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: youngheroes.canyon.com