Ryan Tougas said being named to Cycling Canada’s 2021 NextGen BMX program is going to help him to continue to grow his skills on the track.
The 18-year-old speedster from Pitt Meadows has been a member of the team since he was 15.
“They try to build you up to be a good pro,” he said. “And there’s a ton of great kids on the team, including another B.C. rider, Teigen Pascual[Squamish].
Tougas will continue to work with team coach Adam Muy on improving his technique.
“He’s great with film and is really in tune with his riders,” Tougas said.
A strength program is also in place to ensure the rider is in peak physical condition.
This year, was an odd one, as the conditioning work before the season, had to be performed at home, but once the weather got nice, Tougas said he was able to get some solid practice in.
“Luckily BMX is an outdoor sport, so you’re able to social distance,” he said.
Riding with some of the best in the province helped him immensely too.
“I’ve been able to train with two of the top pros in James Palmer [North Vancouver] and Drew Mechielsen [Langley].
It certainly hasn’t hurt to have his last name too.
Tougas’ brother, Alex, races for the national team, and tours the world with his bike.
“I’ve been able to follow in his footsteps,” Tougas said.
“He kind of paved the path for me and everything I do is because of him.”
While having many impressive accomplishments of his own – seven-time Canadian Amateur BMX champion, and a bronze medal at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championship – an eye on representing his country on the big stage is what motivates the Pitt Meadows racer.
“The top goal for me is always the Olympics,” he said.
“I’ll be a first-year elite pro next year, so I just want to make some gains and establish myself in the class.”