Archive for the ‘Young Heroes 2011’ Category

Young Heroes 2012: The countdown has started

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In just a few days we’ll be introducing you to the Young Heroes team 2012.

The response to our call for applications was immense. Innumerable applications from right across Europe landed on our desks here in Koblenz. We are really pleased about the response because since the program began in 2008 we have already managed to help many young talents take major steps forward in their cycling careers. One of the outstanding examples is Rick Zabel (son of our mentor Erik Zabel), who has now made it into the pro ranks and secured a pro contract for the coming season with the Dutch Rabobank team. Another rider with equally good prospects is Jan Brockhoff, who was selected for the national team 5 times in 2011 and enjoyed considerable success in numerous events and championships. These are just two examples of many.

Spoilt for choice – meet the jury
We consider the Young Heroes to be an investment in the future and the program is also something which is dear to Canyon CEO Roman Arnold’s heart. Roman was himself a successful racing cyclist in his youth and knows just how important it is to have professional support. It’s therefore only natural that he is also involved in the selection process of the young talents. Ex-pro Erik Zabel is also involved as Erik has been mentor of the Young Heroes since the very start. The other members of the jury include our Team and Event Coordinator Dominic Picquardt, who is the direct contact for the young riders during the season. Sebastian Jadczak, who is our Product Manager for road bikes, is also involved in our selection procedure. The jury is rounded off by the two experienced former Young Heroes and Friends of Canyon Jan Brockhoff and Lucas Liß.

The jury’s work is moving at full steam ahead with piles of applications which need to be read, analyzed, deliberated over and finally decided upon. This is no mean task because nearly all the candidates are talented and have already numerous victories under their belts. The riders who gain a place on the Young Heroes 15+ squad and the chance to ride like a pro for a whole year will be revealed in just a few days here in the blog.

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However, we can already let you in on a little secret…
Jérémy Defaye, Axelle Dubau-Prevot, Jesper Schultz, Jonas Bokeloh and Eric Alfaro Dufour – five successful riders from the 2011 Young Heroes team will be riding in the 17+ category for Canyon this year. We are really pleased we are able to accompany our Young Heroes one step further towards a pro career.

Looking ahead to the first training camp in Tuscany

In just a few weeks we’ll be off to our first training camp with the Young Heroes. From 23 to 26 February our new Young Heroes and mentor Erik Zabel will be flying to Italy with the entire crew to get ready for the new racing season. The riders will be accommodated on the country estate of cycling legend and Canyon brand ambassador Andrea Tafi in Tuscany. Together with the Italian junior squad Polisportiva Monsummanese (which is also supported by Canyon) the Young Heroes will do the necessary conditioning work for the coming season under the professional supervision of Andrea Tafi and Erik Zabel.

The agenda during the three-day training camp will include a getting -to-know-you session, a hand-over of equipment to the riders, training and theory sessions with Erik and Tafi and also a photo-shoot. We’ll keep you informed about how they all get on.

All other information on the Young Heroes program is available at:

Canyon Young Heroes – first team meeting in Koblenz

Monday, February 21st, 2011

The Canyon Young Heroes 2011 met for the first time in February. The Young Heroes spent a weekend together at the Canyon Headquarters in Koblenz and were able to check out their new bikes for the first time. But that wasn’t all: we also went into the forest with them and Canyon Hero Rob-J showed them a few riding techniques on the bike. The key focus was on having a good time even though the young riders were always looking towards the next challenge.

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Jesper Schulz

Monday, February 14th, 2011

We met up with Canyon Young Hero Jesper Schulz from Denmark and spoke to him about his aims for 2011.

How did you get involved in cycling?
I was a Danish Duathlon champion, but running wasn’t as much fun as cycling. So I got more and more hooked on cycling and finally decided to devote all my time to it and hang up my running shoes.

How did you get to know about the Young Heroes?
I contacted Canyon Denmark regarding sponsorship. Carsten from Canyon Denmark suggested that I apply to get on the Canyon Young Heroes Team in 2011. This initiative sounded very exciting, so I immediately applied.

What was your biggest success to date?
This was when I won the Danish road championship in 2010. I have had many other victories, but this was by far the greatest.

What do you want to achieve in 2011?
I am hoping to be as successful as I was in 2010, and now when I get the support from Canyon, I hope to be even more successful.

What did it feel like when you read the letter that you had been accepted onto the team?
This was like a dream come true and a big relief. I never gave up hope and then it just happened!

What do you expect from the Canyon Young Heroes?
I hope to gain a lot of good race experience, make new friends and get a lot of input and valuable advice. I am just so glad to be riding this top equipment, and having the possibility to get even better results in 2011.

