Sports

Pedaling to the beat of a different sport

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

The legend of Lance Armstrong has brought the relatively obscure sport of cycling into the national and international spotlight. And the seven-time Tour de France winner’s exploits weren’t lost on Federal Way 12-year-old Evan Renwick.

The Saghalie Middle School seventh-grader has developed into one of the best young cyclists in the Pacific Northwest thanks to plenty of hard work and miles and miles on the seat of his bike.

“I just like the exercise and competition,” Renwick said.

Renwick started getting interested in the sport of cycling as a toddler when his father, Dan, would take him out on rides. Dan Renwick has been involved in the sport for over a decade.

“He wasn’t anybody who was going to turn pro or anything,” said Evan’s mother, Pat Renwick. “But cycling was just a natural thing for Evan to get into. He just took a real liking to it. He started out on a training-wheel bike when he was 4 or 5 years old.”

Renwick’s cycling career has evolved in a big way since then. He currently is a part of the Oh Boy! Oberto Cycling Team and competes in several different racing disciplines throughout the year, including road racing, mountain biking and cyclocross, which is a combination of the two.

Renwick has been racing competitively since the age of 10 in 2003, when he finished up in second place in the Lance Armstrong Junior Cycling Series in the Junior D category.

Renwick’s second-place finish came in the first year the Lance Armstrong Junior Cycling Series was in existence, which was started to give junior cyclists a venue to grow up in the sport of cycling — much like Little League Baseball.

The series has four age- and gender-based categories for juniors from 10 to 18 years old. The series included seven races in the Seattle area during the spring and summer months.

“It is very important to offer categories that match the strength progression of kids.” said series director Dave Schilling, “This gives them the opportunity to race competitively from 10 years old on up.”

At the age of 11, Renwick repeated his second-place finish in the Lance Armstrong Series, but also finished second in the Washington State Team Time Trial, fifth in the Cyclocross National Championships and first place in the Joe Mantava Race. This year, Renwick won the prestigious Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race and was first in the Pacific Raceway Series in Kent.

“He works extremely hard and is extremely dedicated,” Pat Renwick said.

Renwick’s training is pretty much a year-round undertaking. He still logs plenty of miles with his father and attends races about two to three weekends a month. He also does a lot of riding during the week at the Pacific Raceways Road Race Series on Tuesday nights from April through August. There he rides against riders in their 20s and 30s.

“He can’t keep up with the guys out there,” Pat Renwick said. “But he still goes out there and rides.”

Renwick’s long-term goal in the sport of cycling is to one day ride in the Paris-Reubaix Classic Bicycle Race in France, which is a one-day, 100-mile competition.

“His friends really thinks its cool,” Pat Renwick said. “Cycling is just a little bit different sport. But it’s getting more popular now.”

Thanks to the Lance Armstrong effect.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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