Tag Archive for: Houshang Amiri

Houshang with Erinne Willock at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. PCC photo.

PCC Head Coach has been featured on Fast Talk Laboratories latest podcast. Fast Talk is hosted by Trevor Connor, who Houshang coached at Victoria’s National Cycling Centre. He discusses Gran Fondo pacing, how steady state riders can build anaerobic power, training juniors, and how to pace 5×5 interval workouts. Listen to it here:

Q & A with Houshang Amiri

Pacific Cycling Centre recently completed a successful training / education U23 road endurance base camp with one day sessions held on three consecutive weekends – February 26, March 6, and 12.

The camp was a pilot project with the objective of introducing elite level programming coaching services to U23 athletes, while exploring opportunities on how to work with local organizations within the community.

This camp was fully funded by 94 Forward with Tripleshot Cycling handling the administration and inviting riders to the camp.

The day-to-day management, training, and programs were led and delivered by Houshang Amiri, Pacific Cycling Centre Head Coach, assisted by Olympian Peter Disera 

Nine riders attended the camp, which created an opportunity and knowledge base for U23 cyclists with goals of attaining national team status. Participants were provided with basic tools which were utilized with the objective of improving their overall performance.

Key road cycling race skills were covered including climbing, individual time trial, team time trial, pace line technique, and sprinting and sprint lead out. These skills were explained and practised during the road training (practical) sessions. The sessions were fully supported with nutrition supplied by Gruppo Nutrition.

The riders met at Commonwealth Pool in Victoria, the home of 94 Forward and Pacific Cycling Centre. A three-four-hour training ride was preceded by a short presentation and then followed by lunch at Kattia’s Kitchen Café at Saanich Commonwealth Place.

In the afternoon there was a training, endurance knowledge presentation by Houshang Amiri, including guest speakers Olympians Peter Disera, Jay Lamoureux and John McMillan President of 94 Forward.

“This was a great opportunity for the athletes not only to experience an elite level of coaching, but also to collaborate with community organizations, “says, Houshang Amiri.

Pacific Cycling Centre (PCC) was established in 2009 after the disestablishment of the National Cycling Centre (1998-2009), which was a legacy of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games. PCC offers many elite, performance-based programs as well as development and training camps working in and for our community. We work Canada-wide assisting with coach education / athlete development, and since 2010 have introduced an online coaching system working globally with athletes. We have advanced many athletes to National and professional teams many of whom now work as community leaders and coaches.

Photo by Jay Wallace

Tripleshot Cycling in partnership with 94Forward invite applications from U23 / development level road riders to attend a three-session coached clinic focused on developing road skills and fitness in advance of the upcoming road season. The clinic days are part of a pilot project for services and programs for u23 / development level riders aiming for national teams. The sessions will be held in the Victoria area.

Dates: February 26, March 5 & March 12 (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM). There will be morning and afternoon sessions on road skills and presentations. Lunch is included.

In addition to great coaching from former National Team coach Houshang Amiri and Pete Disera, Olympian, each selected athlete will receive a $500 honorarium from 94Forward.

Up to 5 male and 5 female developmental athletes may be selected.

How to Apply: Apply by sending a cover letter (email) setting out how such a clinic could assist you with your 2022 goals and confirming that your current coach and/or club is supportive of your attendance. Please note that in light of the current public health emergency only fully vaccinated athletes will be able to participate.

Applications will be accepted by email to development.tripleshot@gmail.com until 4:00 PM on Friday, February 18th.

Selected athletes will be notified by email and by notice published on the Tripleshot website.


Pacific Cycling Centre (PCC) is excited to announce that new applications are now being accepted for online and Victoria based athletes for the new cycling season in the Pacific Cycling Centre coaching program and support system.

Despite COVID-19, last season was a success for PCC coached athletes, many achieving high-end personal bests resulting in podium performances, and signed contracts with trade and professional teams.

The new 2021-2022 program will identify a group of athletes who are committed to hard work, and who are willing to develop their potential to progress to the next level and eventually to elite status through PCC’s training system.

“Our goal at PCC is to create a stress free and balanced environment where athletes can enjoy riding as they learn all the necessary skills both on and off the bike while improving their fitness,” said PCC Head Coach, Houshang Amiri.  “Our high-performance training program will challenge our athletes and create an opportunity for them to learn and progress in a group setting which will stimulate them to improve. This creates a very exciting opportunity for the next generation of upcoming cyclists.”

The athletes training will be based on Cycling Canada’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model at the Train-to-Train, Train-to-Compete, Learn-To-Win and Train-To-Win levels.  Athletes from road, track and mountain bike will be accepted into the program, and will have access to the highest quality professional coaching and training in a peer group setting, training camps, regular physiological testing, mentorship opportunities with Olympians and pros

PCC is following the guidelines on COVOD-19 as outlined by the BC Provincial Health Office, ViaSport and Cycling BC.

