Atomic News & Events
Thursday August 7, 2014
News broke late last night of a harrowing rescue attempt to free a British cycling enthusiast from an undisclosed jungle location.
Canadian expat “Lucky” Joey Luyckx contacted authorities to report she’d found and rescued Briton Michael Odell from a multiyear absence, both parties apparently in good health. “It’s amazing really,” said Andrew Wilson, Director of Membership for Vancouver-based Atomic Racing Club. “Michael just sort of disappeared one day and no one knew where he’d gone. Eventually we started hearing reports that he’d gotten lost on his bike and ended up in some nasty jungle, eating grubs and roots and God knows what else,” Wilson continued. “Even for cyclists who are used to suffering it must have been an horrible ordeal!”
Photographs of the encounter have begun to circulate in news wires around the world. In them a visibly relieved Odell wears an older Atomic Racing Club jersey and clings desperately to Luyckx, who appears to be tired, but happy. “You can see he’s still wearing old Atomic kit,” Wilson explained. “That shows you how long he’s been missing.” It is believed Luyckx wears a current uniform in the photograph.
Neither governments of Canada nor the UK have been able to verify the story. A Swiss café owner was reached, however, who appeared to be puzzled by the story. “Well, uh, I’m not sure. I mean, I saw those two people here in the café having a beer, or a coffee or something, but that’s all. No one seemed to be in trouble or rescued or anything. But I don’t’ know…I mind my own business.”
Luyckx and Odell couldn’t be reached for comment.
Though Atomic Racing Club members are somewhat notorious for getting lost, this is the first report of a member actually having gone missing.
Atomic Racing Club president Keith Tolhurst could not be reached for comment.
Thursday May 29, 2014
Penticton, B.C. – May 29
Recent Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst surprised a recent sports training club meeting in a small Canadian town by arriving for dinner unexpectedly. “Oh yeah, for sure, we were all really surprised as hell,” explained Andrew Wilson, Director of Membership for Vancouver-based Atomic Racing Club. “We were tired from a long day of riding our bikes, just relaxing outside when this Conchita person showed up and sat down for a beer.”
Conchita Wurst is an Austrian drag queen singer who came to international attention when winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark with the song “Rise Like a Phoenix”.
“Why he was in Penticton is a mystery to us, and I don’t know how he managed to find our party,” Wilson continued. “Atomic Racing is a pretty happening club though, and it’s not unusual for us to be approached by famous people, so I guess he just wanted to be close to the action.”
Agents for Mr. Wurst could not be reached for comment.
Monday April 7, 2014
Vancouver, April 7 —- Rumors have been circulating over the weekend that Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella has approached Atomic Racing Club to discuss a position on the coaching staff with the cycling club.
People familiar with the talks cite Tortorella’s tenuous employment with the Canucks as reason for his reaching out to Atomic. “Frankly, he’s not sure he’s going to have his job with the Canucks next season and I suspect he’s doing some looking around for another position,” said a source that wished to remain anonymous. “He doesn’t have specific experience in cycling – at least not at the level of a club like Atomic – but many of the coaching fundamentals cross over to other sports,” the source continued.
Andrew Wilson is the current membership director at Atomic, as well as a past president of the team. “I can’t confirm or deny that he’s talking to us, no,” Wilson said when reached by phone at Atomic Racing Club’s offices. However, several Atomic team members who spoke on condition they not be identified confirmed they were aware of talks happening over the past several days between Tortorella and senior Atomic staff.
“It would be kind of cool,” said one member; “We are a very offensive, attack-oriented club, and maybe a different system – something more defensive where we get involved in blocking other riders, or putting our star riders in the wind for more minutes of a race – might work.”
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gills nor the Canucks press office were available for comment.
