Jeff Schiller, Jayden McMullen, Alex Fangeat, Andrew and Eve Buczkowski,
each win gold at the provincial cycling road races
August 10, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Jeff Schiller not only won two provincial titles, but also watched four other St. Thomas cyclists capture gold medals, including a father and daughter.
Schiller, Andrew and Eve Buczkowski, Jayden McMullen and Alex Fangeat, combined to bring home 10 medals, six being gold, from the provincial cycling road championships, August 4-6 in North Bay.
Schiller is the Master men's criterium and road race champion, from the three day event featuring three types of races, time trial, criterium and road.
"The weekend was fantastic. I feel very privileged to be able to compete and take top honours at both the provincial criterium and road race this year," Schiller said. "Special mention to my teammate Andrew Buczkowski as he played a vital role in helping me achieve the top step."
Schiller and Andrew both ride for the Epic Sports Performance Lastig, with Schiller the head coach of the London based team.
"Teamwork is a vital component to cycling and it is important to recognize those that helped to achieve the result," Schiller said.
Andrew Buczkowski won the Master men's time trial and placed third in the criterium, while his daughter, Eve, just 15 years old, won the U19 women's criterium, took silver in the U17 women's time trial and finished fourth on the road, a 100-kilometer trek for her age group.
"It has been amazing to see Eve grow in terms of skill and tactics this year," Andrew said. "Being her first season racing on the road has really been eye opening for her. She is is demonstrating a lot of awareness for what is going on in races now and can get into the important positions to win."
The win in the criterium, a race over a set time on a short course, totalling 34-kilometers at this championship, won't soon be forgotten by Eve.
"I've won lots on the track as a U17, but this was my first win as a U19, so it will always be special to me," Eve said. "I went into it just wanting to be able to finish the races with the pack, since I thought it was going to be a super difficulty weekend. When I crossed the line I thought I was actually going for second place, thinking someone from my age group was up the road."
All age divisions race together.
Eve credits time trial practice with the London Centennial Wheelers and competing in the Intelligentsia Cup, a 10-day criterium race series in Chicago, for improving her skills and confidence throughout this summer.
"It's great to see so many people achieving such success," said Schiller, who has been cycling and coaching for 25 years. "It is very exciting to see how well our local athletes are doing this year, not only at the provincial level but also at the national level. I am excited to see what the future will hold."
Jayden McMullen, 17, won the U19 men's criterium and bronze in the road race.
Alex Fangeat, 15, won the U17 women's time trial, silver in the U19 women's criterium and placed fifth in the road race.
Eve Buczkowski rides with Attack Academy, while McMullen and Fangeat are with KW cycling academy.
Brody Mann and Eve Buczkowski added quite an experience to their cycling careers.
The two St. Thomas teenagers participated in the Intelligentsia Cup, an annual 10-day long cycling criterium road race series, occurring in different areas of Chicago, July 21-30.
Cyclists come from around the world, including Olympians and pros. The local pair competed in six of the 10 races.
Mann, in men's category three, had placements of ninth, 10th twice and 11th, in fields ranging from 50-72 cyclists of all ages. Mann also didn't finish one race due to a crash, but the 16-year old was ok.
Buczkowski in women's category three, finished 13th, 16th, 18th, 23rd, 33rd and 26th, in fields of 64 cyclists.
McMullen wins local stage races
Jayden McMullen of St Thomas won the A category and was the junior men's winner at the London Centennials Wheelers Stage races.
The London bike club offers weekly races for cyclists and for three races in July, riders earned points from each race, totalled after the third one.
Eve Buczkowski took the junior women's category and placed second overall for women behind Larissa Pedersen.
Ben Buczkowski, younger brother of Eve, placed third in the C category.
Fangeat first at OffTheFront criterium
Alexandra Fangeat placed first in the women's division at the Ontario Cycling OffTheFront Summer Classic Criterium road race July 23 in London.
Schiller was the overall combined Elite 1&2 / Master 1 men's winner, with Andrew Buczkowski placing fifth, the top Master 1 men finisher.
McMullen finished seventh overall in the men's division.
Eve Buczkowski placed 12th overall among women, third in the Elite 3 division.
Brody Mann was third in Elite 3 men, while his dad, Marten Mann, was 14th in Elite 3 men.