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A Message from Scott Kelly, Cycling Canada’s Chief Sport Officer:

In our previous newsletter we touched upon the idea of community. Community is at the centre of our new 10-year strategic plan, and everything we do as an organization relates back to our underlying purpose (inspire Canadians to ride) and the goal of building a stronger community with deep connection and affinity for the sport across the country.

We believe we can grow our cycling community by focusing on three major pillars: introducing Canadians to the joys of cycling through Grassroots programs; producing and facilitating Events to get Canadians engaged and excited about cycling and developing a sustainable performance program that delivers Gracious Champions to the world stage and lifelong ambassadors to our community.

At Cycling Canada, we lovingly refer to Curt Harnett, Board Member and Chair of our Fundraising Committee, as our Gracious Champion-in-Chief. Curt had a prolific career in the sport and while his athletic accomplishments have cemented his legacy, it’s what he does every day behind the scenes – supporting and inspiring our athletes, volunteers and staff and working to provide the resources to support their development. Given the recent launch of our new fundraising program, it would seem like an appropriate time to further discuss the idea of Gracious Champions and how Club 1882 can be a platform to help all of us give back to the sport that has given so much to so many of us.

Each of us have our heroes in the sport. We grew up watching them compete, and it was their successes, that inspired us to seek out our successes. In 2011, Cycling Canada fielded a team for Road Worlds in Denmark headlined by Olympic medallist Clara Hughes. Riding in support of Clara that day, in her very first elite worlds, was a young athlete and fellow Manitoban named Leah Kirchmann. A decade and numerous successes later, it is now Leah’s turn to inspire a generation of young Canadian cyclists. Watching Canadians succeed on the world stage reinforces what’s possible and it’s the success of those who come before us that forms the foundation for our future.

Teaching children about the joy of cycling is the first step in a journey that culminates in becoming a gracious champion. The goal of Club 1882 is to provide the necessary resources that will make sustainable and robust grassroots programming a reality. We want to see more children on bikes, while providing opportunities for them to become lifelong cyclists. We want young Canadian cyclists to look to the gracious champions that have come before and know that success on the world stage isn’t just a dream, it’s a possibility with a clear pathway to get there. Canadian athletes don’t reach the pinnacles of the sport on their own; they discover the sport through grassroots programs like HopOn, and go on to discover their love of the sport through a local club, they hone their skills through a weekly race series, and attend their first training camp with their provincial team. As a country and as a community we need to support them in this journey through coaching, programming and more exposure to training and racing opportunities.

Club 1882 is about connecting all of the passionate cyclists in our community to help create this stronger future for our sport. It’s about past and present heroes working together to pave the pathway (or road, or trail, etc.) for the next generation. In some ways, it’s our collective opportunity to all be a Gracious Champion. Let’s all get on Curt’s wheel and do our part.

This week, Cycling Canada officially launched its new Club 1882 (C.1882) fundraising platform. In line with our 10-year strategic plan, the Club’s mission is to support and bring critical resources to development programming to ensure athletes see their full potential. Annual donations to C.1882 will benefit community programming and initiatives such as HopOn, support underfunded athlete programs and build internal capacity to allow for the growth and development of our cycling community. 

After a year with little racing, Drew Mechielsen, James Palmer, Teigen Pascual and Molly Simpson are ready to kick off the BMX World Cup season in Verona, Italy before heading to Bogota, Columbia. The athletes will be aiming to secure a quota of one woman and one men for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

A large Canadian contingent has made its way to Europe for the opening rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike XCO World Cup, set to take place in Albstadt, Germany, on May 8-9 and Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic, on May 15-16. While six Elite and U23 athletes will be competing under Team Canada colours, other Canadian professional athletes will be competing with their respective teams, including several Olympic hopefuls. 

After a strong start to the season, Mike Woods continues to prove that he’s one of the strongest climbers on the WorldTour with three top-5 finishes this past month. Starting in Spain, Woods claimed fifth place in the second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country, fourth at La Flèche Wallonne and vowed to “race his guts out” at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in Belgium, where he was part of the breakaway group and sprinted to fifth. 

Cycling Canada continues to monitor upcoming events and is continually updating the Event Status Updates page with the most current information. Later this month, we will be making an announcement on any further cancelled or postponed events for the summer and fall season.

After five months of weekly rides and races, Cycling Canada’s first virtual season officially wrapped up last week on Zwift. Throughout the season, over 11,500 riders joined us, as well as 26 ride leaders from 10 different clubs and 25 guest riders across all disciplines. Thank you to everyone who joined us and have a great outdoor season!


UCI BMX World Cup #1 & #2
May 8-9
Verona, ITA

UCI MTB XCO World Cup #1
May 8-9
Albstadt, GER

Giro d’Italia
May 8 – 30

UCI MTB XCO World Cup #2 
May 15- 16
Nove Mesto, CZE

UCI BMX World Cup #3 & #4
May 29 – 30 
Bogota, COL 

We are proud to be part of a dynamic and outstanding cycling community whose many achievements and contributions go beyond performances on the bike. In an effort to recognize some of these many noteworthy achievements, Cycling Canada would like to highlight the following individuals and accomplishments:

  • The Government of Canada released its 2021 budget and pledged over $500 million to provide accessible and inclusive sport for all Canadians. This will include support for amateur sports events, removing barriers to participation in sports programming and recovery funding for sport sectors.
  • On April 26, Cycling Canada launched its new monthly mountain bike webinar series which aims to give younger riders more information on the demands of being a National Team athlete. Follow us on social media to register for the next webinar, scheduled for the last Monday of every month.
  • Canadian Junior Road Champion Raphaël Parisella is racing his first season in Europe and recently won the third and final stage of the Tour du Pays de Lesneven.
  • Canadian Magdeleine Vallières-Mill is one of 50 women selected to train at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland as part of their new training program to develop more road, track, mountain bike and BMX athletes. The program focuses on building women’s goals and potential in the pursuit of making the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 
  • Tokyo 2020 track athlete Derek Gee was one of five athletes selected to receive support from CAN Fund this year. Funding will support Gee in his training as he gets ready for the Olympic Games this summer.  
  • National BMX Head Coach Adam Muys helped lead the redesign of the Holly Pump Track in Delta, British Columbia. The park’s upgrade will attract cyclists of all ages and abilities.
  • U23 rider Carter Woods kicked off the season with a seventh place finish at the MTB Ca’Neva Trophy in Italy with his pro team, Norco Factory Team. On the other side of the ocean, Léandre Bouchard finished second in the elite men’s race at the US Cup and wrapped up his trip with three podium finishes.

Cycling Canada will be running the five day “Skills and Tactics Theory” coaching webinar on May 10, 12, 17, 19 and 26. Full details including cost and prerequisites can be found here

In partnership with our HopOn grassroots national program, Lazer Helmets has committed to donating one helmet to the program for every 10 helmets that are registered. Make sure to register yours before May 31 to help get more kids on bikes safely! 

Out of coffee? We’ve got you covered! Order the delicious Cycling Canada x Barista blend and help support our high performance programs – for every kilogram of coffee sold, $5 will be donated to Cycling Canada. 

The Shifting Gears blog provides a platform for our staff, athletes, board and community members to write about interesting topics and ideas. Last month, cyclo-cross athlete, Ruby West, shared her experience racing in Europe during the 2020-2021 CX season and how she managed to find silver linings through harder times. CSIO Sports Scientist, Emily Wood, walked us through the Team Pursuit event ahead of the Olympic Games and how much behind the scenes work goes into getting every aspect right.

If you are passionate about cycling and interested in contributing to the blog, please reply to this email.