CENTURION NEXT WAVE CYCLING TEAM
The Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team (CNWCT) is Ontario's new program to develop the next wave of Canadian Cyclists. The team consists of (10) elite male riders, (2-4) elite female riders and (6-8) 12-14-year-old entry level riders. The team was developed to support these young cyclists who have the desire and talent to make national teams and more and will stand for excellence, dedication and mentoring them in sport and life. The real benefit of supporting these youth comes from developing healthy young people who learn what it takes to succeed in life. Young people who can influence other of their generation. The support package includes: 2 team coaches for 4 training days per week for 11 months a year, team apparel, cycling shoes, helmets, training camps, travel to events, race entry fees, etc.
The Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team started as a boys Cadet team in 2014. The team had impressive results at the Centurion Canada The Blue Mountains in 2014 which attracted the attention of Graham Fraser, who has always been an advocate of getting young people involved in sports. With the title sponsorship of Centurion Cycling coming into play in 2015, the team has been able to grow considerably and add a girls Junior team. In addition to the Junior teams, there is also a master's team of 25 cyclists who also race and ride in support of the team. www.centurioncycling.com
Meet The Team
The team is coached by Kevin Simms and Rob Holmgren and is directed by David Staples and Rob Meeder. Andrew Doble assists with the Youth Cup teams and Lisa Holmgren assists with the Junion Girls team.
Graydon Staples - Age 15, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. i became interested in cycling in 2012 as an off season sport to compliment my alpine ski racing in the winter. I enjoy being a part of the CNWCT because of the excellent opportunities to develop as a rider. The team works well together as a whole and there are hardly any inter-team conflicts. My goals for 2015 are to compete at the 2015 U19 Road National Championships with Team Ontario, win the overall GC at Le Tour de la Releve Internationale in Rimouski and win a Provinicial Championship event. In 2016, I would love to represent Canada at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships.
Matt Staples - Age 17, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. I started road cycling at age 14. I love how it tests your limits: a large part of cycling is mental. I love being on a team with my friends, especially when it's an awesome team like CNWCT. My goals for this season are to finish top 10 at MTB Nationals, make the Abitibi Road Team, compete with Team Ontario at Road and MTB Nationals and podium at Road and MTB Provinicials. I also love cyclocross and hope to compete for Ontario at Cross Nationals and make the Canadian Cyclocross World's Team.
Gavin Kerr - Age 16, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. I've been racing now for 3 years. I love the challenges of cycling and the fun of getting out on the road with friends. My goals for 2015 are to achieve a high GC playing in the Ontario Cup Series as well as compete on a larger stage such as the Tour de la Releve International in Rimouski and the Green Mountain Stage Race.
Brody Sanderson - Age 15, Orillia, Ontario. I love being part of the CNWCT and riding and training with friends. My favourite event is the Centurion Hill Climb in the U23 Prospects Race and look forward to doing that event again in the future. I also really enjoy MTB and Cyclocross. My goal this year is to have our team win the Team Time Trial at Rimouski, place top 10 at Provincial Road Championships and to be a part of a break that sticks!
Noah Simms - Age 15, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. I got into racing doing the Hardwood Hills MTB Race Series at age 4 thanks to my cycling obsessed family! I love getting out for a long ride with my friends on the CNWCT or descending a mountain pass. My favourite road to ride is Caesar's Head Climb in South Carolina, where we trained this past spring with the team. My goals for this season are to experience US stage races and compete at Tour de la Releve Internationale in Rimouski.
Gunnar Holmgren - Age 15, Orillia, Ontario. My interest in cycling started with racing the Hardwood Hills MTB Race Series. After that I decided to start racing MTB Ontario Cups and Canada Cups. I then became really interested in road racing and was invited to join the CNWCT. I love being on the team because there is always someone to train with and we are a bunch of friends who all love to race. I appreciate all the support given to the team. My goals for the season are to podium at Le Tour de la Releve Internationale in Rimouski, win MTB National Championships (Cadet Expert), and to help the team in any way to achieve our overall goals.
Rune Schaefer - Age 17, Mansfield, Ontario. I got into cycling at age 8 when I got my first real mountain bike and attended a MTB summer camp at Mansfield Outdoor Recreation Centre. That led to racing the MTB Ontario Cup Series. From there I transitioned to road racing by competing at the Ontario Youth Cup series. I joined the CNWCT this year and enjoy racing with the team because it is a great group of athletes and coaches and a very strong support system. My goals this year are to race at Abitibi and be competitive at Nationals.
