Parker Swanstrom practices at the Westshore Velodrome at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood. Swanstrom is one of many riders who will be participating in the B.C. Provincial Track Championships Aug. 17 to 19. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Cyclist seeks redemption at provincial cycling championship

Juan de Fuca hosts B.C. Provincial Track Championships take place Aug. 17 to 19

Parker Swanstrom is looking for redemption.

And he’s hoping to find it at the B.C. Provincial Track Championships at the Westshore Velodrome at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood this month.

Hosted by the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association for the second year in a row, the championships bring together riders from across the province to compete in junior all the way up to elite men’s and women’s categories.

For Swanstrom, who also does cyclocross and mountain biking, the three-day race is a chance to show off his chops on the track – something he wasn’t able to do last year.

While mountain biking in Whistler last August, just weeks before the championships, Swanstrom admits he was riding outside of his ability on double back diamond runs when he ended up crashing. He fractured his thumb and upper arm, and suffered a moderate to severe concussion.

RELATED: Westshore Velodrome facility thriving in Colwood

Swanstrom said the incident has since deterred him from mountain biking, but he was still itching to get back on his track bike.

“This season I’m trying to get redemption. I was really mad about that [missing provincials],” Swanstrom said.

For the last few months, Swanstrom has been going to track sessions, practicing at least four times a week, and getting up to speed to compete in the U17 category.

“I’m hoping to be in the front of the pack for sure,” he said.

“I like the speed of it. When you’re on the road cycling, there’s cars and traffic, but on the track you can just go and ride. It’s a lot of fun. If you’re not enjoying it, then there’s really no point.”

This year, Swanstrom is one of dozens of riders, including roughly 60 from the local velodrome association, expected to compete from the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and around the Island.

RELATED: B.C. track cycling championships come to Colwood

Tony Winter, president of the velodrome association, said there will be lots to see on the track all weekend long.

“For the juniors, I hope they have a lot of fun and get some great experience from it. For elite men and women, I hope they get some great racing, good competition, and are able to fulfill their goals for the year,” he said.

“For spectators, it’s a great form of cycling. Most cycling events you don’t get to witness the whole race from a single vantage point. Track cycling is fantastic for that. The other thing is there’s lots of races happening, a lot of variety and lots of entertainment.”

The B.C. Provincial Track Championships take place at the velodrome Aug. 17 to 19. For more information visit gvvc.bc.ca.


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kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

 

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