Back To News

Cycling BC team Abitibi update: Challenge Spring & Stage 1 Road Race

Cycling BC high performance athletes are in Amos, Quebec, for the 49th edition of the Tour de l’Abitibi this week. Over eight days, 25 teams come together in the hope of completing the 7 stages, for a total distance of 600 km in 6 days. This is the only competition in the UCI Juniors Nation’s Cup circuit to be presented in the Americas. Junior riders Adam Attwell, Erik Diertens, Mark Grant, Ben Katerberg, Thomas Schellenberg, and Isaac van der Vliet will be representing British Columbia against some of the best young road racers in the world.

On Monday, the best sprinters from each team faced off for the Challenge Sprint to set the stage for the rest of the week. Kurt Penno of Team Canada won the sprint, with Shuichiro Shioijma from the National Japanese team in second.  BC rider Adam Attwell took the third step on the podium: “The opening sprint stage was exciting and plays to my strength short hard sprint – but to get on the podium is a real treat.”

The stage race began on Tuesday, with the Stage 1 road race taking off from UQAT, in Rouyn-Noranda. Mark Grant and Isaac van der Vliet were the top BC riders, coming in 4st and 42nd, respectively, with Ben Katerberg following shortly behind, in 64th. “The opening stage was a real eye opener to just how many great riders there are here,” said Ben, “but we are really ready to the rest of the stages and we hope to get a BC rider on the podium before the end of the week again.

Wes Ochitwa, who is in Quebec helping the team along with provincial head coach Richard Wooles, notes, “This is the big race of the year, being the longest and hardest race for these talent young riders. I was very proud of their commitment and fight. Tomorrow is another day and we are looking for another good day.”

The Tour de l’Abitibi continues on Wednesday with the Stage 2 Val-d’Or road race, Thursday with the Stage 3 individual time trial as well as Stage 4 road race, Friday with Stage 5 Lebel-sur-Quévillon circuit race, Saturday with the Stage 6 Amos circuit race, and concludes on Sunday with Stage 7, the La Sarre – Amos road race. Visit for a full schedule and results.

Adam Attwell third in the opening sprint challenge