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Local cycling team off to a winning start

Cyclists have been busy preparing through the winter, despite the snowy roads
Junior women podium Ocup 1
Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team athlete Katelyn Walcroft celebrated the Junior Women win last Friday at the Mosport Classic Road Race in Hamilton. Emma Lazenby and Ainsley Black, both from Team NCCH were second and third, respectively. Supplied photo

It looks like another exciting year is in store for the local Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team. Over the winter a lot has been happening - most notably a merger with Team Hardwood Trek. Not only did this result in the name change from Centurion Next Wave to Hardwood Next Wave, but it also expanded the scope and size of the team enormously.

The team is now the premier cycling development team in this region for athletes aged 6-99+ in mountain biking, road biking and cyclocross. This allows any athlete interested in cycling to choose a path which best suits their athletic objective - whether it is the 6-year-old who wants to ride the trails or the 17-year-old who is ready to race at the international level. This region already boasts some of Canada’s best athletic and coaching cycling talent and this merger will help to sustain this momentum.

A number of Next Wave athletes have already graduated to international and professional levels of competition. Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro will serve as the physical home base for the team. Centurion Cycling also remains a key sponsor for the team, along with several other local sponsors and supporters.

Cyclists have been busy preparing through the winter, despite the snowy roads. Our younger athletes were preparing with weight training, skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing and other activities. Several of the team’s elite athletes competed at the World Cyclocross Championships in The Netherlands in January and a group of eight athletes recently participated in the Ontario Cycling Association Endurance Camp in North Carolina.

On Good Friday, Junior athlete Katelyn Walcroft won the Junior Women’s division at the Mosport Classic in Hamilton, while coach Kevin Simms placed third in the Masters 2 division. This kicks off the Ontario Cup Road Racing calendar. Youth athletes will soon start the Youth Cup Road Racing series and the Mountain Bike season starts in earnest on April 22 with the first Ontario Cup race in that discipline, followed by the regular Wednesday Night Series at Hardwood Ski and Bike on May 2.

The cyclocross season will start as usual in the fall. The team is excited to see another wave of young athletes join its ranks hoping to develop into avid competitive cyclists. Registrations for all ages are now being accepted via the team’s website.



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