Queen’s pioneers the Canadian Collegiate Cycling Association as Gaels lead the peloton in inaugural virtual championship

Virtual cycling championships an all-around success

The Queen's cycling team competed over simulated races, ultimately winning the season last week.
Queen’s Cycling Club

In light of COVID-19, the Queen’s cycling team adopted a unique and innovative approach to provide an exciting season over the past year, which culminated this past weekend.

The Journal reached out to Ben Ernewein, the President of Queen’s Cycling Club, to gain more insight into the cycling season and the team’s founding of the Canadian Collegiate Cycling Association (CCCA). 

 “One of the biggest struggles with COVID has been losing a lot of the in-person team events, especially because the social aspect is such a big part of our sport,” he said.

The team traditionally competes in the Ontario U-Cup Mountain Bike Series during the fall, which takes place over four weekends all across Ontario. In the spring, they then compete in the ECCC road series in the US. 

These events were cancelled, and with no Canadian competitions there was an evident issue for the cycling team. Hence, the CCCA was founded to make progress in the Canadian cycling scene during a season that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.  

“The creation of the CCCA was inspired by the lack of national organization to connect and highlight collegiate teams from across Canada. One of the biggest issues right now is that students simply don’t know that cycling clubs and teams exist at Canadian schools,” he said.

“We want to provide students and administrations with resources to help build teams or clubs at their own schools.”

The association held a series of virtual events starting in a virtual setting of Montreal, followed by Vancouver and Toronto. The championship followed a virtual route in Kingston and was dubbed the Kingston Cup. Depending on the category, the race was either a 60 or 80 kilometre-long route around Kingston using cycling simulation software. 

Ernewein believes another such event is inevitable. 

“There’s already lots of interest from the other teams to host some version of it every year. I think it would fit well into our race schedule in January and February to help prepare for the ECCC road season when it resumes.”

“For the near future, we want to continue to showcase the Canadian collegiate scene and keep growing it as much as possible. Long term the possibilities are endless. Hopefully, the association will spur the creation of new teams and events right here in Canada.”

Queen’s finished the Kingston Cup comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack with 895 points on the circuit—superseding the University of Toronto with 766 points and the University of Ottawa with 549 points. Notably, Ryan Rudderham and Chloe DesRoche represented Queen’s, finishing in first place in their respective races. Gaels Mitchell Robinson and Kaitlyn Shizake also ended their races in podium positions.





The Journal regrets the error.

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