Waterloo Teenager Scores Unforeseen Victory in Junior Track Cycling World Championships


Returning triumphant from Cali, Colombia, a teenager from Waterloo Region is still basking in the euphoria of an unforeseen victory in the points race at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships held in August.

Now aged 18, Ethan Powell could scarcely hide his shock at striking gold. In his own words, the win was utterly unexpected – an unbelievable feat that overjoyed not only him but also left his coach at the KW Cycling Academy speechless.

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Coach Rob Good his described his elation as being “over the moon and into the stars.” The Colombian track, comparable to the indoor velodrome where Powell trains in Milton, proved a familiar ground for the young champ. Ultimately, Powell raced his way to the championship title by garnering 53 points. “He outperformed the top 24 riders in the world in this challenging event,” confirmed Coach Good.

Powell recognizes the unique hurdles that cycling on a track presents. “It demands both bike handling and technical skills. Yet, the primary requirement is raw strength,” he elucidated.

Cycling has been a passion for Powell since he was about five years old, he confessed. Falling head over heels for the thrill of the adrenaline and the rush of speed, he found the activity not just stimulating but simply fun. He became part of a local cycling group in 2019 and his coach attests that from the get-go, Powell’s talent was unmistakable. As Good put it, “With his fantastic leg speed and unbelievable power, he was not just another raw kid off the street – he was someone with no prior background in cycling but with an undeniable talent.”

But Powell’s talent isn’t limited to indoor tracks; he also shines as an outdoor racer. He clinched gold at the Canadian Junior Road Championships in Edmonton, in June. Moreover, he competed in an outdoor road race in Glasgow, Scotland, this summer which was a spectacle to behold as several downtown streets were closed to facilitate the race.

Already contemplating his next move, Powell shared, “Currently, my main focus is to join a professional road team in Europe to continue road racing for a couple more years.” While the Olympics beckon as a long-term aspiration, Powell for now intends to focus on immediate goals. For the young champion, it’s the road – or track – directly ahead that has his full attention.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.