The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has sent out a reminder to the Canadian sport community that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 2020 Prohibited List came into effect January 1, 2020. See their media release here. 

PCC’s third off-season camp is set to go from January 30 – February 2. Based in Victoria, BC, the focus will be on building endurance and fitness in a vibrant, stimulating group training setting. The camp will identify athlete training targets for the 2020 season and the long rides will boost  aerobic capacity for cycling disciplines such as road, track, MTB and triathlon.

The four-day camp is led by PCC Head Coach Houshang Amiri, with daily rides from four-five hours in duration. The rides will include hill climbs and a time trial with a focus on technique and sharpening cycling skills. The camp will also include two training presentations.

All level of riders are welcomed from different cycling disciplines. Depending on the size of the camp riders will be divided into groups according to their level and ability.

Cost for the camp is $495 + GST. The deadline to apply is January 25.

Information and Registration Details 

Photo: Tour of the Gila

Pacific Cycling Centre coached athlete Alex Amiri will be racing for Team California in 2020, a Domestic Elite Cycling Team based in Northern California. Amiri rode with them for a short time earlier this year taking a podium spot at the Cascade Classic and riding in the Tour of Gila.

Team California races at the highest level in UCI and Pro Road Tour events. “Alex has a lot of experience on the road. He took a major step forward this year and matured as a rider. His aggressive racing nature found him in positions to win races and I think that next year he will have some breakout rides,” said Team Director Karl Carlsen.

Amiri is looking forward to the coming year: “It was a pleasure to ride for Team California this year. After strong rides with the guys at both Cascades Classic and Tour of the Gila, I’m super excited for what’s to come this next year.”

Team California focuses on U23 and U25 riders. Managing director AJ Kennedy realized the need for a transition program for young riders leaving the junior ranks and moving up to the elite level. From 2013 he created an initial squad and built a core group of riders that became the foundation for adding young talent. From 2014 through 2016, a number of riders were added to the roster with the goal of reaching the highest level – the Pro Road Tour and UCI invitation races. In 2017 the team became Team California with a focus on continuing to build the program.

“I believe it’s important for young riders to develop strong relationships and respect for each other,” said Kennedy. “I have learned that for these young adults, building friendships within the team structure helps give the riders a focus. When a rider has focus, they are much more apt to learn about responsibility, accountability and commitment.”

“Team California has a good platform and will provide opportunities for the riders to race and grow,” said PCC Head Coach, Houshang Amiri. “I believe the team will have more success and become a presence on the North America racing scene in 2020.”

PCC credit

PCC credit

Pacific Cycling Centre’s second camp of 2019-2020 took place last weekend under cool but sunny temperatures in Victoria. The four-day camp kicked off on Thursday November 28 with a 100km loop through Saanich and Sydney, which included a loop of Lands End. This first ride was set at a steady pace, keeping in mind that the rest of the camp would have some timed testing and off-season maintenance intervals as they hadn’t been in training zones since the racing season.

Day two saw the riders tackling another endurance focused ride in the hills around the Metchosin area – host to the BC and Masters Nationals Road Race course – before taking on the winding roads around Prospect Lake to the airport. Everyone kept a steady pace on the challenging terrain ensuring the riders kept warm in the cold November weather.

On Friday evening the riders were treated to a special guest appearance from Olympian and former professional rider Erinne Willock. Erinne gave an in depth run down of her career and experiences sharing many helpful tips on nutrition and race preparation.

Saturday was another endurance ride with a mid-ride team time trial to reintroduce everyone to some sub-race paced riding. This allowed Head Coach Houshang Amiri to analyze and set some benchmarks for the season to come. Included in the warm up were some pedaling technique drills up Observatory Hill, which included a stop at the top to fuel up and practice some of the tips given in the previous night’s seminar.

The last day of camp was a long one with some riders feeling the effect of the accumulated hours in unusually colder temperatures. As there was light snowfall on the Malahat north of Victoria, the plan was adjusted to a flatter terrain. Riders were tested again along the road up to the Saanich Observatory, including four repeats up the hill. They were later pared into small groups of similar ability to race around Lands End. There was a surprise detour near the end of the ride at around four and half hours in, where the riders were tested by the steep inclines of Dean Park Road. Coach Houshang wanted to throw that one into the mix before the winter snowfall cuts the road off for the rest of the winter.

