Nickolas Zukowsky has been well-known in Canada since he burst onto the cycling scene as a Junior, leading the GC at the Tour de l’Abitibi until the final stage, and then being signed by Silber Pro Cycling before heading to the 2016 Junior World Championships in Doha.
In his first year Elite, Zuke won local races, had an impressive Tour of Utah where he repeatedly infiltrated the daily break, and again represented Canada at Worlds in Bergen, Norway. In 2018, Silber placed Zuke into a leadership role at the age of 20. By the end of the year he had several top ten finishes and won the Canadian Crit Championships before participating in the WT races in Quebec and Montreal and then once again heading to Innsbruck, Austria for Worlds.
Two weeks ago, Nick turned the ripe old age of 21. Earlier in the year, Zuke was 3rd overall at the prestigious Tour of Gila, where he won the Young Rider’s competition. Last week he won the overall, plus both the Points and Young Rider’s competitions at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay. It’s safe to say he is now a known quantity in North American bike racing.
Nick’s success in Saguenay was the product of tactical execution, as teammates galvanized to successfully control time bonuses throughout each stage to ensure his overall win. A special nod has to be given to Emile Jean, who consistently supported Nick while coming 3rd on a stage and finishing 8th overall.
That said, tactical execution and especially the control of time bonuses is becoming a recurring theme of our success this year. The team supported Travis McCabe’s overall win at the Cascade Cycling Classic in a similar fashion. This points to another helping hand in Nick’s steady rise on the UCI Americas Tour: our Sports Director, Gord Fraser. Nick’s win is first and foremost a credit to the quality of athlete and person that he is; but it’s also a credit to our program and Gord’s directing. As we head to our next event–the Tour de Beauce–I want to leave you with this picture because it’s worth a thousand words, and there’s a gallery tossed in below: