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BC’s Joel Harwood Named Coach of the Year | Cycling Canada Annual Awards

Joel Harwood speaks at the Cycling BC High Performance Athlete Summit. Photo by: Rob Shaer


Cycling BC head coach, Joel Harwood has been named one of three Coaches of the Year for Cycling Canada’s Annual Awards, which recognizes individuals and events that made a significant impact in the cycling community in the past year. Petrina Tulissi and Rob Holmgren from Ontario are also recipients of the 2023 Coach of the Year award.

All the winners of the annual awards were revealed on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, in an announcement made by Cycling Canada. The categories included awards for commissaires, coaches, events, the President’s Trophy for best performance in a World Championship, and the Russ Copeland Award for the best junior rider.

The 2023 Annual Award recipients are:

Canadian International Commissaire of the Year
Adrien Levesque – Moncton, NB

Canadian National Commissaire of the Year
François Levesque – Drummondville, QC

Coaches of the Year
Petrina Tulissi – Oakville, ON
Rob Holmgren – Orillia, ON
Joel Harwood – Squamish, BC

Community Coaches of the Year
Joe Hall – Mississauga, ON
Alyssa Hagley – Milton, ON

Events of the Year
BMX: Haut-Richelieu BMX Canada Cup – Saint-Jean-sur-le-Lac, QC
Canadian Championship: 2023 XCM MTB Championships – Whitehorse, YK
Cyclo-cross: Cyclo-cross de Lévis and Eastern Cyclo-cross Challenge – Lévis, QC
International: Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et Montréal – Québec/Montréal, QC
Mountain Bike: Dieppe XCO & XCC Canada Cup – Dieppe, NB
Road: Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix – Vancouver, BC

President’s Trophy & Russ Copeland Award
Isabella Holmgren – Orillia, ON

“Recognition as Coach of the Year means a lot to me,” says Joel. “The athletes are the ones that deserve the spotlight, but this recognition is a pleasant surprise.”

A major factor in Joel’s selection as Coach of the Year was coaching downhill racer Lucas Cruz of Pemberton, BC, to a victory in the 2023 Canadian Elite Men’s Downhill Championship.

“I’m most proud of the long-term relationships I have built with so many great people, including Lucas. He is the personification of the word—coachable,” continued Joel. “I’d like to thank Lucas, along with the other athletes I’m fortunate to work with, for all their support and passion.”

Joel Harwood speaks at the Cycling BC High Performance Athlete Summit. Photo by: Rob Shaer


This isn’t the first time Joel has been recognized for coaching athletes to national and international titles (he also won the award in 2017 after Miranda Miller won the UCI Women’s Downhill World Championship.) but those who know Joel will tell you that his impact starts at the local and grassroots level.

In 2023, Joel and Cycling BC’s Head of Coach Development, Ben Chaddock, spearheaded a series of free Cycling BC coaching clinics for people in the BMX, road, and mountain biking communities, helping others explore the world of coach certification and commence their coaching journeys.

Joel also partnered with Whistler Bike Park in the past year to launch a Cycling BC Downhill training camp for local U15 and U17 athletes to train with local U19 and Elite riders, fostering mentorship between today’s elite riders and the next generation of athletes.

Cycling BC is extremely proud and honoured to have Joel Harwood as our head coach. Our congratulations go out to him and we wish him continued success in the future. 

Congratulations, Joel!