Symmetrics Pro Cycling Team Training Camp Report
Canada's Top Pro Cycling Team returns for 2006. Men and Women's Team Camp, The
Events In Vancouver, Photos, Schedule for Spring, and the new Norco Prototype
by Matt Hansen
top pro team, Symmetrics Cycling, closed off 5 days of solid training under
sunny skies and spring-like weather with a ride open to media and supporters on
Saturday. The full team – 17 riders, 12 men, 5 women, 6 staff – met this week in
the Vancouver area to prep for 2006.
“This week had three goals,” Kevin Cunningham, Symmetrics Cycling Co-owner
explained. “First and foremost, the team wanted to put in some quality miles and
prepare for the upcoming season. Next, we have some new riders and this was a
chance for those guys and girls to mesh and get to know each other. This is
probably the only time apart from Road Nationals that everyone will be together.
Finally, it’s a chance to fine-tune new bikes and equipment.”
3-Time Olympian Eric Wohlberg put the hurt to a group that got dropped.
Riders and staff arrived from various parts of North America on Tuesday –
California, Quebec, Ontario - to meet the remainder of the BC-based squad.
Several new riders, including the Ontario duo of Andrew Randell (National Road
Champion 2002) and Brandon Crichton (Best Young Rider, Tour de Beauce Bell), as
well as BC’s Stacey Spencer (having just returned from the cyclo-cross worlds),
and junior phenom Naomi Cooper, all donned the Symmetrics gear for the first
Spencer was keen to be part of the team, and even more pleased to be back in
some warm weather after having spent the past five weeks racing in frigid
Europe. “It’s so great to be back in BC getting ready for the year with such a
solid group of riders. After traveling and racing the past month in the dirt,
it’s so great to come here and have everything organized and ready for us. All
we have to do now is ride,” Spencer said. “For me, it’s great to be riding with
such a strong women’s squad. I think we are going to have a great year.”
New to the team: Andrew Randell (L) and Bradon Crichton(R)
With an increased race schedule and bolstered sponsorship, several new staff
have been hired, including former Jet Fuel Assistant Director Kevin Field who
make a lateral and perform the same role under Director Sportif Jeremy Storie.
Finally, Quebec’s Myriam Desrosiers will work with the team as head soigneur.
The most noticeable change to the team, apart from a few new faces, was a fresh
jersey design. Retooling the white kit for a bold and dynamic yellow look, the
new design was definitely a hit to supporters who came on the open ride.
Longtime Symmetrics fan, Paul Craig described the new jersey as, “Sweet. They’re
definitely going to stand out in the peloton. I really like the look. And yeah,
their bikes look incredibly slick.”
Svein Tuft with a local young rider from Ontario.
There was a great turnout on the final day, with well over 40 riders riding
alongside the team for the brisk 2 hour ride. Afterwards, there was a chance for
fans to speak with the riders about the upcoming season, training, or their new
Norco CRR frames, complete with Dura-ace 10speed. Both the new kit and
components are new sponsorship deals with Sugoi and Shimano.
The “Norco effect” is an important aspect of Symmetrics’ sponsorship and race
plan. Although racing for the UCI America
Tour overall this year is a major priority, Symmetrics will also aim
to ride the BC-based frames to victory locally. The team has had major successes
riding the fast bikes – and as result, sales for Norco road bikes have realized
Jeremy Storie explains that the bikes are just part and parcel of a bigger,
better team for 06. “We have a great group of riders that encompasses a wide
range of goals for the team, from the UCI America Tour, to Nationals, to NRC
Svein Tuft targets Commonwealth Games in March, while Christian Meier
Canada's National Espoir TT champ, and National Espoir Cyclo-cross Champ) will
head to Brazil to collect points on the UCI America Tour.
We have more riders this year, which means we can attack several races in
North and South America at full strength.” Symmetrics begins its season at the
end of the month in Tucson, although two riders – Svein Tuft and Mandy Poitras –
are set to go for glory at the commonwealth games in Australia in just a few
weeks. Poitras will be hitting the boards in less than a month, and Tuft will
join her in Australia to ride the TT and RR after riding the Vuelta
Sonora-Arizona, and the Central Valley Classic in Fresno, California.
Stacey Spencer of the Symmetrics Women's Team
Ultimate fighting is an off-season cross-training activity of choice for the
Symmetrics men’s team. Originally a winter pastime for Svein Tuft, the team is
now holding team tournaments for core stability. (Seriously.)
Canadian TT Champion Svein Tuft shows off the Team Ride, a Norco Prototype CRR
frames, complete with Dura-ace 10speed by Shimano. Tuft formerly of the Prime
Alliance Team is known as a "Big Engine" and should cause us all to hear "Oh
Canada" a few times this year as he steps to the top of the podium.
This is the first year Tuft has ridden his bike all winter. Usually, Tuft
relies solely on Ultimate Fighting for his off-season repertoire. (Honest.)
However, with the Commonwealth Games in the early spring, Tuft has ridden much
more this winter.
The rumours of 3-time Olympian, the venerable Eric Wohlberg’s relentless
training regime are 100% true. The time trial king rode just over 600km in 4
Volunteer of the year award goes to Bruce Wenting of Wenting Cycle and
Mountain for building up all of the Shimano and Ritchey equipped Norco CRR Team
Carbon bikes for the entire team. That meant 20 bikes for the camp, with another
25 to go!
Symmetrics is now selling clothing on website – check out
www.symmetricscycling.com for the
full Sugoi kit.
For a complete gallery of photos check out: