For the KMS cycling team, the cyclocross season is beginning to wind down with various championship races on the horizon. One athlete, Hugo Brisebois, has found himself in a truly unique situation. Hugo, a 10th grader, has decided to divide his time between two sports: cycling and alpine skiing. The Canadian raced cyclocross from September until early November, placing 6th at the Canadian Junior (U19) National Cyclocross Championships. Promptly after, he flew to Europe to join his alpine teammates for a ski camp. In the meantime, Hugo's results earned him an official invitation to represent Canada at the upcoming Cyclocross World Championships this February, 2020. We caught up with this multi-talented athlete to learn more about what this means for him, and what his experience at KMS has been like so far.
KMS: We are thrilled to hear the news that you've been asked to compete for your country at a World Championship event. With your ski season already underway, what will you decide to do and what will factor into this decision?
Hugo: I started this school year with the plan to stop racing cyclocross after Canadian Nationals and then to focus on a full ski season. So when I got the news about Cyclocross Worlds, it was exciting but I knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn’t be possible for me to do this year. Both sports are equally as important to me, and I pursue them both seriously, so this is a tricky situation but this winter, I’m fully committed to skiing.
KMS: Tell us a little bit more about how you got to this point. What was your preparation for the cyclocross season, and how did the races go since September? Highlights or surprises?
Hugo: I spent the summer mountain biking and weight lifting, training harder than in previous summers. Coming into the cyclocross season, the technical skills from mountain biking definitely paid off, and my overall fitness improved a lot. Overall, my cyclocross season went well, and I’m happy with how I performed in my first year in the junior racing category. I got to race against the best juniors in North America, and I’m motivated to keep improving.
KMS: What is it like to balance all of the above with your ski conditioning? How do you handle the preparation and competition for two sports simultaneously?
Hugo: I try to combine ski conditioning and training on the bike in the best way possible. I try to lift on the same days as I bike, making sure I get some rest on my easy days. I have to skip some workouts for both sports, but in general I just try to find a balance between the two. I think both forms of training, even though they are very different, compliment each other in the end. The strength training helps my cycling power, and the endurance helps my skiing.
KMS: What are a few of the advantages to being at a school that can support your athletic goals in two very different sports, as well as your academics?
Hugo: There are a lot of people at KMS supporting me and my schedule, and helping me get to where I want to go. The school’s facilities make it easy for me because everything is right here: They gym, the spin room for my indoor cycling, mountain bike trails, and all the surrounding terrain. And everything is integrated so well with academics that I really feel like I can have the best of both worlds and train and study efficiently.
KMS: What are you looking forward to with your ski racing, and what happens when the ski season is over?
Hugo: I’m really looking forward to working with new coaches and getting access to all the great terrain at Killington Mountain. I’ll get to travel to a lot of new places, race at new ski areas, and also make it back to Canada for some racing as well. I’ll end my ski season just a bit earlier than normal to switch back to cycling. I hope to be ready for the early mountain bike races in April.
KMS: Thanks Hugo! We look forward to following your pursuits the rest of the school year.