The 2018 Edition of the Hayman Classic is comprised of four races over three days. It stands almost alone on a yearly cycling calendar that caters overwhelmingly to adults. What makes the Hayman Classic distinctive is that it is open only to young cyclists, meaning those aged 13 to 19.
More than that, the races are designed to give them a European-style experience of riding in groups or alone over courses that challenge their skill, strength and stamina against top juniors from British Columbia, Canada and the United States. For coaches and trainers, it’s a chance to take the measure of the next generation of cyclists.
For Ron Hayman, the former Olympian and pro racer behind the Hayman Classic, it’s an opportunity to nurture and encourage young riders, but more important to give them a chance to compete, to have a “real-world experience,” as he puts it. Too often, he says, young riders devote hours and hours to training but rarely if ever have the chance to succeed – and fail and learn – from a hard-fought race. The Hayman Classic helps to fill that void.
Here are some of the key points of the competition:
* Morning of Friday, May 25. The first event is a time trial in which riders compete to have the fastest time over a set course, which in this case runs over some 11 kilometres from Okanagan Falls to the parking lot at Painted Rock Winery. The final section up Smythe Road to Painted Rock features stinging grades of 16 to 18 per cent.
* Afternoon of Friday, May 25. The second event is a multi-lap circuit race around the track at Area 27, Canada’s hot new motorsport speedway southeast of Oliver. Nestled among vineyards and hills, this track dips, rolls and climbs over 4.8 kilometres of impeccable asphalt – no potholes here. Area 27 was used last year for the first time by the Hayman Classic. It garnered rave reviews from cyclists.
* Morning of May 26. In this event, riders will compete in a criterium on Riverside Drive in Penticton. A criterium is a race in which riders are repeatedly challenged by tight turns over multiple laps of a fixed course. The turns are a true test of a rider’s ability to brake and accelerate around corners in a pack and at high speed.
* Morning of May 27. In the final event of the competition, riders will take part in a road race over multiple laps of a course with punishing climbs and sharp descents through and around Oliver.
There will be winners in each of these four events. But one of the special features of the Hayman Classic is that it is also a stage race, meaning the finishing times in the four events are added together to give each rider an overall time for the full competition, and the best of these will also be honoured.
About the Race Organizers:
Ron Hayman has a passion for cycling and strong belief that creating challenging opportunities for young riders is key to their future success. Ron’s background includes 7 years as a professional cyclist, national team competitor, coach (including a stint as Canadian National Road Coach), team leader and TV commentator at 5 Olympic Games. He currently handles Strategic Partner Relations for Jakroo Canada.
Jeff Plant owns and operates Axis Events. He oversees all technical aspects of the successful Axel Merckx Prospera Granfondo along with countless other sporting events. Jeff’s background includes years as GM of Apex Ski Resort and Mt Buller/Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board, Australia.