By Dave Kearsey
Star Sports Editor
CORNER BROOK Corner Brook cyclist Dylan Thomas loves to be in control of his destiny.
The 16-year-old has been in training mode under coach Peter Ollerhead for the past year with hopes of being a member of the provincial cycling team at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.
Heading to Level 2 at Corner Brook High in September, Thomas dabbled in a number of team sports like hockey and soccer during his youth, but he admits he never embraced the aspects of organized sport so he never really found something he was passionate about.
Cycling is something he did occasionally, but he never really took it seriously until he chatted with cycling guru Peter Ollerhead of Cycle Solutions last year.
Thomas started participating in group rides offered through Cycle Solutions and before long he began to look at the sport in a different light.
He loves the fact he doesn't have to depend on others for success like he had to do in team sports.
"You put in the work, you get out of it what you get out of it and it's all up to you what happens," Thomas said.
"I like cycling because it's really a sport based on productivity and effectiveness," he added.
Thomas was only immersed in the sport for three weeks in 2011 when he participated in the 114-km Tour de Port au Port road race.
He recalls how people in the cycling community were surprised with his energy and enthusiasm for the sport in such a short time.
It's not every day that a 16-year-old makes the decision to be totally committed to a goal with so many other things to distract them.
"It's really individualistic and it's hard to commit yourself to something at this age," he said.
Thomas participated in an Atlantic Canada cycling event in New Brunswick a couple of weeks ago as part of his gruelling training schedule and is now amping up his workload in anticipation of being on the start line for his second appearance at the Tour de Port au Port in a couple of weeks.
He is among a small group of youth cyclists in the province and hopes to see the numbers climb in the next couple of years. He isn't guaranteed a spot on the team so he knows the best thing for him to do is to keep working hard and let the chips fall where they may.
"It's not confirmed, but I'm really working hard and always trying to get better," he said.
"It's looking pretty good so far with a year left to try and get in there. If it comes to the point I don't make it to the Games, which I really don't want to say if I'm going or not going because nothing is really definite, I will have another chance four years later."
As he forges ahead with his training, he plans on making the most of the opportunity in front of him and plans on keeping on track with coach Ollerhead providing the guidance.
He appreciates having Ollerhead giving him the tools he needs to get the job done.
"He's on the inside ... he tells me what to do for training, he gets me the gear that I'm going to need and tunes up my bike and all that stuff," he said of his coach.