A couple of weeks before the start of the spring race season many of North America’s top cyclists are busy honing their form for a busy season of racing. The Tuscon Bicycle Classic which runs from March 17 to 19 is being used by many top riders as a primer for the bigger races on the calendar and on the opening day Canadians stacked the top 5 positions in both the men’s Pro/1 and women’s Pro/1/2 fields.
— Gord Fraser (@GordFraser) March 18, 2017
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Canadian time trial champion Ryan Roth of Silber Pro Cycling took a convincing win in the 5-km individual time trial putting in 12-seconds on fellow Canadian James Piccoli of Pacific Premier Bank Cycling. Roth’s teammate Nigel Ellsay placed third and Nickolas Zukowsky, also of Silber, placed fifth.
In the women’s event, Rally Cycling owned the podium with American Kelly Catlin taking the win one-second ahead of Canadian teammate Sara Bergen and Olympic-bronze medalist Kirsti Lay who also races for Rally. Another Canadian, Marie-Soleil Blais, rounded out the podium in fifth.
Montreal-based Silber Pro Cycling have gathered in Tuscon for the season’s first training camp. On Silber’s schedule after training camp is the Joe Martin Stage Race on March 30 to April 2, the Tour of Gila on April 19 to 23 and the Redland’s Classic at the beginning of May.
Rally Cycling, which also has many prominent Canadians on both its men’s and women’s roster are also gearing into form. The men’s squad was already in Europe for a string of races in Spain and Portugal that included the Volta ao Algarve. A squad is in France for the Tour de Normandie with Pierrick Naud the team’s Canadian representative over in Europe for the week-long stage race. The women’s Rally team is making its season debut at the Tuscon Bicycle Classic.
“After a lot of hard work in the off-season, it will be good to get racing,” said former Canadian national road champion and Rally team director Zach Bell. “We are looking forward to demonstrating the strength of the team. The Tucson Bicycle Classic will be a good extension of our training camp and allow the new riders a chance to work together in a race situation.”