Introducing the Young Heroes 2012. Last but not least…

The team is now complete. Ten young cyclists will compete this season for the Canyon Young Heroes team 15+. In addition, we are pleased that five successful riders from the 2011 Young Heroes team will this year be riding in the U-17 age group for Canyon. The riders are Jérémy Defaye, Axelle Dubau-Prevot, Jesper Schultz, Jonas Bokeloh and Eric Alfaro Dufour. We are looking forward to accompanying our Young Heroes on their way to a pro career and are looking forward to a mega exciting year!

Last but not least, today we’d like to introduce you to Eva Maria Palm from Belgium and Markus Kvist from Sweden.

Eva Maria Palm
Welcome to the Young Heroes Team 2012

Eva Maria Palm

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get interested in cycling?
My name is Eva Maria Palm and I am 14 years old. I took part in competitive apparatus gymnastics for six years, but after a serious fall I was forced to retire from major competition due to spinal problems. After a four month break from sport I became increasingly bored therefore I started cycling three years ago as my brother was already involved in the sport. I must admit that I didn’t enjoy cycling so much at the start and it took two years until the cycling bug rally got hold of me, but after that I just went from strength to strength!

What does it mean to you to be part of the Canyon Young Heroes program?
It means a great deal to me as I just didn’t expect to get selected.

Which one of your successes to date are you particularly proud of?
Normally I should say that it was my win in the Belgian mountain bike championship in 2011, but it’s not because for me it’s my second place in the Belgian cyclo-cross championship since in this event the U-17 and U-19 age groups started together. I finished in second place as the youngest rider in the race, dominating the action for long periods and all this on the world championship course of 2007 in Hoogleede-Gits.
In Graz at the MTB European championship I finished in 22nd place, which I wasn’t particularly satisfied with because I had trouble coping with the heat.
This year (2012) I have started riding the track and have already taken part in the Ominum, where I finished 5th. I also finished 2nd in the points race and 3rd in the individual pursuit over 2000m at the Belgian championships.
I have also achieved several other podium places (6 in total) at national level in 5 different disciplines (track, road, cyclo-cross, MTB and time-trial).
In Paris in 2011 I won the “Grand Prix Bruno Guerreiro” in the U-15 age group and was even 2nd in the U-17 event.
I also won the overall classification of the Belgian “O2″ Mountain Bike Cup.

What are your main aims for the 2012 season?
In the 2012 season I would like to finish in the top 5 in the 5 disciplines at the Belgian championships, which will be a really tough call because this will be my first year riding in the U-17 age group. However, I have already achieved 2 of my 5 aims for this year (2nd in the cyclo-cross and track events, 2nd in the points race and 3rd in the individual pursuit over 2000m).
At the European Championships in Graz I’d of course like to achieve a much better result this year and am hoping for slightly colder weather than we had during the 2011 race. I hope that I can gain a few other victories during the 2012 season and that I will learn a lot!

Where would you like to be in your cycling career in five years time?
In 5 years I’d like to have firmly established myself as an elite lady rider in cyclo-cross and MTB as well as on the road.

Thanks Eva Maria, we wish you the best of luck and are looking forward to a great season with you!

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Markus Kvist from Sweden

Hi Markus, well done, you’ve made it onto the team.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Canyon Young Heroes program?
I do not really believe it has sunk in yet …. I am really pleased to have the chance to be with Young Heroes and hope I can benefit from the experience and knowledge that the team has to offer.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get interested in cycling?

My name is Marcus and I have one older and one younger brother and a sister, who is the youngest. We all cycle for the bike club “FK pedal” and the club has just recently moved into a new club house that the members built. I love sports and play football, badminton and hockey, etc. during the winter.
My interest in cycling started when my younger brother Linus wanted to try cycling. My grandfather and father also cycled in the past, so dad started cycling with Linus and wanted me to join them. I rode the first couple of weeks on my own bike before I borrowed a racing bike from the club. I then trained with the club for three weeks before I won the Swedish championship in road racing. That’s the way my passion for cycling began.

Which one of your successes to date are you particularly proud of?
U6 Cycle Tour; I wore the yellow jersey for two days and finished in second place in the overall classification.

What are your main aims for the 2012 season?
To become Swedish Champion and a top 3 finish in the U6 Cycle Tour.

Where would you like to be in your cycling career in five years time?
I want to ride in one of the world’s best teams.

Thanks for talking to us and best of luck for a successful season!

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