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Eric Alfaro

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Hello Everyone,

My name is Eric Alfaro Dufour and I’m from the beautiful, sunny island of Mallorca and am very much looking forward to being a member of the Canyon Young Heroes in 2011. Before I started cycling I tried a few other sports including football, basketball, karate and also tennis. As my father is also a cyclist, it wasn’t difficult for me to find motivation for this sport. At the age of 11 I celebrated my first race win here on Mallorca.


How did I find out about the Young Heroes? My father trained with Erik Zabel a few times and told me that I should apply. No sooner said than done and I got the information that I had been included in the team. My greatest victory to date was in 2008 when I won the championship of the Balearic Islands.

2011 will surely be a difficult year for me. I’m now riding in an older age group and it will be tough for me to make my mark there. However, I’m already training hard and hope that I can keep up with the pace and ride a great season. I also hope that the professional help from the Canyon Young Heroes will help. We shall see…

See you soon,

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Jérémy Defaye

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Hello readers,

My name is Jérémy Defaye and I come from Frejus in France. I’ll be 15 this year and have been riding races for almost two years now. I’ve been riding for Vélo Club Rochevillois in Le Cannet for some time now, too.

Everything started with my father, who was very interested in cycling from the outset. In time my interest also increased and it therefore transpired that we both started riding racing bikes at the same time. Shortly after I then started riding the first XC and CC events alongside road races in order to optimise my training.

I first became aware of the Young Heroes initiative through Fleur Flore, Thomas Coponi and Kevin Maldonado. We all grew up in the same region and I’ve therefore known them for quite some time now. In 2010 I then finally made it into the Young Heroes Team. It was an indescribable feeling when I got the letter with the confirmation that I’d been accepted onto the squad. I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to get started.

My biggest successes to date were in 2010 at the FSGT championship and the Tour Bouches du Rhône in France, where I finished 1st in both events. Of the 34 races I started I was able to capture a podium place 32 times. In 2011 I’d like to repeat my successes and build on them even further. This is why it’s my aim to win the Tour Bouches du Rhône again in my age group and also the French championship. In addition, I’d also like to ride this year’s Hamburg Classics event with the Young Heroes and of course do really well.

I’m looking forward to having a great time and experiencing a lot. I’m particularly looking forward to getting to know Erik Zabel and learning more about the racing scene from him. I am also hoping that I’ll make lots of new friends and of course be successful, too.

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Axelle Dubau Prevot

Friday, January 28th, 2011

We recently did this interview with Axelle Dubau Prevot. We’ll soon be introducing the final Young Hero for the 2011 season. So you’ll all have to hang on for a couple of days longer…

How did you get involved in cycling?

One could call it a family tradition. My parents have been cycling since their childhood. My brother rides in the DN1 and my sister is the ladies mountain bike world champion.

How did you get to know about the Young Heroes?

I first became aware of the Canyon initiative at the Roc d´Azur Festival. In a chat with Fleur Faure my interest was aroused even further and one day later I popped the application in the post.

What was your biggest success to date?

My biggest successes to date were the French cyclo cross championships where I was able to take 3rd place and the Finals Etoile du P´Est where I finished 1st.

What do you want to achieve in 2011?

In 2011 I want to win the French championships and French Cup on the road and mountain bike.

What did it feel like when you read the letter that you had been accepted onto the team.?

It was an indescribable feeling when I held the letter in my hand.

What do you expect from the Canyon Young Heroes?

I’m looking forward to gaining a lot of knowledge with the Young Heroes in 2011. I also want to continue to build on my success even further. It will surely be a totally new experience to train with a pro like Erik Zabel and also to learn from him. In addition, it will be nice to get to know people who only have one thought in their minds which is to pursue bike sport at an extremely high level and have mega fun!

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: James Wood

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Dear readers,

My name is James Wood, I’m 15 years old and I’m from London. I’ve been cycling for 9 years and since 2005 I’ve been successful on both the triathlon and road racing scenes. My father has played a pivotal role in my successes to date and from the age of 6 he took me with him to the Darenth Cycling Club in London. From then on it was clear to me that I want to continue cycling and someday become a pro rider.

Last year I got to know about the Young Heroes Team purely by chance. A link on the website aroused my interest so much that I immediately sent my application to Koblenz. I then received the great news that I had been accepted onto the Young Heroes Team for 2011.

