Alex Wrubleski will return to North American bike racing at this weekend’s Redlands Bicycle Classic, after spending one year abroad with Columbia-HTC. The Canadian all-rounder has rejoined Webcor Builders Women’s Professional Cycling Team for this season and expects to be in top form come mid-summer.
“I’m pretty psyched to be back here and have a more relaxed schedule and a lot less traveling,” Wrubleski said. “I was on Webcor two years ago and I knew it was a well managed team, so it wasn’t a hard decision to come back. I still like racing over in Europe and it’s not like I won’t go back but, for now, racing in North America is what I want to do.”
The Canadian, who has two road and one time trial national championship to her name, turned heads when she won the 2008 Redlands Bicycle Classic. She used her climbing and time trial skills to establish most of her lead, but it was her savvy speed in capturing time bonuses that sealed the deal, winning the overall title by one second ahead of American Mara Abbott.
While not in peak form herself, Wrubleski hold high hopes for Webcor Builders’ chances of winning the race. “Redlands definitely suits my strengths,” Wrubleski said. “There is some climbing and bonus sprints. Personally I don’t think I’m at my fitness level to be able to win it this year. That’s not to say that one of my teammates isn’t at that fitness level. Katheryn [Mattis] has been racing for the last month and she is fit right now. We have a few other riders that are fit right now. I still think we can do well here.”
Wrubleski’s teammates include former US Road Champion and World Cup race winner Katheryn Mattis, Austrian Andrea Graus, American talents Lindsay Myers and Ally Stacher along with three additional Canadians Gina Grain, Erinne Willock and Joelle Numainville.
Webcor Builders held a week-long training camp held in California from March 14-22. The seven women spent the first part of the week in the San Francisco Bay Area, followed by a weekend in San Luis Obispo to prepare for the start of the season.
The team scheduled in time for sponsor visits, photos shoots, chiropractic appointments, media meet and greets and bike fits on their new Teschners. “We did some long rides and rides with structure as well,” Wrubleski said. “We did a lot more riding once we got to San Luis Obispo.”
Following the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Webcor Builders will focus on the Road Runner Classic Criterium Omnium, Tour of the Gila, Joe Martin Stage Race, Women’s Tour of California Criterium, Liberty Classic, US and Canadian National Championships, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic and the Cascade Cycling Classic.
“I don’t have a specific race for a goal,” Wrubleski said. “I just started training in the last month or two and I’m just getting back into it. Hopefully mid-summer I will be going well. I just wanted to do the racing in North America and help the team win when I can.”