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Interview - Alex Wrubleski
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 4/19/2008
Interview - Alex Wrubleski
 

Interview - Alex Wrubleski
Canadian Alex Wrubleski  (Webcor)  the recent winner of the Redlands Classic chats about 2007 and her hopes for 2008.

Why did you choose cycling as your sport?

I got into cycling through speed skating. When I was about 19, I started training more seriously for skating, and cycling is one of the main cross trainers for speed skaters. So occasionally I started training with some of the local cyclists and tried some local races. I really enjoyed it. After the Western Canada games in 2003 I was hooked. In 2005 I started to focus more on cycling and in 2006 I made the switch.


Alex called up for the start at Redlands.
Photo © 2008 Action Images

What kind of rider is Alex Wrubleski?

I would describe myself as an all round rider. I donít feel that I have one specific strength or any real weakness on the bike. I enjoy time trialing, climbing and sprinting. I think experience is one of the things that I lack most, and I will be doing a lot of international racing with Webcor this year so I am sure I will gain a lot from racing with and against the top riders in the world.

The 2008 season started already. But are you satisfied about the the past season?

I look at the 2007 season as a learning season. Itís hard for me to describe last season to other people. It was a hard season for me on and off the bike. I figured out a lot of things that work and donít work for me and have used that to build myself up for this season.

What was your most beautiful moment of 2007?

My most memorable moment was the 2007 worlds road race in Stuttgart Germany. Up until worlds I had had a long and frustrating season. After my season was over with my team, I took some time off and decided that I still had a chance to get a result at the most important race of the year. So I had 4 weeks to build up before we went to Europe for Tour de Ardeche and then Worlds. I donít feel like my legs really came around until the worlds Road Race, where I finished 9th. I was very happy with this result, as it was my best international result yet. I showed myself, that itís never too late and it really doesnít take that long to get into good form with the proper training & recovery.


Stage 3 Redlands - Wrubleski watchful on the front during the climb.
Photo © 2008 Action Images

How is it going thus far in the 2008 season

So far so good. In terms of performance this season, it has been going mostly as planned. With an early season start, my goal was to be on form and performing at the races crucial to qualify for the Olympics which have just started, and then train and focus on peaking for the Olympic events.

I have really enjoyed my time so far on Webcor and have gained experience racing with them. I am also currently racing in Europe with the national team for the month of April, and the races have been really good experiences for me so far and are preparing me well for the races to come.

You are riding for the Webcor Builders team. What was the main reason to choose for this team?

I am really excited that I have been given the opportunity to race with Webcor this season. They are a team that have been around for a long time and have always been very solid in terms of riders, sponsors and management. Most of the girls on the team have a ton of experience at the international level and I have already learnt a lot racing and traveling with them, and I will continue to do so throughout the next month in Europe with them. I also really support the Webcor motto ďGo GreenĒ. The Webcor team and company support and promote our environmentally friendly sport and wish to spread the word to our community about the value of our sport and the environment and what we all can do to help.


Stage 3 victory Redlands to win the overall by one second.
Photo © 2008 Action Images

How do you see the team of 2008?

I think Webcor has an amazing team this season. On our bikes I really feel like we have every strength covered and the more races we do together, the more we are learning from each other and are better able to achieve higher results as a team. Our whole team chemistry with riders and staff is also very cohesive which is probably the biggest reason that I think Webcor will have a lot of success this season. I have enjoyed every race with my team so far, and am looking forward to the rest of the season!


All rounder, Wrubleski at home in a sprint as she is in climbing. Stage 1 Redlands - Katherine Carroll (Aarron's) nips Alexa at the line.  Photo © 2008 Action Images

What will be your role in this team?

I donít really have a specific role with Webcor. We have a very strong team this season, and several riders who have the potential of being the leader at any given race. So at some races that will be me and at others, it will be one of my team mates.

How went the preparation for the new season? And what kind of training did you do during the winter period to get in shape for the new season?

This winter I basically tried to pick out the things that worked best for me in past years (and left out those things that didnít) and have incorporated that into my training and preparation for the upcoming season. The most important things that I took into consideration were my living and training environment and location. This winter I moved to Victoria, where I am able to ride outside year round, and I have found a lot of support there. I also have a coach and a lot of good training partners that live there. My training itself did not significantly change from the last 2 years.

2008 is an Olympic Season. What are your ambitions for this event?

My first objective for this season is to make the Olympic team for the Road Race and Time Trial, and assuming that happens, I will focus on a plan to achieve the best possible results at the Olympics and Worlds. So I am just going to focus on one goal at a time and go from there. The World Cups are our qualifying events, so a high ranking in these events is my current focus, these started last week in Holland, and end at the end of May in Montreal.

What will be more or less your racing schedule for the 2008 season?

Our racing schedule with Webcor will actually be more focused on UCI races, in hopes to qualify as many members of our team for the Olympics as possible. We will still be doing some of the NRC races such as Redlands, Nature Valley and Cascade but our main focus and goals are the UCI races starting in May. We have Christine Thornburn who is in the US olympic pool and Erinne, Gina and I who are in the Canadian Olympic pool.

We started off with the early season trip to the Geelong WC and tour, and the New Zealand tour. Our team will be in Europe for most of May doing the Berne WC and Tour de LíAude and then ending the trip with Montreal and Philly. Now that Tour of Toona is cancelled, Webcor may be returning to Europe to do a race that fills in the gap for that block. After that, our season with Webcor is pretty much over, and the Olympians on our team will be doing the rest of their preparation with their national teams.

How do you see the future of women's cycling in Canada? Canada has at the moment some good riders with Erinne Willock, Gina Grain and you for example.

I think Canada has many talented cyclists, however I think that our depth of international level riders is very shallow compared too many other countries. There are many factors that play into this such as weather and riding conditions, and this will always be a limiting factor to cycling in Canada. But I really think the future of Canadian cycling depends on the support and opportunities that the cyclists are given. We need better funding in Canadian Cycling in order to better develop and promote the sport in Canada. More funding or distributing the existing funding differently could provide our athletes with the opportunities to gain more experience at the national and international level. I think cycling is a great sport, its physically demanding but also has lots of strategy and team work involved. I don't think the majority of the Canadian audience understands the sport and how exciting it really is.

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