First name: Alison
Height: 170 cm / 5 ft 7 in
Weight: 57.5 kg / 127 lbs
City: Victoria (B.C.)
Date of Birthday: September 9th, 1966
Birthplace: Edmonton AB
Years as a pro mountain-bike racer: 6
Racing since: road 1987 - MTB 1991
Team: Rocky Mountain Factory Team
Hobbies: Baking, playing ice hockey, drinking coffee with her friends, riding with her friends !
Sport Background: Former Alberta junior champion in triathlon - Played ice hockey, volleyball and basketball in high school.
Favorite race: Bromont (Quebec)
Alison's bike: Rocky Mountain
Training week: 12-28 hours.
Winter training: 10-20 hrs bike and cross-training.
Training mode: road & MTB, ice hockey, swimming, hiking, running.
Fave riding places: the trails around my home in North Vancouver.
Reason for success: years of experience, good all-round rider and never giving up.
Why you ride: I love riding the trails and the challenge of technical riding.
Strenght: inner confidence and love of sport.
Weakness: training too hard and not resting enough.
Most important people: my family, my coach and the inviduals on team V-C.
Best moment: winning the Kirchzarten Worlds in 1995 before the biggest, noisiest crowd.
Worst moments: 1997, when I never once found top form.
What's left to accomplish: I know I have areas I can improve in as an athlete.
Best part of your job: experiencing different parts of the world.
Worst part: the process of travelling, all that packing, unpacking & sitting in cars.
Fave music: depends on mood, but Sarah McLachan anytime.
Fave film: Room with a view
Fave reading: magazines, but especially good interviews.
Fave food: risotto and good coffee.
PROFILE OF ALISON SYDOR
In her own words "Most people think that the transition from road racing to mountain biking, as long as you can ride a mountain bike on the trails, should be pretty easy. But I've found that it hasn't been that easy. In road racing I really relied on my tactical sense and less on my physical skills. But that's what mountain biking is. There's no pack, there's no waiting for the moment. Once the gun goes off you're basically on your own, pushing yourself all the time. I was never a good time trialist in road racing. The fact that I had success in mountain biking showed me it's not quite as simple as putting your head down and going. The mountain bike race is long, and it's a matter of keeping everything together from start to finish."
- First impressions -
Sydor (pronounced "cider") is a hard-thinking racer who learns her weaknesses and works relentlessly on improving them. She often refers to herself in the third person, talking about herself with
a certain analytical detachment. This is not surprising, for her greatest strength is her self-knowledge, her understanding of the arrows in her quiver and her discipline in using them. She is
popular at races, taking time to talk to fans and being especially available for the media--almost to a fault. But she believes part of her job is to promote mountain bike racing and its
- Who do you do it for? -
"I think motivation for anything one does is very complex. It's difficult to say there's one thing that motivates you. Whatever I've done, whether it's school or sport, I've really wanted to concentrate on a few things and do the best I could do at those things. When I took up cycling it was exactly the same thing. I made the decision to take up bike racing. I read books, I got all the experience I could. It wasn't casual. Whenever I've done anything I always kind of do it like that. The motivation is to just go and try to improve yourself and see what the ultimate potential is, in whatever you do."
- Who are your heroes? -
"I wouldn't say there's any person in particular. I love reading stories about people who are successful in all areas of life, and gaining inspiration from a lot of different people."
- What makes you guys angry? -
"The only thing that bugs me is when people put the women's race in a lesser spot [than men's racing]."
- What scares you the most? -
Alison laughs, then says, "To perform at a high level, you have to be willing to put out a lot, whether it be training or your commitment or whatever. Some days I wonder why I do it. I hope I never lose that drive."