With an eye on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Team NextGen MTE has evolved into Team RaceClean, a Cycling Canada trade team that will compete in road races throughout Europe and North America. The Cycling Canada’s men’s endurance track program will also compete in 2016 as Team RaceClean. The program was launched in 2014 as Team NextGen with the goal of developing young riders into medal contenders for the men’s team pursuit at the 2020 Summer Games. The team is built off of a select roster of riders who train and compete together throughout the year.
“It was very important for us to create a team to enable our riders to enter more races in Europe especially,” said Cycling Canada’s road development coach, Luc Arseneau. “We now have more than 90 days of racing planned over the next few months. To be honest, it’s been a long-time dream.”
Racing under the banner of Cycling Canada’s anti-doping program, the roster of 10 riders in the spring road program have started with a 10 week block in Europe, beginning with a training camp in the south of Spain. The team will then move to Cycling Canada’s base in Belgium for the competition block. Team RaceClean starts racing on April 6, with Inter-Club Scheldeprijs . Then they move on to UCI Nations Cups races such as the Tour of Flanders in Belgium and the ZLM Tour in the Netherlands. The team will also compete at the Inter-Club GP Affligem, the Flèche du Sud in Luxembourg, a pair of races in France, and make their first appearance on Canadian soil at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay. The program is similar to the ones developed by successful team pursuit nations such as Australia and Great Britain. After the Canadian championships in Gatineau, Que., the team will head back for another block of racing in Europe where they will compete at the Tour de Liège and the Tour de Namur. As the UCI track calendar comes together, more races will be added to the team’s 2016 schedule.
With the name change, Cycling Canada’s high-performance director, Jacques Laundry said, “The objective stays the same: to develop our track endurance program to be competitive at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That’s a given, but along the way, if we can develop a rider to be placed on a WorldTour or a professional continental trade team, we will be happy to let him go. We are also very happy these 10 young riders will develop and advertise a philosophy close to the heart of our organization.”
Team RaceTeam for 2016:
- Willem Boersma- Portage La Prairie, Man.
- Evan Burtnik- Edmonton
- Aidan Caves- Vancouver
- Alexander Cowan- Calgary
- William Elliott- Barrie, Ont.
- Adam Jamieson- Barrie, Ont.
- Jay Lamoureux- Victoria, B.C.
- Sean Mackinnon- Hamilton
- Bayley Simpson- Lindsay, Ont.
- Edward Walsh- Halifax
- Luc Arseneau– national road development coach
- Ian Melvin– men’s national track endurance coach
- Emily Wood- physiologist
Throughout the 2015-16 track season, the team earned a top-10 World Cup result and a 12th-place finish at the UCI track world championships.