Posted by Editor on 12/11/18
Gord Fraser will remain the Directeur Sportif for the team that replaces the Silber Pro Cycling sponsored squad - Floyd's Pro Cycling. We spoke with Gord about the new team - the riders, the race calendar. [See the team roster announcement Here]
"It was an interesting end of season, and we are obviously pretty excited to keep the program going. With the personnel that we've hired and the available talent, we would be remiss if we couldn't improve the team a bit, and that is reflected in the guys that we have signed. These are guys that are proven producers on not only the North American stage but the world stage. It was a really great opportunity to improve the team, so we took it."
Despite the addition of some non-Canadian riders, Fraser confirms that the focus will remain on young Canadian riders.
"We are going to continue our mission statement, and that's to identify and develop some of the best Junior and young Espoir [Under-23] riders in Canada. With Robin [Plamandon] and Carson [Miles], we have two kids that have represented Canada at Junior Worlds. So we have continued that tradition, which started with Nick Zukowsky and Charles Etienne Chretien."
Fraser says that the race calendar will expand to include more international events.
"We definitely want to expand the race calendar a bit, just because the traditional North American road calendar is starting to have some pretty glaring holes in the calendar. So we want to expand the calendar to provide the opportunity for riders to develop properly with an adequate number of race days. So, we have to look to different areas of the world; perhaps maybe some Asian races, some races in South America, maybe even some races in Europe. We are exploring that; it would be the first time we have really put an emphasis on that."
He also admits that the program has to expand beyond just road racing, due to changes in the demands of sponsors.
"We are going to take a look at some of the gravel races in North America. It's something that we've been hearing non-stop from industry; to be represented at some of those other events. So we are definitely going to go cross-category in the race program a bit. The guys are all pretty excited to do that; it's definitely a growth sector of cycling, these off-road and multi-surface events."
However, traditional North American events, such as Tour de Beauce, remain key goals for the team.
"Absolutely, we are always going to have support for the North American UCI calendar. We'll definitely do what we can to make any UCI races in the States and Canada. Of course, Beauce is a special place for all of us, and with Saguenay back that is great news as well. So look for us to, for sure, be at those races."
"Utah and Colorado we have done in the past few years, with Silber, so we want to continue that run [note: Colorado just announced they will be a women's race in 2019]. I think we have a good rapport with those race organizers, so we want to continue that. We have done very well in those races in years past. [Tour of] California, being WorldTour, is something that may be beyond our reach, and may be not worth the effort to investigate. And, quite honestly, over the past few years, our Canadians guys have spent so much time away from home in the winter months to prepare for the season that usually by the California [mid-May] part of the calendar we need to hit the reset button and get the guys home to absorb all the races they have done."
"We are still waiting to hear back from some races in Asia, but ideally we'll have a split squad - one team in Asia and one team at the season-opening North American races. Tucson Bike Classic is definitely a race we like supporting; it is a local bike race [to the team Service Course], but a good race. It offers a few different looks, with a nice time trial that you need a time trial bike for, so it's a good chance to get on our Van Dessel time trial bikes and dial those in at a low key moment in the season. So we want to do Tucson Bike Classic, and now Redlands has shifted to the season-opener, like in the 1990s and 2000s, so Redlands will be the first big rendezvous of the North American peloton, and we want to start strong at that race."
2019 Floyd's Pro Cycling Roster (initial riders, more to be announced)
Travis McCabe (USA) - ex-UnitedHealthcare
Nick Zukowsky (Can) - ex-Silber
Emile Jean (Can) - ex-Silber
Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) - ex-UnitedHealthcare
Johnny Clarke (Aus) - ex-UnitedHealthcare
Keegan Swirbul (USA) - Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
Robin Plamondon (Can) - ex-Espoirs Elite Primeau Velo
Carson Miles (Can) - ex-Ottawa Bicycle Club
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