Leah Kirchmann competes in the road race

Leah Kirchmann


As a teenager, Leah Kirchmann spent her winters racing on cross-country skis and her summers racing on bikes. She achieved a major highlight in 2008 when she competed at the junior world championships in both road cycling and mountain biking. But when it came time to pick one sport to focus on, road cycling won out. 

In 2010 she competed at her first Commonwealth Games. A year later, she finished 10th in the road race at the Pan American Championships and made her world championship debut. In 2012 she won road race silver at the Pan American Championships. 

Kirchmann had an eventful year in 2014. She broke her clavicle for the second time in her career, but also competed at her second Commonwealth Games and finished fourth in the team time trial at the world championships with her Optum powered by Kelly Benefit Strategies trade team. Her biggest highlights were becoming the first Canadian to sweep the national titles in the road race, time trial and criterium as well as her third- place finish in the one-day 89km La course by Le Tour de France. 

In 2015 Kirchmann finished second in the road race and third in the time trial at the Canadian championships. She finished third in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau road race in 2016 before making her Olympic debut in Rio. She finished the 2016 season ranked second overall on the UCI Women’s World Tour. 

In 2017, her first season racing with Team Sunweb, she was part of their team time trial gold medal at the UCI World Championships. In 2018, she won team time trial bronze with Team Sunweb, but her highlight of the world championships was placing fourth in the individual time trial, just two seconds off the podium. The time trial had formerly been a weakness, so that result along with two national titles in the event make her particularly proud. 

In July 2019, Kirchmann finished second in La Course by le Tour de France. But her season came to an end in September when she partially tore an MCL in a crash, forcing her to miss the world championships. She competed in her second Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 which was highlighted by a 12th-place finish in the individual time trial. 

A Little More About Leah

Getting into the Sport: Started cycling at age 13 with the Kids in the Mud mountain bike program in Winnipeg as training for cross-country skiing… Was quickly hooked after a few good battles through the mud… Liked the combination of physical, technical, tactical and mental challenges… The provincial coach immediately recruited her to the road team…Turned professional at age 20… Outside Interests: Enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, cooking, mountain biking, yoga… Graduated from Quest University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Public Health Nutrition…  Supports Fast and Female as an athlete ambassador… Leads the mentorship program for Global Relay Bridge the Gap fund, which supports Canadian riders in their transition from junior to the professional ranks… Odds and Ends: Favorite quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  – Will Durant…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Rio 2016Cycling - RoadRoad Race - Women38
Tokyo 2020Cycling - RoadRoad Race - Women36
Tokyo 2020Cycling - RoadIndividual Time Trial - Women12

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 36th (road race), 12th (individual time trial); 2016 - 38th (road race)

Commonwealth Games: 2014 – 8th (road race), 23rd (time trial); 2010 – 22nd (road race)

Pan American Championships: 2012 – SILVER (road race); 2011 – 10th (road race)

UCI World Championships: 2018 – 4th (individual time trial), BRONZE (team time trial), 25th (road race); 2017 – GOLD (team time trial), 12th (road race); 2016 – 14th (road race); 2015 – 9th (team time trial), 32nd (road race); 2014 – 4th (team time trial), 27th (individual time trial), DNF (road race); 2013 – 8th (team time trial), DNF (road race); 2012 – 21st (road race); 2011 – 17th (road race)