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At nationals, Ryan Anderson hoping to move up one podium spot from last year

Ryan Anderson

In 2013, Ryan Anderson picked a tough race to kick off his season. The Canadian road championship race, which comes at roughly the halfway point of the road cycling year, was one of Anderson’s first races. He finished second, just behind winner Zach Bell.

“This year I’m looking to come in with a little more racing,” he said with a bit of understatement.

Last year, Anderson faced some contract trouble that kept him from racing. Once things cleared up, he found a new position on Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies. At the USA Pro Challenge, he came in third on the third stage and second to Peter Sagan in the final seventh stage. Later, at the Tour of Alberta, he finished eighth, the top Canadian at the inaugural stage race on the Prairies.

The demanding 180-km route was in the same hilly region of Quebec as this year’s competition. This year, the route features a 15-km circuit that takes riders up Mont Morne nine times.  “I think the circuit could be good for me,” Anderson said.

During this year’s competition, the Optum rider will have the help his teammate, Will Routley, who won a stage and the king of the mountains jersey at the Tour of California in May. “I’m sure Will will still be riding well,” Anderson said. “Together, I think we can do some damage and put ourselves in the best position to win.”