Killington Mountain School Cycling athletes Tyler Clark and Vivien Rindisbacher have had successful summers to date, both having been accepted to Canadian National Teams!
Tyler will represent Canada at 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, Australia on September 7th. He was also invited to represent Canada at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in February, and to put it simply, has had an incredible year! That invitation left him with one of the toughest decisions he's had to make in his young career. Tyler has a passion for both cycling and ski racing, and in the interest of pursuing skiing, this winter he chose to strap some boards to his feet and plunged in head first to make the most of his alpine ski season at KMS. The fact that Tyler can do well at both sports is a testament to his athleticism.
As the snow receded in April, Tyler returned to his bike with high hopes for the coming mountain bike season. With only a few days of structured training on the bike, he headed to California, where he raced Fontana City National and Bonelli Park in San Dimas to get his feet wet in some early season MTB Cross-Country (XCO) races.
From there, Tyler jumped on his road bike for a month of training and racing, and very quickly got his cycling legs back. By late April, it was already becoming clear that it was going to be a good year for him. He entered the EPIC 200 km Quabbin Reservoir Road Race in the PRO 1/2/3 field, and made hanging with some of region's strongest riders look relatively effortless.
Moving into late May, a solid month of training and hard work translated to some impressive results when he clipped into the pedals on his mountain bike. Racing against some of the strongest juniors in North America (including most of the USA Junior National Mountain Bike Team), and despite some crashes and flat tires along the way, Tyler took third among UCI XCO Elite Juniors in the Velomotion Canada Cup #2 at Mount Tremblant, fourth at Canada Cup #3 in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec (and first place among Elite Juniors in the UCI Cross-Country Time Trial the next day), third at Canada Cup #4 at Horseshoe Resort Ontario, and at theTrek Store Canada Cup #5, also in Ontario, he took second!
Between Canada Cup mountain bike races and MTB National Championships, Tyler jumped back on his road bike to compete in Canadian Junior Road National Championships, where he finished 26th in the field sprint in the Road race, tenth in the Criterium, and 14th in the Individual Time Trial.
Next was Mountain Bike Cross Country Nationals at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta. Tyler had a good start, running third, just behind second when he went over his bars and lost some time. After fighting back to third and opening a 40 second gap on fourth place, he flatted! Fortunately, that occurred just out side the tech zone where he got a wheel change and was back in the race 30 seconds later. So back on the bike with his lead reduced to 10 seconds over fourth, he ramped back up and extended his gap to 30 seconds again before flatting a second time. Being far from the tech zone this time, he had to fix it himself and dropped two places (to fifth) before getting back on the trail. Undeterred, he was able to fight his way back to fourth place before crossing the finish line in an inspiring display of pure determination and perseverance!
Best of luck to Tyler in the “Land Down Under" Everyone at KMS will be cheering for him!
2017 KMS graduate Vivien Rindisbacher was appointed to the Canadian Junior National Road Team, where he raced as part of Team Canada in the UCI Junior Nations Cup at the Tour de l’Abitibi!
In late June, Vivien headed up to Canada for Junior Road Nationals in Ottawa. In the Road race, he rode aggressively, attacking repeatedly until finally establishing a gap with three laps to go. Recognizing the threat, the peloton worked together to close the gap and bring him back, setting the stage for an exciting sprint finish in which he sprinted to an impressive fifth place finish!
The criterium played out similarly. Though Vivien launched repeated attacks, the peloton wasn’t about to lose sight of the fact that a National Championship was on the line and let someone get away. With the pack keeping everyone reeled in, it was again destined to come down to a field sprint. Approaching the end of the race, eight strong riders --including Vivien-- ramped it up and managed to open a five second gap on the field. In the final sprint, Vivien took the third step on the podium in a solid display of alert and tactical racing.
Vivien’s strong performance at Nationals and history of strong finishes at Canadian road events led to his selection as a member of the Canadian National Junior Road Team!
Vivien’s first race in his new Team Canada kit was at the biggest international stage race for junior boys (17-18) in North America, The Tour de l’Abitibi. The race is held in and around Amos, Quebec (almost halfway to Hudson Bay near the Ontario Border), and is part of the UCI Junior Nation’s Cup.
Unfortunately, Vivien was caught up in a Stage 1 crash that left him with broken ribs. Determined to contribute to the team however, he fought through the pain his ribs were causing and rode the next four stages executing planned tactics to keep his team in contention. Despite his grit and selfless commitment to the team, it was finally the flu that took him out of the race 15k into the sixth and final stage. Though clearly disappointed, Vivien showed strong awareness and tactical prowess in the peloton, displayed a strong ability to attack and mix it up with the strongest international Junior cyclists, and exhibited extraordinary mental and physical toughness with clear dedication and commitment as a team player. He has a great deal to be proud of and a bright future. Everyone here at KMS looks forward to following his progress and wishes him the best in his college years and beyond!
Congratulations to both Tyler and Vivien!