My biggest successes came in the 2010 GHS time-trials in England where I finished 3rd in my age group. In addition, in the qualification for the GHS I finished in 1st place and also finished 1st in the Crystal Palace Summer Race League 11 and 18. All in all it was a great year and most of all it was a year where I learned a huge amount!

For the 2011 season I hope to do the very best I can. I would like to gain as much experience as I can and be successful at the British Championships and GHS finals. In addition, I’m looking forward to making new friends, who have fallen in love with the sport and enjoy pursuing it as much as I do. Above all, I’m excited about getting to know big names such as Erik Zabel and getting tips from them.

See you soon

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: David Luis

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Hello readers,

My name is David Luis, I’m 15 years old and I come from Portugal. I’ve been a competitive cyclist for 6 years now and I particularly like the disciplines mountain bike and triathlon and have done so for ages now. 2010 was an unbelievable year for me because I had the opportunity to join the Portuguese triathlon team.

As I needed a new bike for the forthcoming season, the choice about which one was quickly made. It just had to be a Canyon. Therefore I and my dad called Canyon Portugal, where we then found out about the Young Heroes initiative for the first time from Canyon representative Paulo Alves. I then quickly sent my application to Canyon in Koblenz and got the news that I had been accepted into the team a short time later. I was over the moon and can’t wait to get started in 2011.

I celebrated my greatest triumphs in 2010. In 28 races including triathlons and duathlons, I was able to achieve a podium position 23 times. My personal highlight was the European Triathlon Championships in Gaia – Oporto, where I finished 5th in my age group and 11th in the general classification.

My personal aim for 2011 is to achieve a great deal of success with the Young Heroes and the Lousa Racing Team. A further major aim is the European Triathlon Championships in Poland, where I’ll be aiming to be the best in my age group and qualify for the triathlon worlds in China. In addition, I’m looking forward to doing battle in Hamburg at the Vattenfall event with the Young Heroes and Erik Zabel. On top of that there’s also the Portuguese Swimming Championships and the junior Tour of Portugal, where I’m also looking to give everything and take a place on the podium.

I’m especially looking forward to meeting other sport fanatics like myself as well as Erik Zabel and the professional team at Canyon. However, above all I can’t wait to check out my new Canyon road bike.


Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Lisa Carolin Happke

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Hello readers,

My name is Carolin Happke and I’m from Erftstadt. I’m 16 years old and have been riding triathlon for 10 years. In addition, I also started riding mountain bike races in 2008. It was only by chance that I was invited to take part in a training session on the track in Cologne. I had such a lot of fun there that since 2009 I have been concentrating exclusively on track and road racing. My home club is the PV Triathlon Witten, which gives me a huge amount of support.

I became aware of the Young Heroes initiative when I needed a new road bike the year before last and was looking for a suitable one on the Canyon website. I was so enthusiastic about Canyon’s initiative that I applied immediately. A short while later I received the long-awaited reply that I would be included in the Young Heroes team for the 2011 season.

My greatest triumphs were in 2010. I was German women’s champion in the points race and 3rd in the 2000m individual pursuit. In addition, I won the TMP Tour and finished first in the BDR talent scouting in both Holle and Cologne.

In 2011 I’m aiming to pick up podium places in the German championships on both track and road, as well as to defend my title in the points race. In addition, I’d also like to be successful in the TMP Tour once again. The other highlights in my season will be the International Junior Tour in Assen/Holland and the BDR talent scouting races.

I’m really looking forward to the time with Canyon and the Young Heroes. I also know that I’ll have an awful lot of fun, have a great deal of success and learn so much more.

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Jonas Bokeloh

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Hello readers,

My name is Jonas Bokeloh. I’m from Langenhagen and I’m 14 years old. In the summer of 2008 I got interested in cycling following an event that took place at my school. After the first few successes in 2008 I was blown away with enthusiasm and definitely wanted to carry on.

Jan Brockhoff and Ann-Leonie Wiechmann told me a lot of good and interesting things about the Young Heroes team and the initiative from Canyon. I therefore applied in summer 2010 and hoped to be accepted as soon as possible so I could get started with the racing. After I got the reply from Canyon I could hardly believe it that I’ll be in the team in 2011! So I’m looking forward to the 2011 season even more now.

My biggest successes in 2010 were the victories at the German championships in Bundenthal, the TMP Tour, the Tour of South Palatinate and the International Junior Tour in Assen/Holland.

In 2011 I’m hoping for a successful season on the bike in the U-17 category, where it’ll be my first season. I’m hoping for a lot of tips from Erik Zabel and the established members of the team. I’m really looking forward to the first meeting with the other Young Heroes and of course to my brand new bike.