Thursday February 6, 2014
Vancouver, February 6 – - The strange disappearance of Atomic Racing Club alumnus Joey “Lucky Joey” Luyckx today was solved when she turned up outside a coffee shop in Switzerland. “Oh man, that was some ride…,” explained Luyckx after what turned into a multi-week odyssey. “I went out for a spin after work, went through Stanley Park and must have taken a wrong turn. When I started paying attention again I looked up and thought I was in the Fraser Valley; you know, it looks pretty similar here in Switzerland out in the country, so I just kept going. My Strava wasn’t working though and it was weird. I guess I should have known something was wrong but it was a nice day for a spin anyhow.”
Swiss police have confirmed Ms. Luyckx is now safely in a refugee detention centre near Zurich awaiting deportation. Officer Hans Schnittgenrouter of the Schaffhausen Canton police department indicated Ms. Luyckx was not in custody and would not be charged with a crime. “She’s not done anything wrong, really, other than enter the country without going through proper passport control. We don’t consider her to be a serious threat to the Swiss people at this time,” he confirmed.
Atomic Racing Club membership director and past president Andrew Wilson didn’t seem particularly surprised when reached in Vancouver for comment. “When she rode for us Joey was hard core, and she had a habit of putting her head down and gunning it. Guys were always yelling at her to slow down, or keep her head up. She’s super strong and competitive, so when she gets to the front and sees open road she just goes. Switzerland is a long way I’ll give you that, but Joey will be Joey,” Wilson said.
Sunday January 5, 2014
December, 2013 — Loenhout, Beligum
Atomic Racing member Hugo van Hoogstraten came up empty handed on the results page at the 2013 Azencross cyclocross championships in Loenhout, Belgium. The confused rider arrived at the race location on time but failed to start when the gun went off. “I was too drunk,” explained van Hoogstraten when reached by telephone from the Netherlands. “I was early for the race and had my bike all ready to go so decided I’d have a quick snack of frites and a Leffe. One lead to another and pretty soon I was hammered and missed the whole thing.”
Dutchwoman Marianne Vos again showed her dominance by winning the women’s race, and local favorite Sven Nys captured the men’s crown for the umpteenth time in his career.
In a time-honored Atomic Racing Club effort to make a bad situation better, van Hoogstraten instead spent his time cheering, eating more frites, frikadel, kroket and downing more Leffe.
“Beer and frites is always the answer…,” he said, followed by a hearty burp.
Wednesday December 25, 2013
London, December 25 — 87-year-old Queen Elizabeth gave her annual Christmas video message this morning aired worldwide on TV and radio and available online through the Royal Family’s YouTube channel. The Queen talked about family values and the importance of setting aside time for personal reflection, but also pointed out the strong showing cycling has had in the past year across the Commonwealth countries.
“From our very own showing at international cycling events, to the Olympics and to the colonies, cycling and cyclists continue to show the Empire proud,” the Queen said in her address. “From Team Sky to Atomic Racing Club in Vancouver, our global wheel-men continue to shine.”
“Well, I was surprised, I have to admit it,” said Atomic Racing Club director of membership Andrew Wilson when reached by phone for comment. “It’s not a surprise that the cycling community over there in the UK knows who were are; I mean, hell, we have half of them over here already in the club, but it’s a bit unusual to have the Queen call us out by name. I guess that sort of recognition is something we just have to get used to,” Wilson said.
Buckingham Palace could not be reached for comment.
Wednesday October 30, 2013
Vancouver, B.C. – Danish ex-professional cyclist Michael Rasmussen has come out with a string of doping allegations on Wednesday following the publication of his biography, Yellow Fever. In the book Rasmussen names names, claiming he witnessed a number of current and past professional riders taking banned substances. Rasmussen also points to what was at the time a growing list of amateur riders dabbling in performance enhancing substances, including past Atomic Racing president Andrew Wilson.
“Well, it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said a source close to the Vancouver-based club who wished to remain anonymous. “I’ve never seen Wilson take drugs, and to be honest I’ve never heard anyone else raise the suspicion; but based on the way the guy’s ridden, the strength and his power and his unmatched endurance, it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The guy was an animal for a number of years, so EPO and blood doping? Sure, why not?”
Other Atomic Racing members are alluded to in Rasmussen’s book, though no others by name.
Calls to Mr. Wilson and Atomic Racing executive have not been returned.
