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2023 UCI team list sheds light on changing Canadian race scene

What we learn - and what we don't - from the official rider rosters

Photo by: Loic Meier

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) released its 2023 teams list today, giving an interesting overall picture of where Canadian racing is at. It also reveals a few surprises for Canadians whose teams still haven’t released their full 2023 roster even though we’re more than a full month into the new year.

Here’s what we can learn, and a few questions left unanswered, by the 2023 team list.

Laurie Arseneault Bear Mountain Canada Cup 2019
Image: Jay Wallace / Coastal Creative

There are new Canadian teams in the mix

In 2022, there were five UCI teams registered in Canada. In 2023 there are eight. Part of that is due to the addition of Enduro to the UCI World Cup calendar. Rocky Mountain Race Face, Devinci Global Racing are now UCI registered (while Forbidden Synthesis was already a UCI team since it split DH and Enduro). There are two new teams though.

Pittstop Racing and Outlaw United are new additions to the list of Canadian UCI teams. Pittstop is a cross country team based out of Bromot, Que. Jumping out of the gates with Laurie Arseneault and Zork Paille leading the three-rider roster, Pitstopp Racing Team should hit the ground rolling when World Cup racing starts this year. The very busy Pittstop crew are also working hard to bring more gravity racing to Quebec this year.

On the other side of the country, Outlaw United launches with a 10-rider roster of young Canadian and U.S. downhill racers. The roster includes Canadians Marcus Goguen, the multitalented B.C. downhill racer that recently won the junior men’s Freeride World Tour on skis, Ethan Donohoe, Jack Macleod, Dylan Marino, Jake Polito and Zac Stratton alongside its U.S. racers.

Carter Woods Albstadt World Cup
Photo: Andy Vathis

Established teams are gone

We knew Norco Factory Racing was cutting its XC team. That left a big hole in the Canadian XC scene, with its riders and staff scattering to teams near and far. It looks like Canyon MTB Racing is scaling back its ambitions as well, dropping its UCI status after just two years.

Emily Batty before the 2022 Leogang World Cup. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Emily Batty isn’t on a UCI team

Canadian XCO champion Emily Batty is not listed on any UCI team. That doesn’t mean she is not racing. Batty can still race World Cups just as she did last year, as she has the required UCI points to do so. It just means Canyon MTB Racing is no longer registered as a UCI team.

Jesse Melamed in Squamish, BC, Canada. January 2023.

Canadian gravity racers are going international

Canada’s momentum in downhill and enduro is at an all-time high. Canadian riders and teams are stepping up in stature. Finn Iles, Jesse Melamed, Jackson Goldstone, Gracey Hemstreet and Emmy Lan – all on the overall podium of their respective series in 2022 – are leading a growing roster of Canadians on UCI teams, based here or internationally. In enduro, Jesse Melamed heads to German brand Canyon CLLCTV, Jack Menzies to Polygon Factory Racing and Kasper Woolley to YT Mob. Emmy Lan joins the Forbidden Synthesis. Junior DH rippers Bodhi Kuhn heads to Trek Factory Racing and Tristan Lemire to Transition Factory, joining a long list of Canucks DH racers on big international squads.

This growth is no coincidence. These riders achieved incredible results with smaller (and established) Canadian teams. Now, the local gravity scene is garnering even more attention from teams around the world.

Cross country is moving closer to home

While the downhill and enduro riders are finding spots on UCI teams at home and internationally, Canada’s cross country racers are moving to Canada-based UCI teams. A few riders, like Jenn Jackson (Liv Factory Racing), Carter Woods (Giant Factory Off-Road Team), Emilly Johnston (Trek Future) and Sean Fincham (Berria Vittoria) found homes on international squads, but its Canada-based teams like Pivot Cycles-OTE, Pittstop and LeandrĂ© Bouchard’s Foresco Holdings that are doing the heavy lifting to keep Canadians well supported at the UCI level.

Sandra Walter is still looking for a team

The veteran Canadian racer is not listed on a UCI team. Walter, who matched her career-best World Cup result in 2022, stated she is still planning to race this season but is also still looking for support to do so.