Three-time Canadian Olympian returns to $65,000 BC Superweek
~ Eric Wohlberg back racing at age 46 and ready to take on next generation of Canadian cycling stars
Last year, Eric Wohlberg returned to the BC Superweek races he used to dominate as a Team Director with the BISSELL Pro Cycling squad.
He’s back this year to race at age 46, but don’t let the birth certificate fool you.
The three-time Canadian Olympian always has to be taken seriously.
“I’ll definitely be the old fart out there, but they know I’m not done yet,” Wohlberg, an Ontario native originally, said over the phone from his new home base in Palo Alto, California. “I’ve still got a fair bit of fight in me and they know that.”
Most Canadian cyclists know all about Wohlberg. In addition to his three straight Olympic experiences, he won gold medals in the Time Trial at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and 1999 Pan Am Games, a bronze in the Road Race at the at the Commonwealth Games, and was on seven Canadian entries at the World Championships. He has posted 76 stage and overall victories at major US races, and eight straight Canadian Time Trial Championships, a streak Svein Tuft, a former teammate on the now defunct Symmetrics Pro Cycling team that used to be based in Langley, is closing in on with a seventh win last week.
Wohlberg also played a big role at BC Superweek, in large part by dominating the Tour de Delta as a member of the prestigious American based Saturn Cycling Team back in 2003, when he also earned his second Canadian Male Cylist of the Year award. His supremacy inspired the creation of Symmetrics to help local riders get organized to compete with the big American teams coming north to BC Sueprweek, and before long the locals were on the podium.
Riders like Tuft, Ryan Anderson and Will Routley (all SpiderTech), Christian Meier and Andrew Pinfold (United Health Care) all converted success at BC Superweek into jobs racing professionally – first in North America, and now in Europe. Others like Marsh Cooper (Kelly Benefits), Nic Spaling (Jelly Belly) and Rob Britton (BISSELL) all followed in their path to top American based teams.
Wohlberg continued to support the race as a director at BISSELL, sending riders north every year and using BC Superweek to identify emerging talent.
“I remember one year Zach Bell smoked everyone in the Delta Hillclimb, and I was like `who the hell is this guy?’ We all know him now,” Wohlberg said of the Canadian Olympian, who also won the Tour de Delta Road Race just last year. “Any rider who does well in a BC Superweek field warrants a serious look.”
Wohlberg, who never really stopped riding or racing even while still doing some consulting work with Kelly Benefits, will get an up-close and personal look when he comes back with another young rider from Form Fitness, a small Northern California-based team made up mostly of Masters riders like himself, but with some younger Cat 1, 2, and 3 riders as well.
“I’m not 100 per cent racing. I haven’t trained quite as hard as I’d like to, but I’m still going to give it a go and try to be factor in some of the races up there,” Wohlberg said. “I’m looking forward to Tour de Delta and the UBC and Burnaby Crits. I’m not 100 per cent confident about that Road Race in White Rock – that thing is so, so hard – but I’ve got good hopes coming up to BC Superweek so you never know.”
With Wohlberg, the rest of the cyclists will know to watch out, even at age 46.
BC Superweek starts with three races at the Tour de Delta from July 8 to 10. Racing continues with the inaugural UBC Grand Prix on Tuesday, July 12, and the return of the Giro di Burnaby on Thursday, July 14, before wrapping up with three more races at the historic Tour de White Rock from July 15 through 17.
For more information on BC Superweek and the schedule, please check out the new website at www.bcsuperweek.ca, and to arrange photos of, and interviews with, the cyclists as they are announced, please contact Kevin Woodley at 604-828-5842.