Cole Schumacher - Age 17, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. I got into cycling at age 7 after touring some local trails on my mountain bike with my family. Shortly after that, I signed up for the Wednesday Night series at Hardwood Hills and transitioned into the Hardwood Hills Youth MTB programs. After a few years I started road biking and really enjoy the tactical aspects of road racing. As of last year, I am a proud member of the CNWCT and can't get enough of it! I love the team atmosphere: racing, training and hanging out with these outstanding teammates is golden. We push each other to improve, laugh with each other and work well as a whole. I love the training and amazing race support from coaches, sponsors and fellow teammates. This year I hope to support the team at the Centurion Canada The Blue Mountains Prospects Challenge and race at the MTB Nationals in Quebec.
Tove Schaefer - Age 15, Mansfield, Ontario. I first got into cycling at age 8, starting off on the mountain bike and then switching to the road when I was 10. Since then, I have been focusing on road racing. I enjoy racing with the CNWCT because they are an amazing and very supportive group of athletes and coaches. My goal for this season is making it on the podium for the Junior Road Provincials.
Erica Leonard - Age 15, Oro-Medonte, Ontario. I began cycling when I was 3 and have loved it ever since. It wasn't until I joined a girl's group of mountain bikers that I really became hooked on biking and racing. Something about that connection with other girls who loved riding bikes as much as I did. I couldn't wait to see my friends every weekend during our family rides. Soon thereafter we started to challenge each other more and more and that's when I realized I wanted to race. I've been racing for 7 years now and I feel like I'm just getting started! I'm now racing the Ontario and Canada Cup series on the mountain bike and just recently the Junior World Series with Team Canada. A few years ago I started road riding and am now privileged to be riding for the CNWCT. I've enjoyed success in my previous seasons but for this season my goals include being on the podium for the Road Provincials as well as qualifying for the Junior MTB World Championships. I'm really looking forward to an amazing year of cycling, racing and being with my friends!
Dana Gilligan - Age 16, Craighurst, Ontario. I began mountain biking in 2009 and last year started road riding. I love riding and racing on the road, being in the fresh air and having fun with my new CNWCT. My goals for this season are to improve my own times and to find myself on the podium for the Youth Cup and Junior level races.
Road Championships Wiarton
This past weekend local Centurion Next Wave Cycling athletes participated in the Road Championships in Wiarton. It marked the end of a long, successful season for most athletes, although a number of athletes are on the short-list for selection to Team Canada for the Junior World Championships in Qatar in October.
When Matt Staples had a terrible day on Saturday, fading in the time trial event, he was on a mission the following day. He got himself into a breakaway after the first climb at 7km with former Team Canada teammate Nick Zukowsky and never looked back. The duo would eventually put more than three minutes between themselves and the peloton and Staples would edge out Zukowsky at the line to take the win and repeat last year's championship win. Teammates Noah Simms and Gunnar Holmgren kept things check in the peloton chasing behind and finished in 5th and 6th place overall on the hilly 90 km course.
In the Junior women's race Erica Leonard nearly pulled the same feat as Staples but was edged out at the line by Hillary Lowry. She would settle for second place overall in the 60km race.
The time trial event the day before proved similarly exciting with Dana Gilligan taking second place (again behind rival Lowry) in the 30km race against the clock.
A week prior, the Provincial Criterium Championships took place in Mississauga. The criterium is a shorter event, usually about an hour in duration, and takes place on a flat and fast 1km loop. It is technically more demanding and often ends in a sprint finish for the line. Staples again rode away from the pack with a fellow competitor (Jordann Jones, Team NCCH) and lapped the field on a very windy day, finishing in second place. In the women's criterium, Erica Leonard finished just off the podium in fourth place.
The team wraps up the road racing season with Green Mountain Stage Race this weekend followed by title sponsor Centurion Cycling's Blue Mountain event in Collingwood on Sept 16-18. For most riders the focus then shifts to the cyclocross races in the fall and early winter.
Picture 1: Matt Staples wears the Provincial Championship jersey, flanked by second and third place Nick Zukowsky and Adam Lefevre.
Tour L'Abitibi - July 2016
Three athletes from the local Centurion Next Wave (CNW) Cycling Team (Matt Staples, Graydon Staples and Noah Simms) were selected to ride for Team Canada at the event in preparation for World Championships in Qatar later this year. This allowed Centurion Next Wave to invite two guest riders to complete its six-man roster taking on Garret Belanger and Quinton Disera to join CNW cyclists Gunnar Holmgren, Gavin Kerr, Cole Schumacher and Jake Allaire.
