Cycling Canada Hall of Fame

Six More Le­gends are In­ducted in 2016

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front - BY JACK CRACKER

On Oct. 1-2, Canada's Who's Who of cycling gath­ered at the Mat­tamy Na­tional Cycling Cen­tre in Mil­ton, Ont. for some su­perb racing and the sec­ond an­nual Cycling Canada Hall of Fame in­duc­tions. The of­fi­cial plaque un­veil­ing held on Oct. 1 was fol­lowed by the Ride with Le­gends p/b Lexus and a fab­u­lous lun­cheon in­duc­tion cer­e­mony on Oct. 2.

The hon­oured class of 2016 Hall of Fame in­ductees en­ter­ing the Hall of Fame in­cluded Alex Stieda, Gord Fraser, Marie-Hélène Pré­mont and Brian Wal­ton in the Ath­lete cat­e­gory, Louise Lalonde in the Builder cat­e­gory and Canada's 1908 men's Team Pur­suit squad as Ear­lier Era Ath­letes.

The of­fi­cial plaque un­veil­ing was held dur­ing a break in the ac­tion at the Mil­ton In­ter­na­tional Chal­lenge. Fraser, Lalonde, Stieda and Wal­ton were all smiles for the cam­eras when the ban­ner was re­vealed dis­play­ing their legacy to the sport. The in­ductees joined guests and sup­port­ers for a VIP cock­tail on the velo­drome in­field as the fi­nal ses­sion of racing be­gan.

We were stoked to see a very proud Joan Fraser (Gord's mother) in the crowd, who re­marked that she's “still get­ting Pedal Magazine.”

The next day, morn­ing sun­shine greeted 100 fans who con­verged at the Cross­winds Golf and Coun­try Club in Burling­ton, Ont. for the in­au­gu­ral Ride with Le­gends p/b Lexus event de­spite an early-morn­ing driz­zle that soon yielded to beau­ti­ful sun­shine.

Cycling stars from across Canada suited up to join new in­ductees Fraser, Stieda and Wal­ton and other Hall of Fame lu­mi­nar­ies such as Steve Bauer, Curt Har­nett and Gord Sin­gle­ton, along with Rio Olympic track stars Kirsti Lay, Kate O'Brien and Hugo Bar­rette. Later on, we got a close-up peek at Lay's Team Pur­suit bronze medal from the Rio Sum­mer Games.

Har­nett held court at the ride's quick send­off then guests rubbed shoul­ders with the stars on the 50-kilo­me­tre or 70-kilo­me­tre routes on a su­perb fall-morn­ing jaunt through the re­gion's fab­u­lous trails, com­plete with Lexus sup­port ve­hi­cles on hand.

Un­der bright sun­shine, we cy­cled past a few golfers, as the weather gods de­liv­ered a near-per­fect day. Later, how­ever, to keep us all hon­est, Mother Na­ture un­leashed dark clouds and a se­vere down­pour at the end of the ride that spared no one.

Af­ter a quick shower post-ride, guests were soon clink­ing glasses and shar­ing sto­ries, new and old. As ev­ery­one took their seats, em­cee Randy Ferguson got things un­der­way as the pro­ceed­ings be­gan with a touch­ing trib­ute to Jo­ce­lyn Lovell, a 2015 in­ductee and leg­endary Cana­dian star dur­ing the 1970's and 1980's, who passed away ear­lier this year.

Each of the in­ductees then took the stage to stand­ing ova­tions, as they re­galed guests with sto­ries of their past and the many peo­ple who helped them achieve their goals and dreams along the way. The big­gest laugh went to Lalonde, who be­gan her es­teemed ca­reer as a com­mis­saire af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing her first bike race. “It was amaz­ing to see so many men's legs – I knew I had to come back,” she quipped.

The day ended with clos­ing com­ments by Cycling Canada's pres-

1908 MEN'S TEAM PUR­SUIT

1908 Olympic bronze medal – 4,000-me­tre Team Pur­suit: Wil­liam An­der­son, Wal­ter An­drews, Fred­er­ick McCarthy and Wil­lie Mor­ton. At the Lon­don 1908 Olympic Games, Canada sent a team of 91 ath­letes, of which 16 won medals. The men's Team Pur­suit was 1,980 yards (1,810.5 me­tres), which was three laps of the track. In ad­di­tion to the men's Team Pur­suit, the four com­bined for an ad­di­tional 22-event en­tries at those Games.

