Archive for the ‘Young Heroes’ Category

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Joshua Stritzinger

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Hello everyone,

My name is Joshua Stritzinger and I’m 15 years old and in the 10th grade at the Eduard-Spranger-Gymnasiums in Landau in the Palatinate. I’m a passionate cyclist. My local club is the RC Silber Pils Bellheim. I first heard about the Young Heroes at a race in Karbach in 2009, and from that moment on it was my greatest wish to ride for this team. Therefore I quickly applied to Canyon. In January 2010 I then received a letter telling me I’d made it onto the team. I’ll never forget that moment when I first found out about my success. It was the most emotional moment in my sporting career to date.

Joshua Stritzinger-2

The first year as a Young Hero was an absolutely fantastic one. It was great fun to train together with the other team members and Erik Zabel was always on hand to give us valuable advice. It was just great being able to ride with a top pro like Erik.

The Team Coordinator Dominic Piquardt always had a sympathetic ear if anything needed explaining. The biggest highlight in my year was my participation in the German championships, which I had qualified for at the championships in Southern Germany. In addition, it was also super to win the individual time-trial championship in South West Germany and the regional championship in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Joshua Stritzinger-7

I’m very happy that I’ll be a Canyon Young Hero again in 2011 and am looking forward to meeting the other members of the team. I most excited about the new team members so I’d like to already wish them a warm welcome.

Introducing the Canyon Young Heroes: Philipp Turner

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The registration period for the Canyon Young Heroes 2011 is now over. We’ll wait a few more days just in case an application got delayed in the post and then the jury will begin with its consultations. But here are a few of the Heroes who joined the team last year for starters. All the Canyon Young Heroes, who were successful in 2010, and are now not too old to be part of the team, will also be back in 2011.

Philipp Turner on his first year as a Canyon Young Hero

Hello readers,
My name is Philipp Turner, I’m 15 and I’m from Dortmund.
I’m a grammar school pupil in the 9th grade and have been racing for 3 years. I’ve been riding for the RSV Unna since October 2009 and I am currently part of the North Rhine Westphalian and German national squads.

I first heard about the Canyon initiative for young riders from my then trainer in 2009 and immediately applied in Koblenz. I then got an early Christmas present and found out that I had been selected for the Young Heroes Team in 2010. I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to get started! In the first year I learned that one has to be very disciplined and as a sportsman one has to take care of a lot of organisational things. These include giving interviews, writing race reports, but also technical aspects such as bike maintenance, changing chain rings and much more.


However, there were also a lot of experiences. First there was the kick-off meeting in Imperia, Italy where we got our team bikes and visited the Milan-San Remo classic race as well as the training sessions with ex-pro Erik Zabel. At the end of April I had the chance to test the first track bike prototype of the V-Drome AL on the track in Büttgen together with Erik. There I was able to gain a lot of experience.


One special highlight of the year of the year was taking part in the Young classics in Hamburg, which is the biggest international U-17 stage race, and having Erik Zabel as a personal coach and Dieter Ruthenberg as masseur. Erik’s coaching from the roadside and the superb support from Dieter was excellent to have. We then were able to concentrate all our efforts on the racing.

In addition, Erik’s 40th birthday will remain forever etched into my memory because it was on that day that I became German champion against the clock over 500m. At the end of September I was able to confirm my ability at the BDR scouting session in Frankfurt/Oder in time-trialling and in the individual and team pursuits. At the end of October I had a letter in my letter box from the BDR, in which I read that I had been called up to national road and track squad for 2011.

Philipp Turner Portrait

Young Heroes 2011, team presentation January

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

As this year is drawing to a close the dates for the first Young Heroes 2011 events are already set. All Young Heroes applicants should keep the 11th-13th February free. As this is the weekend of the first meeting with Erik Zabel and the Canyon team. This is when the team will get to know each other and each member will receive their brand new Canyon Ultimate CF SLX road bike.

The next dates that applicants need to be aware of is the weekend of 25th-27th of March. This is when the team will be invited to the sunny island of Majorca for a training weekend with Erik Zabel. In a relaxed atmosphere team members will be free to explore the island and have the opportunity to prove themselves for the highlight of the 2011 season:, the Vattenfall Young classics in Hamburg.

