My name is Leah and I am a professional cyclist from the Canadian prairies racing for Team Sunweb and the Canadian National team.
Early sport background:
My parents got me out on cross-country skis at the young age of five, and I competed across the country for years growing up. I was introduced to Kids of Mud at the age of 13, a kids mountain bike race program in Winnipeg. I was pretty hooked after a few good battles through the dirt. Marian, the former Polish pro provincial coach took notice and immediately recruited me to the road team. Old school training techniques, and comical road trips across the country helped develop my skills and resilience as a rider.
Skiing or cycling?
Instead of choosing a specialty or sport, I chose everything. Ski racing through the winters, and then hopping on my road and mountain bikes for the summer months. A highlight during this time was qualifying for both the 2008 junior road and mountain bike world championship teams.
I also had a great opportunity in 2008 to ski for the Callaghan Valley development training center ski team out in Squamish, BC, while also adding courses at Quest University to the mix. With lots of things on the go, I decided it was finally time to specialize, and road racing was the winner!
I got noticed the following season by a pro team while
racing for Trek Red-Truck racing out of Vancouver. In 2011, I had a phenomenal
introduction to the pro peloton, racing with the powerhouse Colavita
Forno-d’Asolo team, ending that season as the 2nd ranked rider on
the NRC circuit ,with my teammates also sweeping the overall podium. The next season, I followed my director Rachel Heal from Colavita over to the newly formed Optum pro cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team. I loved the team and found it to be a great place to develop as a rider. This led me to race with them for the next four years.
In 2016, I fulfilled my dream of racing for a European based team, signing for the Dutch based team, Liv-Plantur. The team's "Keep Challenging" model turned out to be the perfect fit for me, and led to the most successful season of my career. Highlights include representing Team Canada at the Rio Olympics, winning the Giro Rosa prologue and wearing the maglia rosa, and finishing the season ranked 2nd overall in the overall Women's World Tour.
I look forward to continuing to develop as a rider within the team's performance model for the 2017 season, competing under the name Team Sunweb.
In the spring of 2013, I graduated with my Bachelors of Arts
and Sciences in Public health nutrition from Quest University Canada, looking at the role of nutrition and health, and how our environment plays a role in shaping our eating habits. I aim to
one day pursue more education in Public Health or Epidemiology. Until then, I
hope to inspire others to lead healthy lifestyles by example.
I am currently an elite ambassador for Fast and Female, an
organization that aims to empower young girls through involvement with sport.
I’ve gained confidence, made friends around the world, and learned so much as a
life long athlete.
I am also a mentor for young Canadian riders who are part of the Global Relay Bridge the Gap program, a non-profit organization supported by Global Relay. The goal of the organization is to help support riders with the resources they need to make it to the international level of competition.
My cycling career has been an incredible adventure filled
with unexpected twists and turns, and all the highs and lows that come with the
lifestyle. Follow along as I aspire to reach the highest level of the sport.