Rossland world champion mountain bike rider Cindy Devine got her call into ‘The Hall.’
Devine was inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame on Oct. 30, attending the ceremony in Chateau Bromont, Que. to celebrate the honour alongside fellow inductees Robbi Weldon, Patrice Drouin and Chantal Lachance.
The gold medalist at the first World Mountain Bike Championship has lived in Rossland since 1990, the same year she won the event. A physical therapist and well known fitness and mental health coach and advocate, Devine has been a vital cog in the community wheel for the past 30 years.
So when asked how it felt to be inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame, she replied: “It feels like being pulled up from relative anonymity in my little alpine home and shone into the spotlight again.
“As a Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame inductee, it is such an additional honour to be recognized by my own country, for the younger sport of mountain biking, with all the other cycling disciplines that are part of Cycling Canada.”
Born in Venezuela, a young Devine moved to the North Shore of Vancouver where she began her induction by pedaling trails and backcountry of the forested community.
Devine rose to prominence in mountain biking in the late 1980s, and won gold at the first official UCI World Mountain Bike Championship in Purgatory, Col., in 1990.
The small team of Canadian mountain bikers made a significant impact in the early days of riding, helping to break ground for future riders.
“With Elladee Brown and myself winning the first UCI World Down Hill silver and gold medal in 1990, our contribution was opening the world’s eyes to the depth of talent in Canada’s small population, and likely, motivating the subsequent female and male Canadian world medalists and their supporting sponsors after us,” said Devine.
She followed that up with bronze medals in the 1991 and 1992 World Championships and the British National Downhill Bike Finals in 1991.
A five-time Canadian National Downhill Champion from 1991 to 1994, Devine also won the US National Downhill Mountain Bike Champion in 1990, 1992 and 1993.
She retired from the mountain bike race circuit in 1994.
In 2000, she was honoured by the United Cycling Institute with her induction into the Rainbow Club of Canada’s cycling legends and that same year was inducted into the World Mountain Bike Hall of Las Vegas, Nev.
Devine’s unfailing commitment to the sport inspired a generation of Canadian mountain bikers that followed, including Alison Sydor, Lesley Tomlinson, Andrew Shandro and Roland Green.
Canadian teammate Elladee Brown paid tribute to Devine at her induction to the International Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in Fairfax, CA., in 2003.
“Ask anyone in this country about Cindy Devine – everyone, and I mean everyone, will agree that she was the first mountain biker from this country to bring the sport to another level.
“Her notoriety as a racer and ambassador has influenced so many people to experience the sport in this country… she is an integral part of the history of mountain biking in Canada.”
For Devine, like her many cycling journeys throughout the world, it has been a good ride, and says she would like to leave a lasting legacy that is two fold.
“One, is that as an avid cyclist, still today, Canadians know the sport of cycling, at any level, is one that can be a life-long provider of mental and physical health,” she added.
“And second, I hope through my exposure as a pioneer racer, I inspire young women, and men, to determinedly pursue their athletic dreams.”
Pierre Gachon was also inducted as an athlete, the first Canadian to enter the Tour de France in 1937.