Interview: Alison Testroete
Canadian Alison Testroete returns for her third year building for a breakout
year in 2009.
Can you introduce yourself?
I'm Alison Testroete, I grew up in Abbotsford, BC and moved to Calgary when
I was 18 to pursue short track speedskating. When I was 22 my focus switched
to road cycling.
Why did you choose cycling as your sport?
Coming from speed skating, cycling came more naturally to me. I appreciate the
people I have met; because the sport is so humbling it seems to bring out the
realness in people. I love the intensity of it, the speed, the skill and intelligence
it requires. Also, I value the toughness I've gained from the suffering and
dedication required. Cycling presents so many opportunities to improve yourself.
What kind of rider is Alison Testroete?
I would consider myself to be an all rounder. I'm not exceptionally good at
one thing. In flat pure sprint races I feel most limited. Each year I find myself
getting more versatile. Straight from speed skating I favored flatter sprint
races, and now I'm finding myself to be a better climber and improving at time
Photo © ActionImages
Which hobbies do you have next to cycling?
I enjoy my job where I am working with the architects and sort of articulating
their ideas. I love any summer time activities, like hiking, camping, barbecues
and swimming. Now that I live in Vancouver I hope to get out more on my mountain
How do you look back on the 2008 season?
Overall, it was a good season. Being able to support my team mates and finish
on the podium out of a few breaks was very satisfying. I think good would be
the best way to describe it, not overly great and not bad either. Riding with
Aarons was the best part of 2008, the ladies on the team are all great people,
I find myself missing them often. Also our director Carmen is a fantastic person;
she impeccable with the fine details, her inner drive pushed me to find ways
to be better.
What performance/achievement you are the most proud of?
In 2008 I was really proud to support my former team mates, we had some really
great success on the team, and to contribute to that is a wonderful feeling.
Previous to that, I was quite happy to do well at Tour de Toona in 2007 given
the circumstances our team was under. It was my first real success in cycling
where I was recognized.
You competed for the Aaron's Cycling
team in 2008. Now the team no longer exists. For which team you are going to
ride in 2009?
Next year I am racing for a local team called Total Restoration, the National
team and guest riding. I've decided to take a job in Vancouver at an Architecture
firm to gain a sense of balance. I'm very excited about the season with Total
Restoration, they are supporting me with great equipment and providing flexibility
to guest ride and race national team projects. My job is providing me with stability
and also experience in which I can take on work while I travel the following
year. I really find cycling to be a way of life, and if something is out of
balance, it has a domino effect onto other things. Last year I felt like I was
spinning out a bit, with this year I hope to find a bit of patience. I'm lucky
with where I work; I was partly hired due to my success at Tour de Gastown,
where the firm is located. They are quite supportive. I can see the start/finish
from my desk.
Alison Testroete in action during the Redlands Classic 2008
Photo © ActionImages
What's the reason that Aaron's decided
to withdraw its sponsorship?
Aaron's Corporate Furnishings was sold to another company, had they not been
sold I believe there would have been another multi-year contract. They were
an incredible sponsor that supported us very much like family.
What do you prefer the most in racing?
Racing in Europe is my favorite, because you have to be sharp the entire time,
it's so thrilling and technical. It's everything I love about mountain biking
in a road race. A course I suit best is one that has decent climbs, fast technical
descents and finishes with a sprint.
What race has been a favorite of yours?
Course wise I really like Ardeche, I also really like Thüringen because
they are both so challenging. In North America, Tour de Toona is a favorite.
You rode the Thüringen Rundfahrt the past season…
will your schedule include more races in Europe in 2009?
My season should include some European racing. Once the Canadian Cycling Association
comes out with their program I will have a better idea of which races.
What races would you like to race in Europe if given
Any opportunity to race in Europe is terrific; there is so much to be gained
from racing over there. The Dutch races make me a little bit nervous, but I'm
thrilled to race in Europe.
Alison Testroete storms towards one of the KOM's at the Redlands Classic 2008
Photo © ActionImages
What race will be the 2009 debut for you and the team?
And how does your schedule more or less looks like.
My debut (drums please) will be the BC springs series. More substantially I'm
planning to race Redlands. With my team, we will cover all local territory -
BC Super Week, Mount Hood, Cascade Classic, and National Championships. With
the National Team, we'll all have to wait and see.
Who has inspired you, or currently inspires you to
race. (Or in the present)?
Mostly I'm inspired by anybody who follows their heart. Clara Hughes has always
inspired me with her realness and level headed mentality. Presently, I find
inspiration from the intelligent people at work.
How does your ideal preparation looks like for the new season?
My coach, Dan Proulx is an integral part in having me train smarter rather than
longer, which is key with my schedule. I live in Vancouver, and generally the
weather allows you to ride out doors year long. Also, my night light will be
a great tool this winter.
What are your goals for the 2009 season? and if you don't mind…. long term
career goals as a person and cyclist?
This year I'm hoping to do really well at a couple select races. In two years
I would like to race primarily in Europe, in four years the Olympics if my heart
is still there. Besides cycling, I would like to have an integral role at a
sustainable and innovative modern design firm or start my own home renovation
company... a ways down the road, maybe I'll change my mind by then? Ultimately,
to be happy and be the best I am cable of being.
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