Our athletes kicked things into high gear when Quinton Disera won the Sprint Challenge the evening before the first stage. The sprint showdown was brief and entertaining for the crowds but it certainly drew attention to the little team from Barrie-Orillia. The following stages saw both the difficulty and thrill of stage races. Holmgren would crash in the first stage and with a broken bike would not regain contact with the peloton, conceding a huge chunk of time and ending his bid for the overall title. Graydon Staples crashed in a training session before the stage 3 time trial and fractured his elbows forcing him to abandon the race. Despite that both Team Canada and CNW riders figured prominently in breakaway attempts and strong sprint finishes with most riders finishing in the surviving front pack. Noah Simms' strong sprints in Stage 1 and 2 earned him the blue jersey given to the race's best placed young rider. The stage 3 time trial further separated the riders in the overall standing with Matt Staples placing 19th in the event and Holmgren redeeming his stage 1 misfortune with a 23rd place.
While the weather held for the first half of the week, stage four saw things change for the worse with a huge deluge throughout the race. Incredibly there were no major crashes although Allaire ended up in a ditch and struggled with mechanical problems. The race would prove to be a race of attrition with numerous riders popping off the back of the peloton. Both Team Canada and CNW continued to do well with Matt Staples sitting in 14th overall after the rainy stage and Quinton Disera in 41st overall. Team Canada was third in the team classification and CNW sat in 9th place. Last year's Abitibi runner-up Brandon McNulty from Team USA sat at the top of the overall leader board.
Stage 5 was marred by a huge crash of 60 riders which saw both Cole Schumacher and Gavin Kerr involved. Both would remount and chase the peloton but spend considerable energy doing so. Jake Allaire unfortunately had to withdraw after suffering an asthma attack. Fortunes changed on stage 6 however. Both Matt Staples and Quinton Disera initiated a breakaway move early in the stage. This caught the top teams, including Team USA, unaware and off guard. The peloton would never catch the breakaway group of riders. To add to the excitement, Quinton Disera would sprint for the stage win and Staples would move himself up to 4th place overall only 4 seconds off the podium. Staples' Team Canada teammate Nick Zukowsky would claim the leader's jersey. Team Canada suddenly found itself at the top of the team standings, much to the pleasure of the local crowds. CNW's Disera was not far behind in the overall standings, 6th place to be exact, as the final stage 7 approached. The only downside of the day was the withdrawal of Gunnar Holmgren from the race with knee pain.
Unfortunately the final stage would undo many of the gains made the day before. Team USA wasted no time propelling its main rider McNulty off the front with three other very strong riders. They would put a large time gap between themselves and the peloton as they started the final circuits in Rouyn-Noranda. Team Canada chased hard but McNulty would reclaim the leader's jersey and win the overall race. It emphasized the harsh realities of stage racing. Staples would fall down the overall standings. Disera put in a huge effort, leading the peloton across the line in 10th place, 2 minutes and 17 seconds behind the race leader. In the end he would claim a solid 9th place overall. Simms took 27th overall, Belanger 36th, Matt Staples 82nd, Cole Schumacher 93rd. Forty-four riders who started stage 1, did not complete the race.
The 47th edition of the Tour l'Abitibi provided a lot of drama over the seven days of racing. Each rider will go home with a wealth of knowledge as they prepare for their next goals in the world of cycling. Probably the best lesson learned was that the athletes from this area on Team Canada and Centurion Next Wave are amongst the best in the world and will continue to develop as an incredible group of cyclists. Coach Kevin Simms summed it up well: "We had arrived at the race with few people on the planet knowing who we were and what we were capable of. We are now known as the team who put three athletes on the National Team and still remained competitive...We also took some top 10 finishes, a stage win, sprint points and of course the opening sprint challenge. All in all we have made our mark and met our goals."
The three athletes on Team Canada head to Belgium this week for a month of European races in anticipation of the World Championships in October.
Stage 1 was a short 7.5 km team time trial, aided by a tailwind, along the St Lawrence River shoreline. The women blasted the course to win the event, riding at 46 kph. The men rode at an incredible 50 kph and took third place.