“This was a great camp which brought everyone together for some good riding and to share knowledge and experience,” said Houshang. “The provided an opportunity for younger and upcoming riders to train and learn from PCC’s elite riders.”

The next clinic will take place from January 30 – February 2, 2020.

PCC photo

PCC photo

Pacific Cycling Center kicked off the 2019-20 season with its first training camp from October 25-27.

The camp started with a two-hour presentation by Coach Houshang Amiri on Friday Oct 25th focusing on planning and nutrition. “In past few weeks we have been reviewing the last season and identifying opportunities for growth and development,” said Amiri. “We also completed a performance audit and so this presentation was a great start as we prepare our athletes for the upcoming season.”

The Victoria weather was perfect on the weekend for the group rides with sun and a temperature of 12c.  Each ride was about 4 hours and included some basic climbing techniques with a focus on bike strength.

PCC coached athlete Amiel Flett-Brown won a bronze medal at the National Track Cycling Championships last month at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ontario. Riding for Cycling BC, the team led by coach Houshang Amiri performed well at the championships.

This year the quality and speed of the racing was world class since the entire Canadian men’s Olympic pool was racing, and while inspiring to see this level of Canadian riders, this made it a challenge for those who were not part of the program.

“Competing at this level of racing requires a high level of preparation – mentally and physically – and a certain amount of self-confidence and Amiel was up to the task,” said coach Amiri.

Amiel prepared well for the Track Nationals, starting after BC Super Week in mid-July, training at the Harry Jerome Sports Centre in Burnaby while also managing his work.

“He focused well and approached every single training session very seriously following his training program in detail, resulting in an impressive performance in the Men’s Omnium,” added Amiri. “It was exciting and very motivating for me to work and coach Amiel, and I knew he would deliver when he needed to.”

“Receiving a bronze medal at the National Championships was a humbling experience and exceeded my expectations,” Amiel said. “I had worked intently with my coach Houshang over a 12-month period of focused work. He had mapped out my training and season meticulously and prepared me to be on the podium. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results in such a deep field, coming in to an Olympic year.”

The other notable podium performances at the track nationals was in the Men’s Madison where Cycling BC team achieved a second place finish.


Holly Simonson (centre) won seven medals at the Championships. PCC Photo.

Holly Simonson (centre) won seven medals at the Championships. PCC Photo.

PCC athletes had a successful BC Track Championship last weekend in Victoria – over 40 podium finishes were recorded by nine athletes. Holly Simonson came away with seven medals – three gold, two silver and two bronze. Parker Swanstrom was the golden boy with six gold medals.

Coming off a successful win in the Keirin at the NW Track Championships the week before, Parker won the U17 titles in the Omnium, Kieran, Matched Sprint, Team Pursuit, Team Sprint and in the Youth Madison.

Amiel Flett-Brown also came away with six medals including three gold (Team Pursuit, Keirin and Omnium). Zoe Zaccio won five medals – gold in the Omnium and Individual Pursuit, silver in the Match Sprint and Bronze in the Keirin and 500m TT. The TT gave her second place in the BC Championships. Colin Fowlow won four medals (gold in the Team Sprint and Team Pursuit, silver in the Kilo and bronze in the Keirin). Brenna Pauly also achieved four medals – gold in the Team Pursuit, silver in the Team Sprint and Keirin, and bronze in the Omnium. Micaiah Besler came away with silver in the Omnium and Individual Pursuit and bronze in the Match Sprint and Team Sprint. Caleb Bender won the U19 Individual Pursuit and was first in the Team Pursuit and won silver in the Team Sprint. Chris MacLeod also won a gold and silver medal.

“There was great racing at the BC championships last weekend, I was happy with all of the athlete’s efforts and hard work,” said head coach Houshang Amiri. “The results are a clear indication of this. Now we will move towards a new level of performance goals.”


Photo: PCC

Photo: PCC

PCC athlete Parker Swanstrom competed in the Fred C. Rehberger Memorial 2019 Northwest Track Championship from August 16-18. Held at the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome at Marymoor Park in Redmond WA, the U17 athlete won the Keirin.

