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He did well in the TT, I thought. He's an interesting guy, with an interesting story:

http://www.bcsportsbeat.ca/More/olympian_svein_tuft_story_719.htm

"Up in the Yukon I was building log cabins … or you paint someone’s fence. You would run into people because I had the craziest get-up with the dog and the trailer. Plus, I looked weather-torn and I was still just a kid. So people wanted to hear my story.”

The trips were fun and often difficult, but also sometimes dangerous. He recalls one time in the Yukon somewhere between Whitehorse and Watson Lake. It was June, late at night, but still fairly light out because of the midnight sun at that time of year.

It had been a long day of cycling and he was ready to make camp. A big climb lay ahead and he made up his mind to reach the crest of the hill before sleeping so that he could start the next day with an easy roll downhill. That hill turned out to be the Continental Divide.

He finally reached his spot and lay down to sleep for the night when he heard a rustling in the bushes. Bear started growling, so Svein got up to investigate the sound.

“In that part of the world there are massive wolves. And something was wrong with this one. It was massive, but it was sickly, really skinny. Something was [wrong] because generally they only work in packs,” he recalls.

“So [my dog and the wolf] went at it. The middle of the night and that terrible dog fighting sound. I remember grabbing a stick and I go over and [they’re] just tearing at each other. I’m trying to take a whack at this massive wolf and finally they separate and the wolf takes off. My dogs starts chasing him, so I’m running behind screaming and yelling.”

Svein finally wrangled his dog and returned to his bivy sack and blanket, exhausted after a taxing day.

The day after the encounter with the wolf, Svein continued his ride across the Yukon. His cash situation having long since become desperate, he was also low on food. Ten days before, Svein scraped up enough money to purchase a sack of potatoes and a sack of flour, which he used to make bannock, a type of fried bread. He carried no water, but drank from streams he found along his route.

After almost two weeks on a diet consisting only of potatoes, bannock, and water, Svein was in rough shape.

“I was the lightest [in terms of weight] that I’d ever been in my life,” he said.

Riding ten or more hours a day, climbing steep ridges with such a heavy load and so little nourishment was taking its toll.

“Your body just starts to crap out. You can operate, but it’s very limited.”

At this point on the journey, Svein was reaching the limits of his sanity. Then, on a nearly barren stretch of highway, a Boss Hogg style Cadillac pulling a U-Haul trailer with Texas license plates sped by.

“Over the next hill I see him parked up there,” says Svein. “It’s this huge Texas dude, and I ride up to him. And he’s like, ‘What the hell are you doing out here?’”

Svein proceeded to tell his story, explaining that he was trying to get back to Vancouver and was desperately hungry. The Texan was in utter disbelief at the sight of this emancipated teenager and his dog traveling through the middle of nowhere.

The Texan led Svein around to his U-Haul and opened the trailer door. Inside was a large amount of food of every description. It turned out that this man had thought there would be no restaurants or supermarkets in this part of the world, and stocked up for his trip.

“The first thing I saw was this gallon jug of Welch’s grape juice. I reached for that and boom! It was the craziest feeling of coming alive again,” says Svein.

For five years, Svein made his way up and down the Pacific coast wandering from Mexico to Alaska. He never had a destination, time frame, or a goal in mind. He traveled for the sake of traveling, sleeping under the stars and sharing an occasional meal with a friendly stranger.

Between trips, he would return to the sporting goods store to work and save money. There he would check out the various types of bikes that came in on consignment. Soon, he was struck by a new desire.

“When I tried out a road bike compared to a trailer with a dog in it, a road bike being about 18 pounds and everything so efficient, I thought [cycling like] this would be awesome.”

Svein’s dad was supportive of his son’s new found interest in competitive cycling that he told Svein about a race taking place on Vancouver Island.

With barely enough money to get on the ferry, Svein rode his bike to the location of the race the night before it was to take place. He slept in a field nearby and in the morning was ready to go.

His appearance at the race stunned many of the other riders. They had come with professional equipment and clothing, and here was Svein, with his second hand bike pieced together and ordinary street clothes.

Svein had no understanding of technique or strategy. He brought no food and only one bottle of water for a 120 km race."
 

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Really interesting guy

Saw him at the Tour de Gastown (oh, how I hate that name: how about Gastown Twilight Criterium or Gastown Grand Prix, which it used to be called). He was an animal. Launched a solo move with 10 or 12 laps to go (1.2 km per lap). Had a gap of 10 or so seconds for lap after lap. Chris Horner was driving the peloton, which finally caught Tuft on the last lap, only for one of Tuft's teammates (who had been hiding safely in the draft) to take out the sprint for the win.
 