GORD FRASER

Gord Fraser was a three-time Olympian and five-time Commonwealth Games com­peti­tor who logged more than 200 In­di­vid­ual race or stage vic­to­ries in his ca­reer. He is con­sid­ered the most suc­cess­ful Professional sprinter in North Amer­ica. In ad­di­tion to his three wins in the Tour de Langkawi (2000, 2001 and 2004), he has also had wins in the Grand Prix du Midi Li­bre, Cri­terium In­ter­na­tional and Grand Prix Rennes. Other high­lights in­cluded win­ning two Na­tional Racing Cal­en­dar sea­son Points ti­tles, a Cana­dian Na­tional Cham­pi­onship and a mem­o­rable sil­ver medal in the 1999 Pan Am Games on home soil where Brian Wal­ton won the gold. His top Olympic re­sult was 16th in Syd­ney, Australia.

LOUISE LALONDE

The pri­mary fo­cus at sport­ing events is right­fully on the par­tic­i­pants, but be­hind the scenes are in­di­vid­u­als who pro­vide the frame­work that en­sures the com­pe­ti­tion takes place. One such person is cycling com­mis­saire Louise Lalonde. Highly re­garded as an in­ter­na­tional com­mis­saire for road, track and para-cycling, Lalonde has also of­fi­ci­ated in moun­tain bik­ing, cy­clocross, BMX and served as an anti-dop­ing of­fi­cer. She has as­sisted at count­less events, from lo­cal races to the Olympics to ten­ure on the Cycling Canada Of­fi­cials' Com­mit­tee. Lalonde was also the first person cer­ti­fied by the Union Cy­cliste In­ter­na­tionale to train com­mis­saires in the dis­ci­pline of para-cycling and she wrote the ini­tial cur­ricu­lum.

MARIE-HE­LENE PRÉ­MONT

Marie-He­lene Pré­mont was the Na­tional cham­pion in the cross-coun­try moun­tain-bike dis­ci­pline from 2003 to 2009. In­ter­na­tion­ally, her record is out­stand­ing, in­clud­ing 2008 when she won a medal in ev­ery World Cup she en­tered (two gold, three sil­ver and three bronze). The two-time Olympian claimed the sil­ver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games to add to her World Cup gold medals ob­tained in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, she was sec­ond over­all in the World Cup stand­ings and fourth over­all in 2011. She won a Commonwealth Games gold in 2006 and Pan Am Cham­pi­onships gold in 2000 and 2001.

ALEX STIEDA

Alex Stieda was the first North Amer­i­can to wear the Tour de France yel­low jer­sey on the sec­ond day of the 1986 Tour de France. He went on to wear five jer­seys in to­tal that year, in­clud­ing the polka dot for Best Climber, white for Best Rookie, red for In­ter­me­di­ate Points, and the com­bi­na­tion. Af­ter los­ing the yel­low, Stieda held on to the polka-dot jer­sey for an ad­di­tional five days over the hills of northern France. At the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Bris­bane, Australia, he won a bronze medal in the In­di­vid­ual Pur­suit and claimed the same re­sult at the 1983 Univer­si­ade.

BRIAN WAL­TON

Brian Wal­ton rep­re­sented Canada at the Olympic Games on three oc­ca­sions, with 1996 be­ing the most suc­cess­ful, given his sil­ver-medal per­for­mance in the track Points race. He was also a three-time 1995 Pan Am Games medal­ist with a gold in the road race and Points race and a bronze medal in the In­di­vid­ual Pur­suit. At the 1999 Pan Am Games in Win­nipeg, Man., Wal­ton de­fended his road race ti­tle with an­other gold-medal per­for­mance. Wal­ton won nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional races, in­clud­ing the 1989 Milk Race dur­ing his 12-year Professional ca­reer.

(fac­ing page) Class of 2016 Hall of Fame in­ductees (l-r): Alex Stieda, Louise Lalonde, Brian Wal­ton, Gord Fraser (ab­sent Marie-Hélène Pré­mont, Canada’s 1908 men’s

Team Pur­suit squad)

(left) Of­fi­cial plaque un­veil­ing at the Mat­tamy Na­tional Cycling Cen­tre.

(be­low left) In­au­gu­ral Ride with Le­gends p/b Lexus was a big suc­cess.

ident, John Tolkamp, who con­grat­u­lated the in­ductees and re­marked that “the Hall of Fame is an im­por­tant part of hon­our­ing con­trib­u­tors to the sport in Canada.” Then it was time for photo opps with the in­ductees and their crys­tal awards, along with farewells un­til next time.

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