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Alex Wrubleski Interview

January 14, 2009 (Mallorca, Spain) – We caught up with Canada’s Alex Wrubleski from Saskatchewan at the 2009 Team Columbia-Highroad training camp and official team launch from Jan. 10-11 in Mallorca, Spain. Wrubleski recently signed with the powerhouse pro team and joins fellow Canuck Michael Barry who rides on Columbia-Highroad’s men’s team. We spoke to Barry as well and you can read that interview on pedalmag.com soon.

Team Columbia-Highroad is a new team for you – how did this come about?
Alex Wrubleski: Part-way through the 2008 season they sent me an email asking me if I was interested in riding for them. I kept in touch and during Beijing I met one of the directors and it went from there. My season had been good, but I think they looked more at rider skills and certain strengths in general to decide about it all. Plus of course my national road championships win was important. As for my race program this season, I’m going to be doing the Tour of California and then after that head to Europe. Of course the Montreal Women’s World Cup is one of the races where I also want to do well.

How’s your winter been? Better or worse than last year?
AW: Worse. I’ve been injured since October, I got hit by a truck while out training and then when I started back I dislocated my knee. This week at the training camp was the first time I’ve been on the bike for the first time in quite a while so I haven’t really been training, I’ve done some sporadically, a few days here and then another small block there. But I’m not really too worried as long as things get better – 2009 is definitely the latest I’ve ever started training for a new season.

How did the accident happen?
AW: I was out training near Calgary, fortunately it was pretty cold and I wearing lots of clothes so that saved my skin. A drunk driver hit me head on coming off a highway so I was lucky I didn’t break anything but I had a lot of other injuries – stitches, sprains and so on. It was a pretty big impact but it could have been a lot worse. Then I dislocated my knee. They were sore after the crash and I think the crash indirectly caused me to dislocate it.

How long was the longest period you were off the bike?
AW: Three weeks. The first time I got back on it was ok, so I’m hopeful. The team has been good about it and very supportive. There’s a lot of support staff here at Columbia which is great, but it’s kind of weird coming to a training camp and not be able to ride at my normal level!

Is it fair to say that riding for Columbia-Highroad is a big step up?
AW: It’s definitely different from what I’ve experienced before, I didn’t really know anybody on the team, just a little from racing. I know Michael (Barry) from the Road World Championships, and like him I’ll probably be based in Gerona, Spain during the season. I’ve heard good things about Gerona. I don’t have a specific game plan to starting racing yet… I’m just going to have to see how I am on a day by day basis. If California doesn’t happen we’ve got a big enough team for that race, but I would really like to be able to do Redlands at the very least.

All the best this season
AW: Thanks

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Alex Wrubleski Interview

January 29, 2008 (Victoria, BC) – At the conclusion of the 2007 season Webcor Builders Pro Cycling Team received the prestigious #1 ranking for the women’s National Racing Calendar (NRC). In 2008, Webcor will be the only UCI-registered women’s team in North America. With an outstanding lineup of top riders on this year’s roster, the team will no doubt prove to be as fiercely competitive on the international circuit as they were on the NRC circuit.

Three of the newly recruited Webcor riders gracing the roster are top Canadian riders, including 2006 double National Champion (RR and TT) Alex Wrubleski, 2005 National silver medalist (RR) Erinne Willock (who rode for Webcor in 2005 and 2006), and 2007 National Champion (RR) and 2006 Track Worlds Silver Scratch medalist Gina Grain (click here to read Webcor’s 2008 team announcement).

Alex Wrubleski has notably been a successful rider thus far in her still young cycling career. After racing with Colavita Sutter Home in 2007, Wrubleski has joined Webcor Builders women’s pro cycling team for the 2008 season. In our second part of a 3-part interview series of the trio, we caught up with Wrubleski in Victoria to see how things are shaping up for 2008.

Are you doing anything differently in your training this year as compared to past years?
Alex Wrubleski: The actual training programs I’m doing are not substantially different than previous years. I basically picked out the things that worked best for me in past years (and left out those things that didn’t) and have incorporated that into my training and preparation for the upcoming season, The main difference for me this winter is that I’m living in Victoria. I am able to ride outside year round, and I have a lot of support here; from the riders, coaching and the Pacific sport training centre. I have access to all the resources I need, and I have a lot of good training partners. I also started training with a Power meter this winter, although I don’t think this will change much in terms of performance but it helps to see numbers and see how I progress over the winter.

You’ve already had many great successes, and continue to show a huge amount of potential as it’s still early in your cycling career. What do you hope to learn through riding with Webcor this year to add to your repertoire of cycling (and personal!) knowledge?
AW: I am really excited to race with Webcor this season. They are a team that have been around for a long time and have always been very solid in terms of riders, sponsors and management. Most of the girls on the team have a ton of experience at the international level and I hope to learn from them and gain more experience racing and traveling as a team with them.

Which race/races will be your focus for the 2008 season, both personally and as a member of the team?
AW: One of the main goals of Webcor for the 2008 season is to qualify as many team members for the Olympics as possible. So with that in mind we are trying to get to the most important spring UCI races. Tour de L’Aude is an important race for our team and Montreal is also an important race for the team and for each of us individually. For me personally all the spring World Cups starting in Europe are the most important to qualify for the Olympics. My first objective for this season is to make the Olympic team, and assuming that happens, I will focus on a plan to achieve the best possible results at the Games and the Road Worlds. So I am just going to focus on one goal at a time and go from there.

Who is/are your mentor(s)/role model(s) and why?
AW: This question is always hard for me to answer. I don’t really have a specific role model in cycling, maybe because I haven’t been doing it for that long. I would say my athlete role model is Clara Hughes. I think she is a very inspiring person and athlete. She has had a lot of success in both cycling and speed skating and she has been a great mentor for me since I started cycling.

I learned a ton from my team mates last season. They were great role models, and gave me a lot of support. I am sure it will be the same this year with my new team. Also some of the Canadian riders that have more experience than I have, like Erinne Willock and Alison Sydor have also been mentors/role models for me.

What advice would you give to women with aspirations of becoming professional cyclists?
AW: It’s like every sport; if it is something you really want then you just can’t give up.

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