An admirable trait to have in the racing game, and a particularly useful one. It certainly paid off for the 19-year-old Corner Brook native recently when he took first place in the EnergyLab Sprint Time Trial, a race that was part of the Robert Cameron Law Series that featured various events over a multi-day span.
His time of 6:59.7 was four full seconds ahead of second-place Eloi Batista (7:03.9). Third place went to Parker Bloom (7:18.7).
Fowlow also competed in a road race and a crit (or criterium) — which is a shorter-course race featuring several laps around a closed circuit, or, “Really flat and fast with lots of cornering,” as Fowlow explains — during the series, but the time trial stood out as his big win. In fact, he said it was his best result in quite a while.
“I was surprised, but I think time trial is a little bit my strong suit,” he said. “That’s what I train for a lot.”
Now a resident of British Columbia and an English major at the University of Victoria, Fowlow races almost every weekend with the Dr. Walker Sports Chiropractor Cycling Team, which he joined in November.
He compared applying for the team to a job interview, where he had to submit his racing resume and results. The team handles race expenses and procures sponsors for its members.
Next up on the schedule is the annual B.C. Superweek from July 7-16 in Vancouver, where Fowlow will compete in three separate crits — the Tour de Delta, the Tour de White Rock and the PoCo Grand Prix.
He’s optimistic about his chances, since he will race in the Cat 3 skill classification, whereas most of the events during the week are going to be Pro and Cat 1-2, a status still just a little out of Fowlow’s grasp. The more races a rider competes in, the more points they achieve and they update over time.
“I’ll be towards the top end of the Cat 3, skill-wise, luckily,” he said, though noting the racing in B.C. is a lot faster and bigger than it is in Newfoundland, with a lot more riders.
All this will also serve as fine preparation for another huge event Fowlow will take part in — the Canada Games in Winnipeg.
The Games begin on July 29, but Fowlow will be among the Week 2 contingent, so he won’t arrive until Aug. 5. He will represent this province in all three big cycling events — road race, crit and time trial.
Another chunk of his summer will be spent indoors — in a velodrome, which is an arena for track cycling. Fowlow describes the track as a “really steep, banked oval” on which six-gear bikes are ridden.
“So no coasting and no brakes,” he said. “It’s really fun.”
He earned the B.C. provincial track championship last summer and he hopes he can duplicate the feat on Aug. 18.
This two-wheeled lover affair began rather naturally for Fowlow, just killing time with his friends on the long days of summer vacation from school.
“I’ve been riding all my life,” he said. “That’s how kids get around.”
He credits Peter Ollerhead, owner of the local biking shop Cycle Solutions, with getting him more heavily — and competitively — involved.
About five years ago, he purchased his first road bike from Ollerhead and attended a few of the group rides that are offered.
“I just started liking it more and more,” Fowlow said.
Now it’s gotten to the point where there’s no real finish line in sight, but there’s definitely a dangling carrot.
Fowlow hopes to find his way onto the roster of the NextGen Performance Track Team, essentially a development squad for the Canadian U23 track team, with a mandate in place to prepare athletes for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
And that’s exactly where Fowlow wants to be.
With such a lofty goal — and a hectic racing schedule — there’s one place Fowlow won’t be, at least not this summer. Home.
“I don’t think I’ll have time,” he said. “I’m racing every weekend basically until school starts up again.”