Local cyclist ready for Summer Games
By Brian Oliver, The Graphic
Portage’s athletic prowess will be on display at the upcoming Canada Summer Games.
Seventeen-year-old cyclist Kailen Shackleton is just one of many local athletes participating in the 2017 edition of the games, set to run July 28 – August 13 in nearby Winnipeg. The Portage la Prairie native is competing in three different disciplines during the games, beginning Sunday with a cross-country style race, followed by Tuesday’s relay race and Thursday’s elimination races. In the latter, four cyclists are vying for two spots in a short-track style race that sends the last two racers who cross the finish line packing – an event Shackleton has high expectations for.
“We have quite a (wide range) of skill on our team,” he explains. “We have guys who are (very strong) on short track and some guys that are good on the cross country, so it will even out on the relay.”
The recent PCI grad is no stranger to big races. Shackleton – who began cycling with Portage’s Junk Yard Dogs Cycling Club at age nine – began racing provincially at the age of 11 and has spent the past few years competing nationally and internationally.
“You always have to try to have a good mindset because if you go into it thinking you’re not going to do well, you’re not going to do well,” adds Shackleton, whose rigorous training regime of two hours a day, six days a week, will come in handy throughout the week. “With the game’s big age difference, I’m going to be racing guys that are 21 and 22 that have been going to World Cup events (throughout the year). So you just don’t think about that.”