After having received the final applications, the jury will get together with each individual rider and announce its decision by mid-January. We wish all the candidates success.


Young Heroes 2011: the Jury

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

There are still a few days to go before the closing date for entries, but today we’d like to introduce you to the jury who’ll be deciding on the intake of Young Heroes for the coming season.

Roman Arnold

The Young Heroes are something very close to Roman Arnold’s heart. The founder and owner of Canyon is fully behind the team because in his youth he also competed on both track and road and knows just how expensive a full racing season can be.

Erik Zabel

His son brought him to Canyon because Rick was a member of the very first Young Heroes squad. Erik liked the idea so much that he now supports the team himself. The former top sprinter can assess whether a rider has talent and knows what it’s all about. Erik also knows that a young rider above all needs one thing, and that’s passion. Erik is present when the Young Heroes meet for the first time and get their equipment; he supports them at a training camp on Mallorca and is their coach at the Vattenfall Young Classics event.

Michael Rich

The ex-pro and time-trial specialist is still very closely tied to the pro-scene. He is the link between Omega Pharma-Lotto and Canyon. In addition, the technology fanatic is always a welcome guest at Canyon’s R+D department because with his vast experience he can help to optimise the latest innovations even further. He of course also realizes during his daily work with the Young Heroes team just how important it is to promote good young talent.

Sebastian Lang

The likeable rider from Erfurt is a pro with the Omega Pharma-Lotto team. His greatest success to date was his victory in the German Time-Trial Championship. He is one of the reliable team mates of Jurgen van Den Broeck and Philippe Gilbert. Both these stars would find it considerably more difficult to achieve as many victories as they do without his help. His reports from the Tour de France are also highly regarded and he gives the reader an insight into what goes on behind the scenes. As an active pro he also gives the Young Heroes applicants a completely different perspective on the sport.

Dominic Piquardt

He is the Canyon Team and Event Coordinator and is the contact person for all the riders during the season. If a derailleur hanger is bent or the frame was damaged in a crash, Dominic is always on hand to find a fast and trouble-free solution because the Young Heroes need to be able to concentrate on their racing and shouldn’t have to worry about their equipment.

Lucas Liß

The Tiger. He was a member of the first young heroes squad and still competes successfully on both track and road. He recently won two silver medals at the European Championship in St. Petersburg. He still has close ties with Canyon. He is in the meantime a Young Heroes veteran and a true friend of Canyon.

The jury has already taken a look at the first applications and was impressed by the quality of the applicants. In the next few days the applications will be processed further so that at the start of next season a powerful Young Heroes squad can be assembled.

Young Heroes at the Youngclassics 2010

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

In the run-up to the Vattenfall Cyclassics the Youngclassics in the Hamburg hinterland took place for the fifth time. For the second consecutive time the Canyon Young Heroes participated with a strong team. More than 100 junior (U17) riders in 19 different teams were registered, including two teams from Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Youngclassics are a highlight for the Canyon-sponsored riders because here most of the boys meet for the first time after the joint training camp at the start of the season. After a very successful season in their home countries for the majority of the riders they again wanted to prove themselves in this international field. This year the team consisted of Simon Evers (GER), Kevin Maldonado (FRA), Leon Rohde (GER), Thomas Copponi (FRA), Frederik Lind Plesner (DEN) and Guillaume Gauthier (FRA). With Philipp Turner, for the team “Ostwestfalen Lippe”, and Joshua Stritzinger of the Rhineland-Palatinate Cycling Association, two more riders represented the Young Heroes team in this major starting line-up.

Four legs had to be contested in this year’s Youngclassics. The 1st stage being a road race, a time trial on the 2nd stage and the 3rd and 4th stages being circuit races. Certainly the highlight was the final leg “Rund um die Binnenalster” in the centre of Hamburg in front of a large audience.

Like last year the young riders could rely on professional support during the entire youth tour. Canyon Young Heroes mentor Erik Zabel brought no one less than the professional physiotherapist of the former Team Telekom, Dieter Ruthenberg – better known as “Eule” – to prepare the Young Heroes for each stage specifically. In addition, Canyon employee Olaf Behrendt was on site as team mechanic to take care of the guys’ racing machines.

