekend training camp. I’ll have more information about this in a later blog.

This time of the season is also a period packed with surprises, such as the folding of a very successful HTC team and the merging of Team RadioShack and Leopard-Trek. The new squad will be known as RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Professional Cycling Team. There is also confirmation that BMC will have an even stronger team next year and that the other teams are making similar moves. All of this is excellent for cycling. Spectators want to see the best riders racing against each other.  Let’s hope that all these big moves will only encourage other big sponsors to invest in the sport and in the development of youth cycling. One thing I can tell you is that Trek-Livestrong will be there for another two years and that I will be part of the adventure with a lot of excitement coming up.

Thanks to all who volunteer their time in Quebec this weekend and let’s hope the best rider will win.

All the best,