With Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
January 21, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Move over Whistler, mountian biking has a new National home. ECOASIS and Cycling Canada are proud to announce their partnership that will designate Bear Mountain as the Official High Performance Training Centre of the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team.
Bear Mountain Resort will be the new home of the National Mountain Biking Team. On hand for today’s announcement were (L to R): Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau, Max Plaxton, Head Coach Dan Proulx, ECOASIS President Dan Matthews, Haley Smith, Evan Guthrie and Cycling Canada President John Tolkamp (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The announcement was made Wednesday morning at the Westin Bear Mountain with members of the National Mountain Biking team on hand, as well as a number of dignitaries including Sport Victoria’s Hugh MacDonald, Ecooasis Founder and Managing Partner Dan Matthews, Cycling Canada President John Tolkamp, National Mountain Bike Team Head Coach Dan Proulx and Langford Mayor Stew Young.
The Partnership will run from 2015 to 2020 and is perfectly aligned with Cycling Canada’s vision to become a leading cycling nation by 2020 and beyond.
With the recently opened Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, ON and now the Ecoasis Mountain Bike National Cycling Centre opened at Bear Mountain in Victoria, BC, Canada is in a stronger position to achieve its long-term objectives to put Canadian athletes on the podium at Olympic Games and World Championships.
Cycling Canada President John Tolkamp (right) and National Team Mountain Biking Coach Dan Proulx (left) present ECOASIS Founder Dan Matthews with a team jersey (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Throughout the partnership, the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team will participate in various Major Games, including Olympic Games [Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020], Pan American Games [Toronto 2015, Lima 2019] and Commonwealth Games [Gold Coast 2018].
Southern Vancouver Island has attracted the country’s top mountain bike athletes as a home and year-round training ground since the inception of the sport in the 1990’s, including Canada’s first Mountain Bike Olympian (Athens – 1996), and Victoria native, Andreas Hestler. “Southern Vancouver Island has all the ingredients to turn out world-class athletes and has been doing so for many years,” said Hestler in a release. “It is amazing to see facilities developed to support athletes and of equal importance to engage the local community in encouraging a healthy lifestyle. I am excited to see the long term legacy that this forward thinking can deliver – this is a win-win for everyone!”
National Team members Haley Smith (left) and Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau are thrilled at the prospect of training here in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Other notable athletes who have lived and trained in Victoria include Roland Green (World Champion 2001, 2002), Alison Sydor (World Champion 1994, 1995, 1996) and Catherine Pendrel (World Champion 2011, 2014) among others.
Two-time XC MTB World Champion Catherine Pendrel is excited about the opportunity to train in Canada. “Canada has been a dominant nation in cross-country mountain biking since World Cup racing began in the early 90’s. Riders naturally gravitated to the year round temperate climate and amazing trail and road riding network in Victoria. Having a training centre in Victoria will be an incredible resource to develop our national team riders and to continue producing the best riders in the world. I am really excited by this partnership between Bear Mountain and Cycling Canada MTB and look forward to spending more time on the island.”
Langford Mayor Stew Young (left) was pleased to be on hand at Bear Mountain Wednesday to welcome the National Mountain Biking team to their new National Training Centre (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Canadian Mountain Bike Head Coach and Victoria resident Dan Proulx sees great opportunities for the National Mountain Bike Team going forward with the new Training Centre at Bear Mountain. “Bear Mountain will provide the National Team with a great opportunity to build a year-round high-performance centre that supports Canada’s future champions.” Proulx added “the weather, technical terrain and daily training environment in this region will help our riders fully prepare for international competition. The National Mountain Bike team has a strong history here. Many of the best Canadian mountain bikers have perfected their skills and fitness on these trails.”
John Tolkamp, President Cycling Canada, speaks during Wednesday’s announcement (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
ECOASIS President and CEO, Dan Matthews is equally excited about the partnership. “Bear Mountain Resort is very pleased to support and welcome Canada’s mountain bike athletes, many of whom have deep roots in the trails around our beautiful resort community. Acting as a catalyst for world-class sport development is a priority for us at Bear Mountain, and we are excited and proud to be an important anchor for Cycling Canada’s mountain biking program. Along with the development of the trails necessary for the Canadian team athletes, we are working with our local partner organizations to introduce trail systems for mountain bikers of all skill levels to enjoy. Mountain biking is a strong complement to our commitment to golf and tennis and its versatility fits in well with the expansive healthy lifestyle opportunities and amenities that will further distinguish our community.”
Dan Matthews, Ecoasis Founder Dan Matthews: “We are proud to be an important anchor for Canada’s National Mountain Biking program.” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The CEO of Cycling Canada, Greg Mathieu is appreciative of the support being provided to the national program and noted: “Thanks to ECOASIS, our riders will get to experience the challenging trails on southern Vancouver Island and considerable support available at Bear Mountain Resort. This partnership will enhance our national program and provide for a daily training environment that is essential to the development of Canada’s top mountain bikers.”
The first of the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team’s Spring Training Camps with take place at Bear Mountain this February 23- March 8. There will be opportunities to meet the athletes and coaches at Westin Bear Mountain on the final weekend of the Camp. Further details will be announced.
ABOUT CYCLING CANADA
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, the Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events, and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cyclingcanada.ca
About Bear Mountain Resort
Situated in the foothills of Mount Finlayson with breathtaking views of Victoria’s seaside harbour, Bear Mountain Resort offers the best of both worlds: an idyllic 836 acre natural setting located only minutes from the allure of the province’s charming capital city. In a spot that only nature could have conceived, Bear Mountain Resort is a rugged and verdant mountainside landscape with vistas of the Olympic Mountain Range, the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The resort features two world-renowned Nicklaus Design golf courses and at the heart of the village, a Westin hotel. Countless visitors have been drawn to Bear Mountain for its superlative golf only to discover the resort’s equally stellar accommodations, residential offerings, dining venues and recreational opportunities. www.bearmountain.ca
Ecoasis specializes in land acquisition and development of residential and resort real estate; signature properties that we enhance for the benefit of stakeholders and the surrounding communities. Our current geographical focus includes Hawaii, Whistler, and Victoria, BC. By partnering our talented team with the most experienced architects, engineering firms, construction companies, and consultants, we create high quality, sustainable communities that provide lasting value. www.ecoasis.com