Posted by Editor on 11/1/03
Landry To New Zealand
Canadian national coach Jacques Landry has accepted a position with the New Zealand cycling federation as the Assistant Director of National Programs. Landry is the second Canadian to be "poached" by New Zealand - Warren Lister, former executive director of Saskatchewan Cycling Association and Team Manager for the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and for multiple world championships, was headhunted by New Zealand less than a year ago to become Executive Director.
We managed to speak with Jacques this morning to discuss his new position.
CC - Your position is Assistant Director of National programs, correct? What does it entail? Did it come about suddenly?
JL - No, it is not that new; the offer came up four or five months ago. It has been a long decision process for me, which I have been balancing in my mind. I told the CCA after the Worlds that I would be taking a new position.
The job is Assistant Director, but it is more directed towards coaching, towards being the Road Coach. They don't have the same set up as here (Canada). They (New Zealand) have never really had a national coach on the road (before). It has usually been more bringing coaches on for projects, and not for a yearly long term plan.
CC - How did the job offer come about - was Warren Lister involved?
JL - (Laughter) Yes, it was 100% Warren! When he took the position, when he got into place there, he realized that he couldn't run it all himself, and he needed more people. He needed people he knew, that he was confident in, and that's when I got the call.
CC - Why take the position? Why leave Canada?
JL - It took a long time for me to make the decision. I have appreciated the opportunities given me by the CCA, to develop as a coach. I am definitely leaving with some regret, but I want to grow. I need to change and see what's out there, try something new.
I have an attraction to working with national programs; bringing riders up through a system (and) New Zealand is willing to put a lot of money towards their program; they are starting from scratch. It is a good opportunity to be working with more funding. Canada is limited (in funding), not just for cycling, but for all sports. Coaches here manage to do a lot of work with minimal funding - we could do much more.
My heart is still Canadian, and eventually I could come back, but for now the timing was right for me when this job came available.
CC - So when do you start, and what will you be doing immediately?
JL - Well, officially I start today! I will be going to New Zealand after I tie up all the loose ends here, probably within a couple of weeks. There will be meetings, just like at the CCA, for this time of year, and then I go to Europe, where I will be based for (most of) the year.
The goal this year is to rack up as many UCI points as possible until the Olympic deadline at the end of April, so we will be putting riders in as many races as possible. I will work out of Europe - the south of France, I think - and then doing prep for the Olympics. There will be no development this year, just preparation for the Olympics. It is a year by year contract, so after that we would start to look at developing a quad (four year) plan.
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