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roadie92 said:
What team does he race for?
Team Symmetrics. But I don't know if the sponsor is staying on next year. The team is based in Langley, BC (a suburb of Vancouver).
 

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He used to race for Mercuray and Prime Alliance years ago. Then he got sick of it and quit, largely due to the doping problems within the sport. He took a couple of years off, then came back to race with Symmetrics. He said that his reasoning for going with Symmetrics was that it is a very clean team.
Last year he won the UCI Americas Tour. Which basically means he racked up more points than any other rider in North or South America.
He needs a big time contract, perhaps Garmin?
 

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mtbbmet said:
....
He needs a big time contract, perhaps Garmin?
I sort of doubt it. He is 31 and built more for one-day events or crits. He really was Canada's third guy in the road race (after Michael Barry and Ryder Hejsedal). I think Garmin is more interested in younger riders.
 

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'good' rider is an understatement

Raced 'against' him (from behind) a few times...the dude's a powerhouse. But yeah, he's much more of a one day rider already in the later part of his career, ie probably not going to make the big time.

He's had a great career though, and while far from being done, don't expect to see him getting picked up by a Pro Tour team (or whatever it's going to be) and winning a Classic next year. With Symmetrics, he's on a good team and gets to hang near home. Being well-respected and well-paid domestically is also nothing to be ashamed of. It seems like the talent level has notched up significantly in the last 5 years or so. Anyway, good on him, that was a great TT especially considering the hilly course.
 

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crumjack said:
I've read different tellings of his story and each is fascinating. Now, how did he do in that Vancouver race? You left us hanging... :)
He finished with the pack. They caught him on the last corner.

It was a interesting race to watch, Symetrics as a team were just 1 2ing Chris horner then whole race, until Svein went off the front. I really thought he was gonna stay away.
 

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Ninja #2 said:
He finished with the pack. They caught him on the last corner.

It was a interesting race to watch, Symetrics as a team were just 1 2ing Chris horner then whole race, until Svein went off the front. I really thought he was gonna stay away.
Great team tactics there. And it is always a fabulous race through the oldest area of town. A nightmare in the rain, like in 2007 when riders were going down all over the place. I took a few, not very good pics with my P&S. The out of focus rider ahead of Horner is Tuft (at least I think it is!). By the second shot I had given up trying to focus at all. Any of the yellow and black blurs could be Tuft.
 

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Ninja #2 said:
He finished with the pack. They caught him on the last corner.

It was a interesting race to watch, Symetrics as a team were just 1 2ing Chris horner then whole race, until Svein went off the front. I really thought he was gonna stay away.
Thanks, but I was actually wondering about the first RR Bertrand's post referred to.
 

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crumjack said:
Thanks, but I was actually wondering about the first RR Bertrand's post referred to.
He came 7th in the Olympic ITT.
 

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His main success this year and last year were in tours - so do not know where the one day rep came from. Won the tour de beauce this year and last year won the America's points on his success in several south american/caribbean tours.
 

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First race result

crumjack said:
Thanks, but I was actually wondering about the first RR Bertrand's post referred to.
The "first" race referred to in the article was the 1999 BC provincial road race championships. It was just before I moved to the area, but I believe Svein went off solo then got caught by the front group of the top riders at the time. He pulled them around for a while and then he was jumped in the finale. His performance in that one race got him a ride with the local Trek-VW team for 2000.

My first race after moving to BC was in March of 2000. I think I was parked next to Svein and Arne (his dad). I remember he was pretty big (like 190 lbs) and he had a circa-1991 Specialized Allez carbon with 7spd 105 downtube shifters. He was in the Trek-VW kit but I honestly thought this guy was cat 5 newbie with the chubbiness and old bike. I was a little surprised when he lined up for the P/1/2 race. A few laps into the race I was in a little move off the front with Svein and a few others and he was absolutely ripping our legs off. He went on to crush everyone locally that year and had some good results at Willamette and Gila. The rest is history, but I'll never forget the big dude on the old bike giving me a serious bike lesson that day! I often run into him out training, but usually it is him ripping along behind his dad on the scooter, so we don't chat much :)

His Olympic performances were outstanding and knowing that he does it clean makes me even more proud of him and proud to be a Canadian.
 
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