Manitobans representing Canada at the Cyclocross World Championships
WINNIPEG – The cold weather isn’t stopping Manitoba cyclocross racers from training for the biggest race of their lives.
“Cycle really fast, try to do some running to get the toes warmed up,” said cyclist Dannick Vandale.
Vandale and Oliver Evans are getting their last few practices in before they leave for the World Cyclocross Championships in the Czech Republic.
“I’m racing people I see on TV and it’s a dream, I get to represent Canada,” said cyclist Oliver Evans.
This is the first time three Manitobans have made it to Worlds.
“It could be a +10 or -20 day so it makes it very easy to prepare when these guys are having to go through everything here,” said the national team coach Jayson Gillespie.
Hoping this cold weather will give them an edge over the other racers.
“It could be any kind of conditions in Europe when we get there and chances are there could be snow,” said Evans.
Portage la Prairie’s Willem Boersma left early to prepare and train in Belgium, where the sport is huge.
“Just to get a sense of what the weather’s like and acclimatized to what it’s like over here,” said Boersma.
Since cyclocross is not an Olympic sport, there is no funding from Cycling Canada for the athletes.
Through fundraisers and races in the community, the athletes were able to raise about $3,000 each to go overseas.
“That shows the support, they weren’t there to ride their bike in -45 they were there to help us out,” said Evans.
So the cyclists can compete against the best in the world, even if it means frozen fingers and toes.