- by Marianne Werz Obrien
Andrea’s father was an ardent cycling enthusiast. One
of her favorite memories is going to see the Steamworks Tour de Gastown with him
when she was only eight years old! At that time she had no idea that one year
she would be racing in that historic district herself! However, with her
dad’s love of the sport it was only a matter of time before Andrea (and now
her little sister Stephanie) clicked into the pedals. Andrea is a crit
queen, having been the 2002 Canadian National Criterium Champion, and runner-up in the Criterium at the National Championships in 2000 and 2001.
This year Andrea won the Tour de
White Rock, placed 2nd in the Tour de Delta, and 3rd in the Steamworks Tour de
Gastown, the combination of which saw her crowned as the winner of the BC
May 8th, 1973
Wichita Falls, Texas
Book Read: Cold Mountain
Movie Seen: The Italian Job
Forward To: Lord of the Rings 3
What were the highs for you this year?
I would have to say that going to Europe with the team this year was a
definite highlight. We first did the World Cup in Plouay, France.
Then we competed in the Trophee d'Or, a five day stage race in central France.
As a team, we hadn't raced in Europe together, so in that way it was a new
experience for all of us. We had several good results, and it was exciting
to see how our team faired against some of the strong European teams.
Have you raced in Europe before? How does racing in Europe compare to
I have done some racing in Europe in the past, including some races in
France, Holland and Italy. My best result was in 1998 at the Tour
International Feminin Bretagne in France. There I placed 4th in the
prologue, 5th in two of the stages, and 15th in the overall general
classification. I think what makes racing in Europe so difficult are the
narrow roads and the depth of the competition. There are so many strong
teams with great riders! You don't always see that same kind of depth in
What is your favorite type of race and your favorite race this year?
I really enjoy all types of races. But if I had to choose,
criterium races would rank high on my list. So, it's not surprising that
my favorite race this year was the Steamworks Tour de Gastown in Vancouver,
Canada. This race brings together elite Canadian and international
cyclists for a criterium race through the cobblestone streets of Gastown,
an historical downtown district. It was great to compete in my
hometown in front of so many people! I think close to 28,000 people were
there. Although this was my first time competing at this event, I do
remember watching the race when I was eight years old with my father.
Back then I never imagined that I would be racing it years later. I was
really happy to manage a third place finish!
Are you pleased with your results this year? What are your major goals for
Tour de White Rock
Tour de Delta
Tour of Gastown Crit
Crit, Natl Champs, ON
Quad Cities Crit, IL
Snake Alley Crit, IA
G.C. Chums Classic, UT
G.C. RBC, CA
I am really pleased with the results and
improvements I've made this year. Overall, I think I have become a
better cyclist. Hopefully I will continue to improve next year.
My main goal for next year is to improve my climbing ability even further.
The team had excellent results this year, and really seems to work
together amazingly well. How does RONA foster such team spirit? How much do you
see your teammates aside from at races? Do you train together?
It's quite amazing how all of us get along so well. I think we have a
lot of team spirit because all the girls are focused and dedicated to the team.
We don't actually get to train together too much because we live in different
areas. But we do get to know and train together at the start of the season
when we are at training camp. And, we still manage to call and email each
I understand you are studying for a Masters Degree in Biology, with hopes
of a career in genetics after cycling. How do you find time & energy for
classes, study, research, and training/racing on your bike? I am amazed - it has
to be quite a challenge!
It was definitely a challenge to find enough time to train, race, and
work on my thesis. I actually managed to graduate this past summer, so
next season I am looking forward to focusing more on my cycling. I'm
really excited to have school finished with.....for now anyways.
Can you describe an average "day in the life" of a pro-cyclist
for us? How many hours do you spend training?
The amount of time spent training varies depending on what
phase of training I'm currently in. In the "off-season", I do a
bit of cross-training with weights and try to incorporate other sports for
general fitness. I still ride, of course, but other activities add some
variety to my training. During the racing season, sometimes you
are racing more than you are training! But generally, I train anywhere
from two to five hours a day.
Thanks much for talking with us, Andrea! Enjoy some
well deserved R&R!