David Veilleux Interview: Young Canadian driving forward with Europcar
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

David Veilleux Interview: Young Canadian driving forward with Europcar

by Ed Hood at 4:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Good opportunity for European racing for 23 year old rider

David VeilleuxOne of the most interesting signings of the transfer season so far must be that of 23 year-old Canadian David Veilleux with Jean Rene Bernadeau's new Europcar Pro Continental team.

It looked as if Bernadeau's tenure in the big league of pro cycling was over as he struggled to find a sponsor to replace departing BBox Bouygues Telecom. However at the eleventh hour, the perma-tanned Frenchman finally found the rabbit at the bottom of the hat and out popped the giant car hire company.

Veilleux has been a a professional on the North American scene since 2007 when he turned pro with Jittery Joe's at the age of 19.

He was initially an off-road rider, with his first notable result being third in the 2002 Canadian debutant cyclo cross championship.

By 2006 he was Canadian U23 time trial champion, a title he successfully defended three times. Then in 2008 he moved teams to Kelly Benefit Strategies, where he has remained until the end of last season.

Stage wins in the Nature Valley and Tour of Pennsylvania stage races and a GC win in the Tour of Elk Grove were the highlights of his first year with Kelly.

The following season saw strong performances on the world stage with tenth in the World U23 TT champs and a bronze medal in the Pan American U23 TT championship.

The 2010 season saw the man from Cap-Rouge grab GC wins in the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic in the US and Tour de Delta in Canada, not to mention a win in the hotly-contested US Pro criterium championship. He became the first Canadian ever to triumph there.

Veilleux took time to talk to VeloNation recently about his goals and expectations for the season ahead.


VeloNation: How did the deal with Europcar come about, David ?

David Veilleux: I got the contact information of the team manager, Jean-René Bernaudeau, and my coach contacted him. They talked a couple times on the phone and Bernaudeau was impressed with my progression and my results over the years

VN: Was there any particular result which 'swung' their decision ?

DV: I think the sum of my seven national champion titles, my tenth place at the Espoir TT Worlds in 2009 and my seventh place at the Tour de Bretagne in 2010 was what caught their attention.

VN: Did you particularly want a French team ?

DV: Not in particular.

VN: You were originally a MTB rider...

DV: Yes, I raced mountain bike from around 12 years old up to junior. Then I turned pro with Jittery Joes in 2007.

VN: What were the highlights of your three years with Kelly Benefits?

DV: I have a lot of great moments with the team. I can’t really point out one particular moment, but what I will definitely miss is the great time we had racing together.

VN: Do you have a coach, and are you a 'scientific' or a 'traditional' trainer?

DV: I have a coach and he’s the perfect balance between old school French training versus the high tech training of these days.

He’s been coaching for longer than I’ve been around (he used to coach Steve Bauer) but he’s definitely up to date as we always work with wattage and my power meter.

VN: Your new team has a Canadian connection in Louis Garneau…

Yes, the first road race I ever did was in front of their headquarters in Québec city. Then I was wearing Garneau clothing the following years as an amateur plus my first year with Jittery Joe’s.

I built a good relationship over the years with them and I’m happy to be working with them again. Also, it’s good to know that I will have some of the most technical and comfortable equipment for some of the toughest races in the world

VN: You've been four times Canadian U23 TT champion. Is this a strength you will be seeking to capitalise on as a Euro Pro ?

DV: Time trialling is definitely a strength…I was 10th in the Espoir TT World championship in 2009, so I will keep working on that discipline. But I will also keep working on my sprint.

I don’t consider myself being a real sprinter when it comes to crits, but I do have a good sprint that could be useful in longer road races.

VN: With your move to Europcar, have you been preparing differently this winter ?

DV: Not that much, but the big difference is that I started way earlier than I used to.

VN: Where will you be based for season 2011?

DV: At the team base in France, near Nantes

VN: You were 31st at the UCI ProTour race in Quebec - will it be a target for 2011 ?

I will definitely try to arrive there as fit as I can. With a year of European races done by that time, I would be very pleased if I could obtain a result.

VN: And what about the Montreal race for 2011?

DV: I didn’t do it this year, but the course suits me less [than Quebec].

VN: Finally, 2011 will be a success, if . . . . ?

DV: . . .at the end of the year I’m happy and I still want to race my bike!


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