Interested athletes can send a race CV and cover letter to info@pacificcyclingcentre.ca

PCC Camps are back! Registration is now open for the Base Endurance Camp – the first camp of the 2021-2022 season. Dates are December 2 – 5, 2021.

Information and Registration

Junior bronze medalist Luke Hubner (right). Photo courtesy Canadian Cyclist

PCC coached athletes took part in the Canadian Road National Championships in Saint-Georges, Quebec from September 10-12th.

For many athletes this was the first time they had competed in a provincial or national race in two years because of COVID. This proved to be a great chance to race with some pros who came back from Europe to race.

In the Junior road race Luke Hubner took the bronze medal – the first of three podium finishes for BC riders.

“This was a great learning experience for Luke, and it was a chance to race with riders from all over Canada,” said PCC head coach Houshang Amiri.

In the women’s elite race Holly Henry was in lead group but in a key moment of the race she suffered a mechanical issue shifting gears and had to abandon the race. Holly Simonson and Brenna Pauly finished in the middle of the pack.

 

 

Photo courtesy Drew Coleman

PCC’s Holly Henry has just returned from Europe where she has been competing with her team, InstaFund.

Holly signed with InstaFund Racing early in the season competing in early July in the Boise Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho. She then went on to race in the Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago. This was a series of nine criteriums from July 16 to 25th which proved a great race experience for her.

In early August Holly based herself in Boulder, Colorado in preparation for the Joe Martin stage UCI America Tour, Category 2 race taking place in Fayetteville, Arkansas from August 26-29th. “This was the first UCI race for Holly giving her valuable experience in a competitive environment,” said PCC Head Coach Houshang Amiri.

The day after the Joe Martin Tour Holly then traveled to Spain for the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta taking place from September 2-5th. This was the first race where the best in world, top pro teams and world champions were present. “Holly was competitive during this stage and pulled a very good performance considering there was no rest between two stage races, she had done a lot of traveling and there were COVID restrictions to follow,” said Amiri.

Stage 4 and final GC results

Holly has arrived back in Canada and is preparing to race at the Canadian Road Nationals from September 10-12th.

“This was a tight schedule for Holly and her team, however given COVID circumstances and the limited access to racing there were some great opportunities,” added Amiri. “I knew Holly was ready for these races and when there is an opportunity to compete she will always do well.”

With so many races cancelled in 2020 and this year, some up and coming athletes were affected. “Racing is an important part of an athlete’s development and competing can provide invaluable experience and can often be a bridge to moving up to the next level,” said Amiri.

 

The 2021 BC Road Provincial Championships. Photo by TLBVelo Photography

Despite a disrupted race season PCC athlete Brenna Pauly has been busy occupying her time from adventure riding to road racing. 

Just like last year 2021 has been another unconventional year for bike racing. The theme of adaptability has come up on numerous occasions. I think it is an important lesson that can be taken away from this year both on and off the bike. While I thought I had already learnt that lesson, I was proved that I needed a little reminder.

The first part of the 2021 season started off like 2020. Cancelled bike races and ever-changing public health restrictions left lots of time to train and adventure by bike. I took to the gravel roads and continued to explore my own backyard. It amazes me that there are still many new routes to explore. With the anticipated return or racing in July, I undertook one last adventure for a little while. The second edition of the summer solstice ride. A gravel loop starting and ending in Victoria and heading west towards Jordan River, up to Lake Cowichan and back. Riding from dawn until dark on gravel roads the day went flawlessly. So smoothly that upon returning to Victoria with just over 300km on the odometer we decided to continue on to complete 320km (200 miles).

Brenna (left) with her Red Truck team at the provincials. Photo by TLBVelo Photography.

I then switched my focus to racing. Starting off small with local VCL races and building to the provincial championships and Tour de Concord over the last few weeks. While it has been so positive seeing teammates and friends and racing again, the path has been a little bumpy. Just when I thought I was gaining momentum race dates changed and got cancelled. It was frustrating at first to feel like we were going backwards again, but with Houshang’s help and a bike packing trip to remind me to just have fun riding, I am back on track. I am currently preparing for the National Road and Time trial championships in Quebec from September 10-12th. I am looking forward to putting all the training to use, and racing against some of the best in the country!

 

On the podium at the Mill Bay Road Race – Alex Amiri, Alexander Fraser-Maraun and Luke Hubner

After 17 months away from racing PCC athletes are back racing. They pinned on their numbers on Wednesday, July 14th, at the Victoria Cycling League’s first road race, Newton Heights. Alex Amiri took the win in the men’s A category, while Luke Hubner (junior) and Keisha Besler had podium finishes in the B men’s and women’s races.

