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Track cycling: Ariane Bonhomme’s team led from New Zealand

With a coach living in New Zealand and a teammate based in California; track star Ariane Bonhomme’s training this summer is anything but ordinary; but her team is leaving no stone unturned as they head into the Games. Olympics.

New Zealand’s Matt Shallcrass has led the women’s team search for just over a year. Due to the various restrictions of COVID-19; the latter was unable to attend the camp of his protégés; who returned to the road in July; in Vancouver.

-It was above all a camp to find ourselves and reevaluate the next year;– says Ariane Bonhomme; who is officially part of the Canadian delegation that will fly to Tokyo in 2021.

Laura Brown; a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics; replaced Shallcrass for the occasion. -Our coach set up the training plan and was constantly reviewing it. Laura Brown lives there and knows us very well. It was fun getting together and training hard on the Vancouver waterfront;– says Bonhomme.

Another member of the line-up was conspicuous by her absence during these two weeks spent in western Canada; Jasmin Duehring; who lives in California.

An important addition

The absence of Matt Shallcrass; who has taken the team to a whole new level since his arrival in May 2019; is significant; according to the Gatineau athlete.

-We can definitely attribute our success over the last year to him;– she says. He brings good ideas and is not afraid to try new things a little more risky.

Bonhomme adds that he feels more progression with Shallcrass sharing new strategies and driving new teams. -We always did the same thing since the Rio Games. The change of coach was very good for us. It forces us out of ourjournaltimefort zone and that helped us last year. “

Last season; the Canadians won three World Cup bronze medals and then finished on the podium at the World Championships in Berlin. In Tokyo; Canada will seek a third consecutive medal in the women’s team pursuit; an event that made its Olympic debut at London 2012.

The Quebecer believes that; despite the distance; the coach is always available for any request from the athletes. It is enough to anticipate the blow with the time difference of 16 hours with the country of Oceania.

“Of course it’s different; but we talk at least once a week and he’s always there to help us; no matter what we need;” she says.

Gardening break; then back to training.

The return to training was not easy for Ariane Bonhomme; who found herself in a situation she had never experienced before. After the World Cups; the athletes took advantage of a month off to clear their heads with the postponement of the Olympic Games.

He took the opportunity to take some lessons; do some gardening and other activities not related to cycling; all in thejournaltimepany of his friend Jay Lamoureux; who will also represent the maple leaf in the Japanese capital.

-In track cycling; you never have a long off-season and it was the first time I stopped for that long. I lost more form and it felt weird to have to find it again. It’s not something you’re used to! “

After a month of individual training where he “rediscovered the pleasure of riding”; the greatest difficulty was to resume the periods of intensity and intervals. -It was more motivating to do it with my teammates in July! »; he underlines.

Until the Games

Like many other cyclists; Ariane Bonhomme does not expect an imminent return tojournaltimepetition in track cycling. Even that he wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t measure up to his opponents before the Tokyo Olympics.

The next camp is scheduled for November; so he’ll have to train on his own until then to stay in shape. It remains to be seen how the measures will evolve over time as to whether Matt Shallcrass and Jasmin Duehring will have returned to the country. -It’s a unique situation not seeing my teammates again for a few months and it’s hard to stay motivated. I’ll make my own camps and go to Milton* for a change of scenery; otherwise I’ll go crazy! “

Bonhomme has not been back on track since the World Championships; which took place from February 26 to March 1. -It’s really no different; because you don’t usually do races in the summer. This time is especially different because we had to spend the whole summer there with a view to the Games. I am finding ways to adapt and willjournaltimee back in excellent shape to face the challenges that lie ahead.–

* The Mattamy National Cycling Center Velodrome in Milton; Ontario.

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