by John Symon
Over the past few years, the Mardis has seen visiting cyclists from Australia, Austria, Colombia, France, Holland, the Caribbean, and New Zealand, but very few Americans (apart from Floyd Landis who finished first at the 2006 TdF before being disqualified). But now there is a gang from Vermont which regularly races at the Mardis series. The most prominent of this gang is Bobby Bailey who ended the 2014 season wearing the black jersey (the most combative cyclist) sponsored by Samson Groupe Conseil. We reached Bobby at his home in Burlington, Vermont
MCL: Congratulations on becoming the man in black. But how did you find out about the Mardis series?
Bobby Bailey: My team mate (and fellow Vermonter) Adam Carr raced for (Quebec team) Ekoi Devinci two years ago; he thought then that the Mardis Cyclistes were a big deal. Adam is one of my best friends at Dealer.com (Bobby’s current team). Last year Adam was doing the Mardis a lot, he also has a girlfriend from Quebec City. So, through Adam, I started going. I had heard of the Mardis Cyclistes before, but used to think that they were a practice ride until I started going this year…
MCL: Why are you shooting for black?
BB: I just happened into black (jersey for the most aggressive rider sponsored by) by bursting every lap; I was too tired for the finish.
MCL: You’re now a regular in Lachine!
BB: Yes, I am addicted to the Mardis. I enjoy the calibre, speed, and production of the race; far better than anything you see here. I am very impressed that the whole (borough) of Lachine gets behind the Mardis with volunteers, and with municipal sponsorship.
MCL: I don’t think you have an FQSC (Quebec federation) racing licence; what kind of racing licence do you have and please explain how you register for the stage races
BB: Yes, I have a UCI international licence. Each year I buy an FQSC number and then simply register each week for the Mardis.
MCL: What kind of work do you do?
BB: I am a certified USA Cycling Coach with a degree in biology; I own 1K2GO, an endurance sport company specializing in coaching athletes, team management based in Burlington. Road cycling is a very competitive coaching business. IK2GO is also the name of Vermont’s first professional cycling team supported by Dealer.com and EverBank. So we are centre for competitive cycling in Vermont. We have Tuesday evening practice rides, Thursday night time trials. Our team travels throughout New England and nearby parts of Canada. We have an 8-man elite roster; some go to Mardis Lachine, others stay in Burlington on Tuesday evenings
MCL: What are your other racing accolades?
BB: I won sprint leader’s jersey at the Longsjo Classic (near Pittsburgh); I also wore the Coupe des Amériques leader’s jersey in Sutton, Quebec. I have been racing since 2001 with a break. Strangely, I have been racing more this year since my daughter born.
I also really appreciate the bicycle culture in Quebec; there’s not much coverage of cycling in the local media in Vermont. But after a Tuesday night race, as soon as we cross the border (heading back to Burlington), Facebook, the Mardis blog, Pedalmag.com all have the Mardis results posted. I am very impressed. You don’t see that much here at all.
MCL: How can readers find out more about IK2GO?
BB: They can find out more at www.1k2go.com
or on 1K2GO’s Facebook page.
MCL: Thanks, Bobby!