On Sunday, July 18th, the athletes travelled to Vancouver to race Jeremy’s Roubaix, where Chris Macleod finished 4th in the elite men’s field, and Holly Simonson finished 2nd in the elite woman’s race. Back on Vancouver Island the Victoria Cycling League hosted its second race, the Cherry Point Road Race, just north of Victoria where Alex Amiri, Luke Hubner, Keisha Besler had podium finishes in their respective categories after a hard-fought race.

Most recently on July 23rd, 24th, and 25th, the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association hosted Track Fest #1, where Luke Hubner and Caleb Bender podium finished in the A Category. Brenna Pauly, Holly Simonson, and Micaiah Besler had strong showings in the A categories, racing in mixed fields with the men, resulting in Micaiah winning the Points race.  PCC U18 rider Parker Swanstrom also rode well in the A Category field. Keisha finished her first track race in 2nd place in a mixed (men and women) B Category Omnium.

Women’s podium at the Mill Bay Road Race – Keisha Besler, Isla Walker and Holly Simonson

The Victoria Cycling League hosted their third and fourth races of the season with the Windsor Park Criterium on July 24th and the Mill Bay Road Race on July 25th. With PCC athletes competing at Track Fest on the 24th only Chris Macleod attended the Windsor Park Criterium supporting his Trek Red Truck team mate to third place. The Following day PCC athletes came out in force to the Mill Bay Road Race. Alex,  Luke, Keisha, and Holly podium finished in their category after another hard road race, with Luke finishing third in the A category.

While the local races were happening, two PCC athletes Holly Henry and Zoe Saccio were racing in Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago from July 16 – 25.

The rest of the Victoria Cycling League calendar and host clubs is as follows:

Tuesday, July 27 – Speedway – Tripleshot

Wednesday, July 28 -Newton Heights – Wheelers

Wednesday, August 11 – Newton Heights – Wheelers / Maybe Caleb

Tuesday, August 17 – Speedway – Tripleshot

Sunday, August 22 – Metchosin RR – VBC

Wednesday, August 25 – North Saanich – Wheelers (new course)

Sunday, August 29 – Windsor Park – OBB/Wheelers

Tuesday, August 31 – Speedway – Tripleshot

Also on Tuesdays are the weekly Time Trials hosted by the Sidney Velo Cycling Club.

“All PCC athletes are excited racing has started again and look forward to gaining their race fitness and skills that have been so dearly missed over the last year and a half,” said PCC Head Coach, Houshang Amiri.

The Cycling BC Provincial Championships will be back this year after having to cancel in 2020. Up first are the road championships in the Frazer Valley on August 7th and 8th.

Pacific Cycling Centre (PCC) is excited to announce that it is now offering a PCC Coach Mentorship Program to coaches. This program is aimed to assist the development and the personal and professional growth of a mentee coach who wants to take his/her knowledge and skill to the next level.

Through the program coaches will gain practical work and advice, learn from the experience of a mentor, increase their coaching confidence and ability in a real working dynamic environment, be empowered to make appropriate decisions, and establish a sense of direction for themselves and their athletes moving forward.

“While classroom and / or online coaching courses are important academically, nothing can replace working with a coach mentor who can equip you with the important tools necessary to perform to your highest capability,” says PCC Head Coach Houshang Amiri who will lead the program. “Our goal is to identify and achieve career development and personal and professional growth goals with the view to make you a successful coach.”

The program will create opportunities to meet and work with athletes giving coaches hands-on experience with PCC programs. Coaches will learn and gain inside knowledge of working in an organizational setting, as well as running their own coaching business.

The PCC Coach Mentorship Program will cover and is not limited to the following:

  • Coaching art, confidence building, decision making
  • Coaching science and technology, latest tools, and gauges
  • Communications, protocol development, program, training feedback, log keeping
  • Training program development, individual and group
  • Developing athletes’ assessment protocols, in-field, and laboratory
  • Goal setting session
  • Developing short term, mid and long term goals: individual and group
  • Training program monitoring: individual and group
  • Planning and running a training session, pre, during and post session communication
  • Race preparation, coaching at races
  • Observing your mentor coaching at training sessions, training camps and races
  • Engaging with existing training sessions and programs at PCC
  • Engaging with your mentor’s athlete coaching programs (confidentiality clause will apply)
  • Creating your own coaching business or working in an organization setting

These elements of the program will be personalized and adapted to the coach’s needs, working with the mentor in a variety of ways such as one-on-one consultation, two-way communications, in person, online and by phone.

Amiri has extensive experience as an educator and mentor. He was coach educator and instructor for Level 1, 2 and 3 NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) as well as being a Coach Certifier for NCCP Level 3 coach candidates at Cycling Canada for over 10 years.  He became a coach mentor at the National Coaching Institute in the University of Victoria mentoring level 4 and 5 NCCP coach candidates, as well as international coaches at NCI from 2004-2008. From 2009 he worked as Coach educator at UCI and international Olympic Solidarity program, traveling around the world running coaching course for coaches.

For more information on the PCC mentorship program contact info@pacificcyclingcentre.ca