Local cyclist Tristen Chernove has been named 2018 Canadian Cyclist of the Year para athlete.
This is the third consecutive year he has been named to the award since the inception of the para category.
“It’s amazing. It feels better over time,” said Chernove. “I think every year I have to work that much harder to continue with my success because the level of competition is constantly increasing and I’m having to find ways to train harder, get faster and maintain my top ranking.”
Consistency was a main aspect for Chernove in him being able to win the title again this year.
“Ever since I started competing at the top level and internationally I have been able to find the tools for the fire to stay winning,” he said.
“There are other para-athletes doing extremely well also, but what is unique in my case is I’m world champion both on the track and the road, so two different disciplines.”
In 2018 he was a triple medalist at the World Track Championships. But, a highlight of the year was defending his championship title in the road race.
“For me, that is the most exciting race, and there is the greatest number of variables because its the longest race, there are so many things that can happen from mechanical to crashes and the strategy plays out longer. For all of those reasons I’ve really enjoyed the road races the most out of the events I do,” he said.
While he did win the race, Chernove explains the fashion in which he won was thrilling.
“It culminated into a sprint finish, uphill, cobblestones and downtown in Maniago, Italy … cycling is as big there as hockey is here,” he said.
In 2009 Chernove was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects his lower legs.
“I’m wanting to be a living science experiment for this disease … when I first got diagnosed the general feedback from practitioners was … you can exercise for general health but don’t push yourself to muscle fatigue or neuro fatigue. All I do every day is push myself to muscle and neuro fatigue, and I’ve had almost zero degeneration in the years I have been being monitored,” he said.
The awards for top cyclist are voter based, and Chernove received 42 per cent of the first placed ballots in the para category.
“I have to give kudos to Canadian Cyclist for including para in the categories and helping to leverage up that exposure. Over the last three years, I have seen the awareness from the public of the level of athleticism that para includes,” he said.
Canadian Cyclist also named Emily Batty and Mike Woods winners in their respective categories as well.
“Just to share any media with Mike Woods and Emily Batty is phenomenal because they are like heroes to me,” said Chernove.
With the new year in full effect, there’s no slowing down, Chernove will continue to train and work hard for all the races he participates in. Right now he is currently training for the Para Track World Championships in March, then it’s on to training for the World Road Championships.
“My calendar is pretty full this year because it’s the last year leading up to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and I will be going to compete there,” he said.