On the 1st leg the boys gave their level best to represent the team well and, of course, to take a great result in the finish. Kevin Maldonado captured 10th place in the first leg and he underlined his strong form of the past few weeks. In the time trial on the 2nd stage none of the riders could achieve a top-10 position. As compensation Frederik Lind Plesner finished in an excellent 5th place on the 3rd stage. In the U15 Junior Ranking Thomas Copponi could gain a stage win. On the final leg the boys could once more show what they were made of and prove that they are among the best young riders of their age group. Kevin Maldonado finished in a strong 2nd place, followed by Thomas Copponi in 7th. In the juvenile ranking there was a double soop for the Young Heroes. With his 7th place Thomas could score a win again and Leon Rohde completed this double win in this age group. In the overall ranking Kevin Maldonado finished 10th. Thomas Copponi just missed out on overall victory finishing 2nd, followed by Leon Rhode in 5th. These wonderful results prove that Canyon is on the right track with its internationally focused support of young talent.

Young Hero Rick Zabel’s First Junior Track World Championships

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

16 year old Canyon Young Hero Rick Zabel concluded his First Junior Track World Championships with respectable performances. Zabel, son of German cycling legend Erik Zabel was selected by the German Cycling Federation to compete in the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy in his first year as a junior rider. Zabel had respectable performances in the two races he rode, the Men’s Scratch & Madison race finals.

Rick’s dad Erik was on hand to mentor his Canyon Young Hero son and told La Gazzetta dell Sport “to see Rick race is really great. His style of riding is similar to mine and even his pedaling, the way he slightly moves his shoulders.” When the Italian newspaper asked Rick’s dad Erik about his future as a rider, Erik said “Well he still has to do well at school; that is the most important thing!” Rick hopes to be selected for the next two Junior Track World Championships in 2011 and 2012.

German Professional and Junior Road Race Championships

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The cases are already packed and tomorrow we are off to Rotterdam for the start of the Tour. However, I also had a lot to do and a full calendar. In June the highlight was of course the German pro championships where I was involved with the HTC Columbia team. I was already in contact with the team prior to that and on the day of the race rode along in Tony Martin’s support vehicle as Sports Director. Tony had a super day and his performance was first-rate. I am really happy for him that he was able to crown his excellent performances by winning the German championship.

Ann Leonie Wichmann wins German Juvenile Championship

I was with the young riders before the German pro championships because the German youth championships were due to take place in Bundenthal. Ann Leonie Wichmann’s win in the juvenile race was particularly pleasing. In the ladies junior race Lisa Fischer finished in second place, which was very pleasing for the entire Young Heroes team. In the men’s juvenile race Jan Brockhoff came in fifth and Simon Evers seventh. In the men’s junior race Rick and Lucas finished in ninth and tenth places respectively, giving the Young Heroes two further top ten finishes. We can be very pleased overall with these results. In addition, I was also able to see again what the other riders in the team have been doing as they were all present. I was pleased that nobody in the group got dropped and they all finished in the main group. We can therefore look forward to the coming races of the Young Heroes…

In the next few days I’ll be giving a report about the upcoming Tour de France and my own personal thoughts on the race.

See you soon.

Season Highlight – the Young Heroes’ Kick-Off Meeting

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The cycling season is approaching its climax for many riders. The riders from the Omega Pharma-Lotto team who have been nominated for the Tour are all dying for the start of July. During the French stage race there’ll be again thousands of screaming people at the road sides cheering on their idols. For tomorrow’s stars a highlight of the season was the kick-off event which took place in the spring. The Young Heroes spent a weekend together with Erik Zabel in Milan getting to know each other, exchanging experiences and training with the world class sprinter. The mentor of the Young Heroes obviously had a whole lot of fun in working with the kids because their openness and enthusiasm for cycling impresses him time and time again. So that you can all get an impression of the relaxed atmosphere and the intensive training, you can view the results of the photo shooting which took place on the same weekend here.

Have fun!