Bonne nouvelle pour la cycliste Marie-Soleil Blais, qui se voit offrir une place au sein de l’équipe féminine ASTANA. Nous l’avions rencontré lors du Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau, l’été dernier.
Voici le reportage:
Communiqué de presse de l’équipe ASTANA:
First new signing for next season arrives from Québec, Canada
Season 2018 was full of satisfactions for Astana Women’s Team and at the end of the year the team reached the ninth place in the UCI Women’s World Tour Ranking and an eleventh place in the UCI Women’s World Ranking, but now it’s already time to look forward to the next season. Astana Women’s Team is proud to announce that its first new signing ahead of season 2019 is Canadian rider Marie-Soleil Blais who will have the opportunity to join for the first time in her career an UCI European team. Blais, who’ll turn 30 in a few days, is a multiple Québec Provincial champion: she won three consecutive title in the road race (2016-2018), one in the individual time trial (2018) plus three on the track. Blais also won twice the Critérium National de Montréal and has top10 finishes in all Canadian UCI races showing nice improvements year after year.
Marie-Soleil Blais began her sports career with ice hockey, maybe the most popular sport in Canada, she turned to cycling only when she was 24, but her love and passion for the bike already were there: «I always loved riding, for me bike it’s always been equivalent to freedom and I saw it as a wonderful way for exploring new places. Hockey is a tough sport where injuries are quite common and at one point I realized I wasn’t able to progress anymore and I thought that I had better chances in cycling: I loved it from the beginning and the more I learn the more I loved it, and now I’m very happy for this new step in my career. I really have to thank my coach Chris Rodzilsky: with him I really reach a new high level of training, I really stepped-up my performances and now I can’t wait for the next season to start. I’m ready to try new experiences, to learn from the team and to help my teammates, I want to be part of team’s success».
In 2019 Astana Women’s Team will be sponsored again by the Montréal based company Argon18 and this will give special emotions to Marie-Soleil Blais: «When I was 16, my very first bike was a blue-painted Argon18, my track bike is an Argon18 and during last season my time trial bike was an Argon18 E-118 Next. I’m very proud to represent such a big Canadian brand in races all over the world and it would be awesome to earn a call for the next World Championships in Yorkshire, but on a longer term my goal is to represent Canada at the Olympic Games».