Claremont’s Riley Pickrell and Oak Bay High’s Sarah Van Dam at the velodrome in Milton, Ont., where they’re prepping for the Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Germany, Aug. 14 to 18. (Cycling Canada Photo)

Greater Victoria cyclists eye podiums around the world

Sarah Van Dam, Riley Pickrell head to Germany for world junior championship

It’s a long summer for Oak Bay High’s Sarah Van Dam and Claremont Secondary’s Riley Pickrell who leave for Europe this weekend ahead of the 2019 Junior Track Cycling World Championships.

Both 17 year olds are heading into Grade 12 next month, but not until they’ve competed in their second junior world championships. The event runs Aug. 14 to 18 in Frankfurt, Germany. They’ll join Team Canada in Aigle, Switzerland, for a training block before hand.

READ MORE: Victoria teens medal big at track nationals

At worlds Pickrell will race the scratch, madison, team pursuit and omnium events. van Dam will compete in the team pursuit, the madison and the omnium.

The two Tripleshot Youth cycling graduates are medal contenders who were in the top of the field as first year juniors last year.

Locally, a pair of 16-year-0ld Tripleshot Youth cyclists are headed to Quebec to compete in the Tour de l’Avenir Makadence in Quebec City. Fairfield’s Isla Walker of Ecole Victor Brodeur and Saanich’s Alan Fazlagic of Claremont will join the respective women’s and men’s teams of Vancouver’s Escape Velocity Cannondale youth team at the Tour de l’Avenir.

The Tour de l’Avenir translates to Tour of the Future and the five-stage, four-day race is the most important stage race for U17 and U19 athletes in North America, says Tripleshot coach Lister Farrar.

“It has full car support, and gives the riders the full road cycling experience,” Farrar said. “Once this was created it quickly became the focus for top youth in North America.”

Next month the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association will host the provincial track cycling championships. In preparation, the Tripleshot Youth team finished a recent four-day mountain biking escape to Hornby Island. It’s the first week of a four-week, multidisciplinary block of training that will build towards the track provincials.

“Our program is deliberately multi-discipline” Farrar said. “It keeps in line with the long term athlete development model, it keeps it fresh and avoids over training and burnout.”

More details will soon be released for the track cycling provincials.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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