Brazil 1970. The 1961 New York Yankees. The 1977 Montreal Canadiens. The 2015 OBB/Victoria Wheelers. Every once in a while a collection of disparate individuals comes together, and through some mysterious sporting alchemy, create a team for the ages.
The 2015 Victoria Cycling League race series is now in full swing, and a core group of talented riders, clad in a classy new blue, black and gold Wheelers kit and exhibiting formidable team spirit, have been barnstorming along the race-circuits of Metchosin and the Highlands. Currently, the main players are tactical mastermind and current BC Masters champion Mick Bryson, strongmen Trevor Mackenzie, Geoff Homer, Eugene Hahn and Andrew Russell and domestique deluxe Stéphane Tran. Even without the presence of legends Tom Skinner and Jon Benskin, this lineup has guile, strength, and fighting spirit in spades. One thing the team is lacking, however, is ego. Rarely in the sporting world has a team gelled with such cohesive selflessness. Call them the 6 musketeers: “One for all, and all for one”.
So far, all the VCL racing has been at The Latoria and Caleb Pike courses, which are both flattish loops punctuated by a short climb and descent. The team has attacked, bridged, broken-away and sprinted its way onto the podium of every single VCL race this year, and as of press time, holds the top 2 spots in the overall standings. Ongoing friendly rivalries with other local squads such as Russ Hays and ProCity Racing have provided thrills and great entertainment value for both the cycling connoisseurs and casual fans who frequent these contests. Races have been contested with both ferocity and sportsmanship, and post-race kudos have become customary among team-mates and competitors. The Wheelers respect their opponents, but fear none.
The 2015 season is still young, and with the Wheeler “home” races of Windsor Park, Newton Heights and Neild Road imminent, further success is sure to come.
Stephane Tran, Victoria Wheelers