Stage 2 was a difficult rainy and windy stage: 78 km in length with lots of climbing. There were a few crashes but both Centurion Next Wave Teams stayed out of trouble. Amongst the women, CNW's Megan Heath took second place. Combined with the previous day's TTT result - this put here in the yellow jersey. Also, with Ruby West and Dana Gilligan finishing in the same front group, it meant that CNW now stood 1-2-3 in the General Classification after Stage 2. The men faced some challenges but all four athletes put in awesome performances with Tyler Clark finishing 4th overall, bested by 3 athletes from Team BC. This result put him in 4th place overall and will force a strong team effort to put Tyler onto the podium when things wrap up on Sunday.
Stage 3 was the individual time trial (15 km) and occurred today. Again, the women performed incredibly well: Dana Gilligan taking the win with Ruby West 3rd and Megan Heath 4th. This allowed them to maintain their 1-2-3 position on the General Classification with Megan passing the yellow jersey over to Dana. The men also rode well. Tyler Clark looked to solidify his position on the General Classification and pulled off a third place finish, distancing some of his rivals and moving closer to that coveted podium position.
All the athletes are ready to give it their all tomorrow in the Criterium Race through the town of Rimouski and Sunday's final stage which includes 4 rides up the famous Cathedral Hill Climb. The men, in particular, will have to race very strategically to counter a very strong Team BC. Will the Women sweep the overall podium? Can Tyler Clark move onto the podium? Stay tuned!
Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team Performs Well at Tour de Terra Cotta - August 2015
Not everyone knows where Terra Cotta is. Nestled in the hills near Brampton, the sleepy little hamlet on the banks of the Credit River roars to life every August long weekend to welcome hundreds of cyclist from across Ontario for the annual Tour de Terra Cotta. The beautiful course is an 8.6 km loop which cyclists of all ages complete a number of times, based on their age category. The Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team again fielded athletes in a number of races and showed its muscle with numerous podium placings.
The day started off breezy and cloudy with the occasional rain drop. But by the end of the day it was sunny and warm, making the course safer and more enjoyable for all the participants. The Youth Races served as the fifth stop for the 2015 Ontario Youth Cup circuit and the young riders were the first to race in the morning. As usual, the youth cup event features two races: a time trial where athletes start in 30 second intervals and race by themselves against the clock and a road race which features a mass start and 1-4 laps of the 8.6 km road course. Notable finishes in the time trial included Owen Clark winning the PeeWee boys category, Paul Mysko and Colton Woods finishing second and third in the Minime boys category and Tyler Clark finishing second in the Cadet boys category (losing the top podium position by only 0.35 seconds). Amongst the girls, Ava Holmgren continued her season winning streak by taking the time trial win in the Squirt Girls category, followed by teammate Elli Clark in second place.
The Youth Cup Road Races were equally exciting. Escaping from the main pack on the final lap, Owen Clark placed third in the PeeWee boys race out of a strong four-man sprint which included Max Holmgren, who finished fourth. In the Minime boys category, teammates Paul Mysko, Dylan Kerr, Rich Elliott and Colton Woods all finished in the front group with Mysko best of the quartet sprinting to third place. In the Cadet Boys race, Tyler Clark sprinted to a fourth place finish. The girl’s races again showcased the talents of Ava Holmgren and Elli Clark who placed first and second again beating not only the Squirt girls field, but also the entire Squirt boys field.
The Centurion-Next Wave Junior boys entered the adult road races. The most notable result came from Noah Simms who, after 52km of racing, found himself in the front pack of the Intermediate Road Race and uncorked a powerful sprint to claim third place overall, and win his age group. There were 130 riders in his race. In the Elite race, Gunnar Holmgren was the best placed rider of the team, finishing 15th overall, third in his age group.
The team is now looking forward to the Provincial Road Race Championship on August 23rd, followed by the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont on Labour Day Weekend and wrapping up the road racing season at the Blue Mountain Centurion Prospects Race on Sept 18-20.
A week in yellow...Rimouski https://vimeo.com/134000338
Centurion-Wave Cycling Team Wins Yellow Jersey in Quebec Stage Race - July 2015
In the two short years of the team's existence, the Centurion-Next Wave Cycling Team has emerged as one of the top development teams in the country, seizing the yellow jersey at the Tour de la Releve in Rimouski last weekend. the Rimouski squad consisted of Gunnar Holmgren, Graydon Staples, Brody Sanderson and Noah Simms.