Tuesday September 17, 2013
Vancouver, B.C, September 17 — Vancouver bicycle group Atomic Racing Club today announced plans to send an Iranian cyclist into space. Membership director Andrew Wilson explained that the club’s new program should be seen as a gesture of friendship and solidarity with Iran.
“Everything is changing in Iran these days. They have their new president, Rouhani or whatever his name is, and they’re making noises about forming better international relationships, and sending this cat into space and all, so we want to get in on the action too,” said Wilson. “This cat thing has touched us all deeply, and we want to be part of the healing.”
Wilson was referring to a recent announcement from the Iranian Aerospace Agency outlining the country’s plans to launch a Persian cat out of earth’s atmosphere and return it safely to earth. Earlier this year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wanted to be Iran’s first astronaut, but news agency IRNA is reporting the cat will be the first into space.
Wilson continued: “We have two Persian riders in the club as you know, and both have backgrounds in physics so it’s a no-brainer for us. If Iran can send a cat, we can send a cyclist.
We’ll try to tie-up with Cycling BC or possibly even the UCI and maybe make the space capsule partly fueled by pedal power, thus supporting both the cycling community and satisfying a green initiative. It takes Atomic Racing Club to the next level. Clubs like Escape Velocity and TNA might win the race to the finish line, but we can win the race to the stars.”
None of the clubs or organizations mentioned in this article could be reached for comment. Calls to the Iranian Space Agency have not been returned.
Monday July 29, 2013
by Dominic Walsh
Vancouver, B.C. — Fans were once again treated to a strong showing of Atomic Racing dominance at the weekend’s Aldergrove Road Race, with the Canadian-Anglo squad turning in (almost) winning performances yet again.
Craig “I-can-almost-work-out-what-he’s-saying” Holden, the lone Atomic “B” entry came in 2nd on a long sprint in spite of attacking hard on the last lap. His points earned Atomic first place in the team competition. Meanwhile in the “C’ group Atomic provided a very visible presence with a full patch of members Dave Gilmour, Ben Ford, Hugo van Hoogstraten and born-again geriatric racer Dominic Walsh. The group was joined by Ian Hendry, currently an Atomic Racing Club stagiaire and team hopeful. The group stayed together despite some early attacks and were strong throughout, with the exception of Walsh who really wanted his mommy on lap 4.
The pack splintered in two on the final hill, as Peter Fung from local club Escape Velocity inexplicably sprinted into the back of a race participant. The rest of the Atomic group rode away with the screams of crazed fans ringing in their ears. Ford led out a vicious uphill sprint from the final corner with 500 meters to go but had to settle for 6th place. Red hot and newly married Gilmour gunned to his 2nd third placing of the week, with Walsh and Dutch wonderkind van Hoogstraten rounding out the pack.
In post podium interviews Holden, Gilmour and Ford all cited the recent Royal birth and the previous evening’s One Direction concert as inspiring them to glory. “It’s not every year you get a Royal birth and a top-notch act like OD happening at the same time,” explained the trio. “We [British] did it for Queen and country really.”
Well done Atomic!
Wednesday July 17, 2013
July 17 — Vancouver, B.C. — Atomic Racing Club fielded four riders for the World Tuesday Night Championship criterium race that took place on dry local roads Tuesday night. Race regulars Dave Gilmour and Cameron Adam had trouble assembling a large enough team for the event and had to recruit a few of the veteran geriatric racers to round out the showing. Past president Dominic Walsh and current Social Director Paul Klimczak put aside their walkers for the 40 lap race and managed to finish safely in the pack.
“A number of our usual members were racing elsewhere in Europe [no Atomic riders were racing in the Tour de France – ed.] so we had a little trouble finding enough guys,” explained Gilmour. “We full well expected this particular race to be, well, kind of slow and we didn’t think any of our older…err, experienced members would have much trouble, so we asked them to come along. We enjoyed having them there, it was sort of heart-warming.”
Walsh and Klimczak have strong racing palmares and have both contested the Tuesday Nighter crits in the past, though typically a younger team contingent is selected for current races.
