Canada Cup, Canada Games, and World Cup races on the horizon
While most of Whistler secondarys 2001 graduates will spend the next few weeks cramming for final exams and preparing for University, Will Routley will be in Ontario and Quebec with his father, Tony, to compete in the first two races of the Canada Cup Mountain Bike Series.
His grades are "up there" and his teachers have helped by giving him a chance to work ahead before the competitive season kicked off.
On June 10, they will compete in the first Cup race of the season in Hardwood Hills, the proposed venue for the 2008 Summer Olympics if Torontos bid is successful.
The following weekend, they will enter their second Cup race at Mont Tremblant against some of the strongest riders in the country.
After that its the Test of Metal on June 23, more B.C. Cup and Canada Cup races, and training with the national team.
On the near horizon, he is in a good position to be selected to race for B.C. in the 2001 Canada Games, and in the distance, he has the potential to race on the World Cup circuit and in the Olympics.
First things first, however:
"There are so many races to get up for but right now Im just trying to focus on the Canada Cup races in Ontario and B.C.," says Routley. "Theyre all big, and theyre all in my mind, but I dont want to look too far ahead."
It has already been a banner year for the 18-year-old. During the winter, he was selected to race for the Rocky Mountain Bicycles pro team and named to the National Junior Team based on his 2000 results.
In the 67-kilometre Test of Metal race, he finished first in his division by almost nine minutes. He also beat the Junior Expert field in the 70-km Cheakamus Challenge, placing ninth overall against World Cup veterans, Olympians and some of the top racers in Canada.
In the Canada Cup cross country finals, he finished second to Vancouvers Jaimie Douglas, a World Cup racer, by 11 seconds. In the Whistler International Classic, he earned his first Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) points with a second place finish against a top American prospect.
Wherever he raced, whether it was a B.C. Cup or a Canada Cup, he either won or finished within shouting distance of the leader.
This season, he has taken his racing to a new level by teaching himself how to road race so he could collect enough points to compete in the Canada Games three out of the four cycling events featured in the games are road races.