Dylan Bibic hold a Canadian flag.UCI/Swpix

Track cyclist Dylan Bibic aims for the podium in Olympic debut

Paris 2024 will be Dylan Bibic’s Olympic debut, but the 21-year-old has already taken the  cycling world by storm. 

Bibic etched his name into Canadian cycling history in 2022 when he became Canada’s first ever world champion in an endurance track cycling event, winning the men’s scratch race at the UCI Track World Championships. He followed up that performance in 2023 by taking home silver in the men’s elimination race at the world championships. Also in 2023, in just his second year competing in the UCI Track Champions League, Bibic was crowned with the overall men’s endurance title.

A strong showing thus far in 2024 – including his first gold medals on the UCI Nations Cup circuit – has reinforced Bibic’s staunch belief in his ability to race with the best in Paris.

Olympic.ca chatted with Bibic about his journey in cycling, his ideal training day, and his hopes for Paris 2024.

O.ca: So how did you get your start in cycling?

DB: I think I was about nine years old. I really just liked riding my bike with my dad around the neighbourhood and doing the river system and everything. And I said I want to do a bike race, and he looked up on Kijiji and bought a cheap race bike and yeah, I think I came second or first in my first race. I liked the feeling of winning, so I just kept doing it. And it led me here.

O.ca: And was the transition onto the track eventual just through exposure? 

DB: Yeah–they built this facility [the Milton Velodrome] in 2014-2015. And yeah, I think I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for this facility. I live just 20 minutes down the road in Mississauga.

O.ca: So you had quite a history-making moment in 2022 becoming the world champion in the scratch race. How do you feel you’ve grown as an athlete and as a person since that moment?

DB: I think it’s given me more confidence and just believing in myself, which can go a long way.

O.ca: And what is the approach for the omnium when it involves several races (scratch race, tempo race, elimination race, points race) throughout the day–how do you prepare yourself for that?

DB: You just always have to make the best move on the board. If you have a bad race, you can’t dwell on it. You have to move on to the next race. You have to just prepare and think about every scenario that could potentially happen. It’s a long day mentally and physically.

O.ca: Were the Olympic Games something that you thought about growing up?

DB: As soon as I became a cyclist, I kind of assumed I’d go–I’ve always believed that it was just a matter of time, of how long it’s gonna take and the same goes for a medal. I want to get at least four Olympic cycles in.

O.ca: Is there any advice that you would give to first time spectators at Paris 2024 who are coming in without a lot of knowledge of the sport?

DB: For the omnium, you may see someone win the first race, but that doesn’t mean they won the Olympics. A lot of my friends will be like, “Oh, you won!” And I’m like, oh no, it’s just the first race of four races. It’s cumulative points. So it’s kind of similar to the decathlon in track and field–it’s event after event and whoever consistently places the best will win.

O.ca: What does a typical training day look like?

DB: An ideal day for me leading up to the Olympics, I’d ride to the track and then get a three hour track session in. And it’d be something like four blocks of 20ish minutes behind a motorbike and 10 minutes rest in between, building that endurance with recovery in between. And then ride home after. It’d probably be four hours of riding that day.

O.ca: Just out of curiosity’s sake–what’s the longest session you’ve ever done straight on the bike?

DB: I’ve ridden all day basically! I’ve ridden from my house to Blue Mountain. Took me about 12 hours by the time I got there. 

O.ca: You won gold in the elimination race and placed fourth in omnium at the UCI Track Nations Cup in Milton in April. How are you feeling about that performance with the Games approaching?

DB: I’m somewhat satisfied. I know I’m right there. This is basically the field for the Olympics, just missing one or two people. And I’m just right there, I’m so close. And I know with the right training and the right preparation, I can get a medal. I’ve never been more confident to get a medal.