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Adam Roberge signs with Inspire Athlete Management

The young racer joins a roster that includes Emily Batty, Mike Woods, Leah Kirchmann and Ruby West

With a win at Big Sugar Gravel and as the BWR Triple Crown of Gravel Champion (Belgian Waffle Ride G.C.), Roberge has had a breakout season in 2021.

It wasn’t all gravel: the 24-year-old Quebec native was fourth in the time trial at the Canadian road national championships and fourth at the Joe Martin Stage Race this season as well. But it’s hard to overstate how well his first real gravel racing season went. In addition to his big wins, he was also fourth at SBT GRVL, second at BWR Asheville, third at Gravel Locos and second at Rooted Vermont in fields stacked with gravel racers who’ve been grinding for years.

It’s only in the last couple of years that cyclists in North America have started to seek out representation, and companies like Inspire Athlete Management are finding themselves more needed than ever. As gravel racing rises in popularity, more and more athletes are shifting to a privateer model for racing, or are seeking sponsors to work alongside of their current team allegiances in order to make a career in cycling a more viable long-term option. And home from a successful gravel racing season, Roberge realized he had a problem: He could keep taking calls and meetings while trying to stay on top of his inbox, or he could admit that he needed help.

Roberge joins a large Canadian contingent

Inspire Athlete Management also has signed top Canadian cycling talents including Mike Woods, Leah Kirchmann, Michael van den Ham and Ruby West in the past year. “Adam and the other athletes we work with are torn between trying to deal with demands of seeking sponsors, working out racing programs, dealing with logistics and negotiating contracts, which can all be a full-time job, while still trying to focus on training and racing,” says IAM co-founder Simon Williams. “Our goal is to help athletes like Adam find the best possible partnerships so that he can continue to do what he does best: Race at the highest level.”

Getting into gravel was a necessity for Roberge in 2021, with less road races happening in North America, but a burning desire to get back to the start line. “I knew gravel would be a good fit for me, and I’ve loved it. And really, gravel saved my season. It was a forced transition, but it’s been a great transition.”

“Getting into gravel has been so different from the road. On the road, it used to be simple: You had a contract with a team, and that was it. Now, even as a road racer, I was finding myself dealing directly with companies, and even more so with gravel and becoming more of a privateer, and it’s impossible to do everything needed to be a businessperson and a racer at the same time,” he admits. “Having IAM to help me manage everything has been so helpful and let me prioritize what I do best: Training and racing!”

Charity work

Roberge is also actively involved with several charities and nonprofits in Quebec, including DΓ©fi 808 Bonneville, which raises money for student athletes and DΓ©fi de la Corniche, where he’s an ambassador for the event, which raises money for youth suicide prevention. “I’m particularly passionate about these two charities,” he says. “It’s so important for student athletes to have the resources that they need, and I think it’s critical to help youth who are struggling, especially those at risk of suicide.”

His ideal partnerships go beyond just wanting the latest and greatest gear: He wants to work with companies that will help him elevate his storytelling and help him give back to the community. Since the pandemic began in 2020, Roberge has put a significant amount of his time and energy into sharing his racing and training behind-the-scenes on YouTube, with over 300 videos and hundreds of thousands of views. He hosts live weekly Zoom rides in the winter to connect with friends and fans, and is planning a docu-series for 2022.

“I’ve loved sharing what I’m doing for training and racing, and all about my gear, on my social media channels, especially YouTube and Instagram,” he adds. “I can’t believe how many people ask about tire pressure! I’m excited to start working on some more professional content as I head into the next racing season.”