Cycling | 2 comments
Contributed By Phil Gale
Europe, get ready for the Canadian invasion!
The world of cycling has historically been dominated by the Europeans. Belgium, France, Italy and Spain are countries that are most engrossed with cycling’s past. There are times in that history when new countries have broken into the fore, with their refreshing and often radical ideas. Canadian Steve Bauer was one such rider with his Paris Roubaix Stealth Bike. Steve Bauer is making 2011 a very exciting year for cycling. Why? His team, Spider Tech powered by C10, in their fourth year as a professional team, have stepped up to the next level and registered as a Professional Continental Team.
Team Spidertech p/b C10 during the official photo session in the Midi Pyrenees region of France.
By doing this they are not only making history being the first Canadian team to reach that level, but also will be able to race at a higher level. I chatted with Steve about this on a very busy morning the day before the team presentation.
PEZ: Steve thanks for taking the time to chat with us. I know that time it tight for you at the moment.
SB: No problem, but yeah we’re really busy here at the moment. Tomorrow is the team presentation, after that we have the VIP presentation; there is a lot to organise. We also thought that with all the team here for the presentation and in one place, we would fly out to Europe to start our racing campaign. So not only do we have the logistics with the presentation, but also getting everyone and everything packed off to Europe. We have been really lucky; Air Canada have helped us out by waiving their excess baggage charges for us, that has save us work and money so a big thank you to them.
PEZ: Tell me firstly about getting the team registered for the Professional Continental licence, how that was and the emotions involved?
SB: To be honest it was a strange feeling of success, which was slightly anti-climactic. Not knowing the procedure and having not done it before we were just going out of our way to make sure all of the paperwork was there and correct. We had been working on this since late summer 2010 with constant dialogue with the UCI, going over to Geneva for a 15 minute meeting with the UCI for example. We knew that it was going to happen because all the backing was there, financially and otherwise, but we really to had make sure that all the paper work was correct also, which took it close to the deadline. It is easy to see how one missed document would lead to a situation like Pegasus. The licence is just the start though, now we need to get racing and justify all that work!
Bauer in Yellow at the Tour de France.
We have a really great team here, both on and off of the bike. Sure it would be nice to have another four Josées (Josée Larocque joint share holder in the team) and another four Steves (Steve Bauer) but we have made some great additions to move us forward, Kevin Field a joint director who is great at keeping the web up to date. We have also added a couple more mechanics to help us with this year. The licence means a lot to all of us, but it is just a step further down the road to where we really aim to go and that is the World Tour.
PEZ: Your team rider Ryan Anderson commented that Canadian cycling is going through a vintage period at the moment. There is a great development taking place with many talented young riders coming through, why do you think that is and how has that changed since your racing days?
SB: We have a part of our presentation on this topic tomorrow. I think that there has been a strong cycling culture in Quebec now for many years. This has led to a lot of development in the riders and an introduction to cycling culture, which we are currently seeing come through to the top levels of the sport.
When I started, I never really aimed on being a cyclist, it just happened and I am sure that if you spoke with Svein (Team rider Svein Tuft) he would say he never planned on being a cyclist, it just happened. We never had the culture of cycling which has grown since. The riders coming through now have Canadian role models and heroes to follow. They know more about the sport because of the success in the peleton from all North American riders, so I only see things getting better.
There are a lot of really talented athletes in Canada; most of them are in Hockey (5,000 people play Ice Hockey). Like bike racers in France or Italy only a very small percentage of them will make it to the top levels. So let’s get cycling as a potential sport for them if they do not make it. In a nut shell let’s get those hockey players onto bikes, if only for cross training. Then I see it possible for a 100% Canadian Team in the Tour De France. This is going to be a long story, but we need to start somewhere.
PEZ: 2011, the license sorted, what are your aims, programme and how do you see the team?
SB: The licence is just the paper work. Our aims are to move the team along and take them all to the next level. I am really happy with the group of guys that we have, and see them staying with us through 2012.
Our race programme is already looking good. As I said we are heading out to Europe straight after the presentation and have a nice base that we can call home for 3 months, though I do not think we will be there that much. The season will start in Italy with a couple of stage races then we head up to Belgium for West Flanders. These races will be good for Svein. We are finalizing the stage races on the programme, but it looks like around 50 days of racing for the first 3 months in Europe, so our whole team will be heading out, we need them all. Then we head back to do California and need to decide on what our plan for Colorado will be, whether we split the team.