“There was a considerable amount of time before the bike pulled off at this track and so I moved to the very back and conserved my energy,” Parker recalls. “Eventually in the last lap with 200m to go I used my extra energy to take off and sit on the leader’s wheel, where I came around in the last straight and took it at the line.”

“Overall there were some good moments and experience with this result and as a Canadian U17 it was something I hadn’t been yet been exposed to.. With the help of Houshang’s coaching at Pacific Cycling Centre I was able to adapt quickly and I was happy I went and am looking forward to returning next year,” he added.

“At 16 Parker is part of Pacific Cycling Centre’s talent development program. He is a very motivated and hardworking young athlete and I see a good future for him in the sport,” said coach Houshang Amiri.

Parker will be racing this weekend at the BC Provincial Championships in the Westshore Velodrome in Colwood.

PCC coached athletes Micaiah Besler and Caleb Bender competed in the Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current, Saskatchewan from August 9 – 18 and came away with some notable podium performances.

With six provinces and territories participating including Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, there was stiff competition in the cycling races which consisted of a time trial, road race and a mountain bike race.

With both Micaiah and Caleb coming from Saskatchewan they wanted to do well and they didn’t disappoint. Micaiah placed third in the TT and Caleb second. “I had an amazing TT, with good legs and an even better mindset. I started out way harder than I intended but was able to maintain that power and speed throughout and pushed myself further than I ever had in a TT to get a silver,” Caleb said.

Caleb then took another silver in the road race. Micaiah had a great road race also placing second, but it had its frustrating moments she recalls. “The race ended up being quite slow preventing any sort of reasonable pace from being set, but there were however, plenty of attacks throughout the whole 80km. I was quite often in a small group of riders off the front trying to break away. Eventually at about 15km to go there were a series of attacks one after each other that kept the pace quite high which led to the field being spread out. I was in the group of riders behind the winner of the race and I managed to win the bunch sprint from the front to take second place.”

The cross-country mountain bike race the next day was rained out but a short course was set up by the officials as a substitute. “The race was short and hard, but this being my first time ever mountain biking and feeling under the weather, I was very pleased to stay up right the whole time and to come 11th,” said Micaiah. Caleb had a fun experience in the MTB race: “Despite being way out of my wheelhouse on a mountain bike, I had a large enough buffer from the road events to hold onto a silver medal in the GC,” he said.

Both riders enjoyed the experience and competition in the games. “I enjoyed being able to represent Saskatchewan and I was proud to be able to earn the province some medals. Overall, I had a blast at the games and enjoyed being able to meet new people. I am happy to be a part of one of the most successful Saskatchewan cycling teams ever to participate in any Western Canada Summer Games. Of course, none of this would have been possible without my amazing coach Houshang Amiri and the continued support of the Pacific Cycling Center as well as my parents,” Micaiah said.

“It was awesome to represent Saskatchewan well at the event and have some good results to show for it. The games were a great opportunity to test my skills against the best up and coming riders from other provinces, a good learning experience, and a really good motivator for me heading into my upcoming training and races. A huge thanks goes out to Houshang Amiri and Pacific Cycling Centre for the coaching and support. Houshang’s coaching has and will continue to be a huge part of my development as an athlete and a person, and the support of PCC has been vital to my performance and huge improvement this season,” added Caleb.

“We were happy to see Micaiah and Caleb performing well at the WCSG and representing their province,” said Coach Houshang Amiri. “Both relocated to Victoria in 2018 to optimize their training with us at the Pacific Cycling Centre.”

Cycling legends captured by Scott Mitchell of Trek in December 2011.

Cycling legends captured by Scott Mitchell of Trek in December 2011.

Pedal Magazine has made an announcement that it is closing after 30 years in the cycling business. The magazine under editor Benjamin Sadavoy, has been a great proponent of the Canadian cycling scene with its in depth articles, reviews and race news.

The magazine – in print and online – was a great supporter of the Pacific Cycling Centre publishing news of our athletes over the years and promoting our camps. One issue in late 2011 featured a full page photo of coach Houshang Amiri, Svein Tuft, Erinne Willock, Rob Britton, Annie Ewart and Jamie Sparling enjoying a coffee after a camp session in Victoria. Cycling legends captured by Pedal – with help from photographer Scott Mitchell of Trek Bikes.

Thanks Benjamin for your major contribution to Canadian cycling.