The Not-So-Secret Pro
Edmonton punches way above its weight when it comes to the cycling talent that have lived or developed here. We are home to Olympians, Paralympians, World Champions, National champions and more. Not bad for a city covered in snow for more than half the year. At PRW we’ve been lucky to know many of these incredible athletes and we do our best to try and help them along the way. One of these athletes is Evan Burtnik. Evan has always been one of Canada’s fastest as he raced his way through U17, Junior, and now Espoir. Evan has been racing on the National Team for the past few seasons, and has been an a demon on both the road and the track. This season looks to be a bit different for Evan as he has now officially joined the Pro ranks with Team X Speed United. This is big news for Evan, and he’s already made his mark. In Malaysia, in the first stage of his first race of the season (and first time meeting most of his new team) , Evan made his way into the break, and snagged himself the top young riders jersey. Maybe that winter of riding around with Rusty Woods in Girona helped.
For those of you that know Evan, you know as well as we do that he’s an awesome kid, and that he deserves all the success that is coming to him this season. Below, we’ve attached a little update that Evan wrote up earlier this year before the race season got under way.
I got a contract! After a tense fall with a lot of uncertainties, I'm pretty excited to be racing for the Hong Kong registered team X Speed United for the 2019 season. I'm very proud to take the next step to a new pro team and this is obviously a huge opportunity. The team consists of 6 Hong Kong riders, 4 Australians, and 5 other Canadians (2 of whom were on RaceClean with me), and is headlined by Ryan Roth, who'll be our hardened vet and trusty road captain. This is XSU's first year continental and a lot of logistics are still being fleshed out. It's pretty bare bones right now, but what's important is our access to the Asia Tour's massive calendar, where we can earn precious UCI points. My calendar is slowly taking shape and I'm starting the year with Tour de Iskandar Johor in Malaysia in late April. It looks to be a sprinter's race so I'll hope to do a bit of damage in the field sprints. I'm definitely not a field sprinter, but I know I can get gnarly and mix it up.
As for the track this year, I'm optimistic I'll have more opportunities to ride more World Cups and other track races with the National Team. My coach (who is also the National Team coach) is excited by the gains I'll be able to make this year because of the high end road calendar I'll see. He thinks XSU is a great fit for my goals and abilities. XSU is especially handy because I'll have a lot of time in China, a country where I can get that surgery where they break your legs for them to grow back longer. Early estimates says this time next year I could be a whole 4 inches taller!
If anything, I think I've been humbled by going "pro." Even though I'll have Continental stamped on my license, Asia Tour printed on my jersey, and get to start in some glitzy races, I'm more grateful than ever for all the help I've had to get here. Now it's up to me to make the most of it. I want to thank Juventus for 12 (twelve!) years of support, Pedalhead Road Works for sponsoring me with new equipment for the season, and Alberta based Seagate Contract Management for directly sponsoring XSU.
XSU is operating on a very small budget and if anyone or company is interested in helping us get to races please contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org