IN 10 QUESTIONS
1/ Why you started cyling ?
My Opa introduced me to bike racing. He raced in Holland until 1954 and then immigrated to Canada after the second world war. I will always remember going to his house and admiring all of his bikes and wheels. Back then, I wondered why he had so many wheels…now I don’t wonder at all!
Sadly, I lost him in 2009; I feel he is always with me on the bike, looking over me when times are tough.
2/ Your first bike ?
My first ‘real’ bike was a 24-inch (600 mm) wheel Scott mountain bike. I remember riding with my father and our neighbors on the technical Potowatami trail. I came back, scraped, bloody, and smiling…talking about searching for the two front teeth of one of the riders who had crashed…I think my mother never wanted me to ride again!
3/ Your nickname ?
4/ Your hobbies outside cycling ?
Off the bike I enjoy cooking/grilling. Steaks and sweet potatoes are probably my favorite foods. I grew up on a lake, so I love sailing in the summer and playing pond hockey in the winter when the lake is frozen. I played hockey from a young age, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
5/ Your favourite movie ?
The Imitation Game.
6/ Your favourite sportman ?
I have a few favorite sportsmen:
Rafa Nadal – I grew up watching him, and he has always impressed me with his constant tenacity and drive to fight like each match is his last.
Pavel Datsyuk - I grew up admiring Pavel for his ability to be the best even though he was thought to be too small for hockey. He made magic happen on the ice, and I can still remember the time that I got to meet him at the local ice rink and get a picture with him as a young kid.
Apolo Ohno - Apolo’s story has had a special impact on me later on in my career. His book, No Regrets, really struck a chord as to what it means to really do everything that you can to be ready for a competition. Anyone who hasn’t read his book should read it.
7/ What do you like ?
I love meeting new people, traveling to new places, and trying new foods…trying new food is probably the best part!
8/ What do you dislike ?
I do not enjoy watching American football, a pastime which many Europeans believe is stereotypically American.
9/ France what is for you ?
I love the French countryside and all that France has to offer…and, as with any cyclist, the TOUR DE FRANCE! I studied the French language and enjoy speaking it.
10/ Japan what is for you ?
The Japanese fans. I raced the Japan Cup last October. I had never been to Japan before, and I did not have any expectation other than just another bike race. It was not just another bike race, and I was blown away by the culture and absolute love for the sport that the Japanese people have. The weather was horrendous; it rained all weekend, but spectators still showed up. I had one fan come to take a picture with me with his kids the day before the race…the next day he sought me out just to give me a copy, and that photo still hangs in my room today. We also got to go to Tokyo at the end of the trip, and walking through the markets and eating sushi are memories that I will cherish forever.