All the time we are working towards the two World Tour events in Canada towards the end of the season. That means after the Tour de France is finished we will head back to Europe to race, looking for a ride at the Tour of Denmark and Limousin. Denmark will be another good race for Svein plus we shall take some of the U23 riders to check out the World Championship course whilst there.
The team is very balanced, with riders who can sprint, time trial and climb. With a broad strength base like we have we will pick and choose to target races as they come up. Similar to how things went at the end of last season. I know that the 1HC events will be tough for the team, but we need to race them to experience the level of racing that we want to achieve in the future.
PEZ: Having been with Spider Tech from the beginning through to where you are now (Professional Continental) what are the future aims of the team?
SB: Ultimately I want to take this to the top, get World Tour status for the team. I think that Canada definitely has the athletes to do it. Getting the hockey players on to bikes is a step, but not a quick one.
Specifically for the team we are looking at 2013 for the next step, World Tour registration. There is a lot of work to do to achieve that though. We need the results and progression from where we are currently to show we can achieve this. Plus we also need to find the financial backing to take the team to the next level. Having already done all the paperwork for the Professional Continental license I am confident we can get all that tied up a lot quicker next time! (Added with a laugh).
I leave Steve there, time is short – he is a very busy man at the moment. This is the start of a great story in cycling. Just like when the first Canadians broke into the peloton (Alex Stieda and Steve) they are bringing fresh thoughts, talent and riders to the top echelons of the European cycling stage. I wish them good luck and know that Steve, with his driven manner, is the man to take them where they are going.
Ryan Anderson, rider from Team Spidertech powered by C10 at Trofeo Laigueglia, Italy
Spider Tech powered by C10 can be followed at http://cyclesportmanagement.com/
Routley delivers Spidertech’s first podium in Europe
By: Jean-François Quéne
Canadian champion eyes at the Tour of Turkey after Tro Bro Leon
Canadian national champion Will Routley has grabbed an exciting result as he finished second to Europcar’s Vincent Jérôme at the Tro Bro Leon – the Breton version of Paris-Roubaix in the west of France featuring 32 kilometres of gravelled roads in the middle of farmland and alongside the coast of the English Channel.
Will Routley following his Tro-Bro Léon experience
“This is an awesome race”, Routley reacted to Cyclingnews. “I’ve loved it! The first time I had heard of what this race is about was from a 50-year-old fun rider a couple of days ago when I was training near Carcassonne, where we have our team base”, explained the 27-year-old from Spidertech.
“I switched from mountain biking to road racing only at the age of 21″, he continued. “So I felt comfortable on the dirt, even when I’ve had to chase back after two flats.”
His big regret was to not have conducted the final two-man sprint smartly against Frenchman Jérôme. Routley opened the sprint with more than 300 metres to go in a slightly uphill finale.
Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Will Routley (Team Spidertech Powered By C10)
“I’ll be reviewing this sprint a few times”, said the rider from British Colombia. “I had a little bit of cramp, that’s why I lost confidence and sprinting too early. I should have waited until the last minute. Canadians are known to be too nice guys… When I won the national championship last year in Edmonton, it was also a two-man sprint with Andrew Rendell, who is now my team-mate but he wasn’t at the time. It was a similar finish as today but I sprinted much better.”
“I’m still learning as a pro cyclist”, he added. “I enjoy short and steep climbs but I suffer in the high mountains. I like the kind of cycling we practised today. It was difficult all day and I kept going. I’m sort of a rouleur, but maybe I’m too small for a rouleur. What I love to do on a bike is a six-hour solo ride. I also enjoy doing this job because it makes me travel the world and discover new places.”
Vincent Jerome (Europcar) outkicked Will Routley (Team Spidertech Powered By C10) for the victory.
Routley will have a lot to enjoy next week as he’ll take part in the Presidential Tour of Turkey starting on April 24. “My favourite fruits are dates and figs, so I think I’ll have a lot of them in Turkey”, he smiled. “It seems to be a very interesting country to visit. Turkey has a rapidly growing economy. I’m looking forward to see what it’s all about. This race is also perfect for our preparation for the Tour of California.”