Of young athletes ready to go back in the saddle

De jeunes athlètes prêts à remonter en selle

The pandemic of the COVID-19 does not slow down the enthusiasm of the cycling team Desjardins Ford. Even if no racing is currently planned, this summer, the 21 young men who donned the blue jersey, white and yellow will be kept well occupied in the coming weeks.

“The important thing for them is to be together […]. The worst news that we could have told them, is that we would not see. It would have been catastrophic,” blurted out the athletic director of the club on the road, Christine Gillard, who has planned a calendar adapted to the current circumstances for its runners and its runners at the junior and U23 (under 23 years).

Since Monday, its young people can train in the group, by virtue of the relaxation of the rules of the public health. They have held up during the containment by participating in sessions virtual.

Different experiences

The schedule 2020 provides, in particular, a journey of 650 km over five days up to Charlevoix, where the members of the club Desjardins Ford will be camping in a tent, each with his own. An expedition similar in the Gaspé is also in the cards. It may not be the prestige of a race of north american in Oregon or BC Superweek, British Columbia, but this option will allow these hopes of the sport to continue their development.

“I would have found it boring [not to be able to jump on my bike]. I’m glad to see them again. The intensity level may be different, but the distances are quite similar We do not see it as a lost year. It will allow us to continue to train and improve”, stated Gabriel Guay (U23), Bromont, which is in its fifth year with the formation of Quebec.

“Our goal is to be ready when it will start again and they [young people] keep their motivation in doing different projects,” said Christine Gillard, who had had to return urgently to Spain in mid-march at the beginning of the pandemic, with over a dozen athletes in full training camp.

In spite of the crisis, nearly a dozen funding partners continued their commitment to the club cyclist. “We were a little bit afraid that we are left with a budget more minimal to get through that season,” admitted Gillard.

Of the races this summer?

This lady on the bike has good hope that the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC) to be able to organize a few races here in the fall. However, there are several issues that could thwart the ambitions of the federation.

“I hope that there are races. It is in phase 2 of the plan. The third phase will be the start of the individual races, either against the clock, climbing up on timed and sprints. We hope that there be some in the month of July.”

“The big challenge is to find the organizers, because it is not easy to have the permissions of the cities, the police and get help. I think that there is a lot of work that is being done to the federation at this level. If all goes well, it will hopefully have a bit more in the month of August.”

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