For Mark Wallace, his journey on two wheels began on the mountain biking trails of the Cowichan Valley.
“I lived beside some trails and my parents went riding and I decided I wanted to do it to,” said Wallace on a skype interview from Portugal. “Around fourteen, I started racing and just love it and started racing Island cups and then eventually provincially.”
Wallace eventually turned pro and has been traveling on the World Cup circuit since 2013. But his 2020 season has been far from normal.
“Throughout the spring and summer, races just kept getting postponed or canceled,” said Wallace. “Then I think around June or something they proposed this idea of just doing a compressed season in the fall in Europe.”
The condensed schedule means Mark is constantly on the go.
“It was like no races for over a year and then I guess it will be five races in four weeks,” said Wallace. “Luckily, we got a week off between World Cups one and two and then this week so that helped a lot, we just hung out in the south of France and just kind of were out in the mountains.”
But the jam-packed schedule hasn’t affected his performance, as Wallace recently placed 4th at the UCI World Championship in Austria. This weekend, Wallace is off to another strong start as the Duncan native has already qualified for tomorrow’s UCI Mountain Biking World Cup race in Lousa, Portugal.
Wallace believes none of his achievements would be possible without his Vancouver Island roots.
“It’s the place to be if you want to be in Canada and race bikes.”