The team stormed into the event's spotlight after its team time trial win to open the annual 5 stage event in Rimouski, Quebec. The winning margin was large enough for Gunnar Holmgren to take the leader's yellow jersey after the following day's stage with a third place finish in the same time as the winner of the 78km road race event. Teammate Graydon Staples finished close behind in 6th place also in the same time. The following day Holmgren padded his lead with a powerful individual time trial win. Holmgren covered the 15 km distance in 20:44 on a road bike setup. The penultimate stage consisted of a 35 lap criterium in the host town. With an excellent leadout by Staples, Holmgren would place second in a photofinish with Simon Jones of Hincapie Junior Development Team taking the win. The result was enough to retain the yellow jersey. The fifth and final stage took place on Sunday: a four lap, hilly 76km road race featuring the infamous 12% grade Cathedral Hill. An 8-man breakaway formed containing teammates Holmgren, Staples and Sanderson. The trio would work together to bring Holmgren to the front at the end setting him up for solo victory to seal the overall title.
The race for the overall team title was closer and had whittled down to essentially two teams right from the beginning: Centurion-Next Wave Cycling and South Carolina based Hincapie Junior Development. Both teams had riders finish in the front group every race. The fight was close, with Hincapie Junior Development narrowly winning the team title.
Coach Kevin Simms was impressed with the strength, strategy and teamwork displayed by the team, noting that this result signifies the team as being one of the strongest in Ontario, if not Canada, for this age group. Graham Fraser of Centurion Cycling, the team's title sponsor, congratulated the team: "Congrats to everyone. What a wonderful weekend for the boys. They continue to impress with their work ethic, teamwork and love of cycling". Holmgren was quick to credit the entire team and coach for his overall win, recognizing that it was the entire team which won the team time trial and his teammates who rode a tactically strong and smart race to protect the jersey on stages 2, 4 and 5.
Over the next few weeks the team members will focus on upcoming Canada Cup mountain bike events, road championships and upcoming cyclocross season. Younger members of the team will continue chase wins at the Youth Cup series, with the next race taking place at the Tour de Terra Cotta on the August Long Weekend. This recent win in Quebec will fill the team with confidence as they head into the second half of the season and next year.
Centurion-Next Wave Cycling Team Impresses in Kitchener - June 2015
The Centurion-Next Wave Cycling Team was again able to flex its collective muscle this past weekend. This time it was criterium racing in Kitchener-Waterloo. The team fielded it's Junior squad in the Intermediate Men's category at the Kitchener Twilight Grand Prix, including defending champion Graydon Staples. In the Intermediate Women's division team member Erica Leonard was the lone representative for Centurion-Next Wave.
The race is different from the road races normally faced by the team with the criterium race consisting of multiple laps on a small city circuit. It's fast, technical and incredibly exciting to watch. It also demands a keen sense of strategy and the team which plays its cards most efficiently ends up controlling, dominating, and hopefully in the end winning the race. Furthermore, the field is not categorized in the usual age divisions, which means that the Junior boys (aged 16) were pitted against male riders of all ages. Since the race is fast (over 40kph) and short (usually less than an hour), the peloton is quickly reduced in size as solo riders who lose contact with the field face an uphill challenge regaining contact with the fast-moving peloton. In Friday's Intermediate Men's race, 54 riders started and only 24 would finish.
Tactics would be key in the race. On four separate occasions the team saw its riders in a breakaway situation, while the remaining team members controlled the chase group behind with the hopes of their breakaway teammates hanging on in the end. However none of these initial attacks would prove to be successful. With 7 laps to go Brody Sanderson initiated an attack to scope out the competition. Jake Allaire, another Junior rider from team NCCH-Dec Express followed and the two were eventually able to create a gap which stuck to the end. In the final sprint Allaire would edge out Sanderson for the win. Close behind defending champion Staples came in to claim 4th place while Gunnar Holmgren settled for 7th and Matt Staples close behind for 12th. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises for the team was Tyler Clark who at age 15 was the youngest rider to finish, slotting in at 20th place a mere 25 seconds off the winning pace. Sanderson was happy with his result, grateful for the support of his team: "Thanks to some amazing teamwork in the peloton, Jake Allaire and I were able to stay away. Unfortunately I was unable to take the win. However we as a team came second once again showing our strengths as a team".
The Intermediate Women's race saw equally exciting action. The peloton remained mainly intact throughout the race. A breakaway of three riders would hang on at the end, eventually managing to gain a 1 minute advantage over the rest of the field. Erica Leonard led the sprint for the remaining riders and was able to claim 4th place overall.
These results should provide a measure of confidence as four members the boys Junior squad head for Quebec in 2 weeks for the Tour de la Releve, a five day stage race. This event is the premier event in Canada for Junior cyclists.