“It was a lot harder in our day,” Walsh explained, “we used to do crits that only went uphill, and we had to ride 35km in the snow each way just to get there.”
“He’s right,” Klimczak confirmed. “Young kids don’t know how easy they have it these days.”
Neither Gilmour nor Adam could be reached for comment.
Tuesday July 9, 2013
Vancouver, B.C. – July 9 — Vancouver-based Atomic Racing Club member Sophie Wyser is the first Canadian recipient of the “Hard As Nails-Crazy As a Loon” award for her recent participation in a ridiculously crazy mega-ride around Vancouver and the Fraser canyon. “I’m so happy to receive this award,” explained Wyser, “I’d like to thank my team mates at Atomic, mostly our shining executive, without whose support this could never have happened.”
The new award is the brainchild of the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI, the international body governing the various cycling disciplines in and out of competition. In an effort to appear progressive the UCI has been initiating new programs and new awards. “This is one of their new measures,” explained Andrew Wilson, Director of Membership for Atomic Racing Club. “They’re trying to make cycling more global and give it a more universal appeal, so this new award is part of that whole effort.”
An immigrant to Canada from Switzerland, Wyser has been a member of Atomic Racing Club for the past several years. She and a partner cycled 580 kilometers in just under 23 hours, riding from Vancouver to Pemberton, through to Lilloet, then Lytton and down the Fraser Canyon to Hope, then back to Vancouver through Mission and alongside the north arm of the Fraser River.
“It was so [bleep] hard,” explained Wyser. “We [bleep] and [bleep] the whole way then [bleep] and [bleep] for I don’t know how [bleep] from the [bleep] then we had to [bleep] [bleep] for who the [bleep] knows all over in [bleep] [bleep] and it totally sucked balls.”
Atomic Racing Club issued a statement congratulating Wyser, but at the same time expressed concerns over the rider’s mental health.
The UCI could not be reached for comment.
Saturday May 25, 2013
Penticton, May 25 — Vancouver-based Atomic racing club’s annual Penticton raining camp was off to a slow start after a UCI commissaire halted the start to the Saturday session due to weight restrictions.
“There was a significant overage in weight,” explained Hans Vebrugootrestaal, UCI spokesman responsible for North American weights and measures. “The UCI outlines a maximum permissible combined team weight for all training camps, and in this case Atomic was over the limit, so we couldn’t let them start,” he said.
The annual camp is an integral event in the team’s training calendar, so team leaders wasted no time in investigating the source of the weight overage.
“Our initial thought was to check one of our senior riders, Stephen Meyer. He became a bit, you know, heavy due to lack of exercise so we thought he might be a the one responsible,” said Andrew Wilson, director of membership. “But it turned out that he’s involved in some sort of contest to lose weight and has trimmed down quite a lot, so it wasn’t him. Apparently he’s getting paid to get skinny.”
Further investigations revealed the cause of the overage was star female rider “Lucky” Joey Luyckx who’d eaten two enormous burritos at the team’s Friday dinner. “Oh yeah, that was it for sure,” said Wilson. “She needed the energy alight, as she lays down the smack on the club rides, but in this case it might have been a bit excessive and was the reason for the UCI enforced delay.
After a brief period of discussion and various back-room procedures the UCI declared the team ready and cleared for the day’s workout.
Atomic has been organising races almost since it’s inception as a club. Results since 1999 are posted below.
- AtomiCX 2011 (BC Champs)
- AtomiCX 2010
- Harris Roubaix 2008
- Future Heroes Crit. #2 2007
- Future Heroes Crit. #1 2007
- Atomic Road Race 2007
- Harris Roubaix 2007
- Future Heroes Crit. 2006
- Atomic Road Race 2006
- Atomic Road Race 2005
- Atomic Road Race 2004
- Atomic Road Race 2003
- Atomic Road Race 2002
- Atomic Road Race 2001
- Atomic Crit. 2000
- Atomic Road Race 2000
- Atomic Crit. 1999