Toronto Hustle team goes pro for 2022
The squad is expanding its roster and going continentalPhoto by: Michael Bowley
Toronto Hustle has announced that they are turning professional. In a release, the team has said that entering its sixth season, they will be stepping it up with a 2022 UCI Continental License, coupled with a calendar that includes road events, women’s gravel, and a series of plans to help create a stronger cycling culture.
The team is a firm believer in the domestic scene as a way to develop professional cyclists. They said that while many look to Europe for pro riding, Toronto Hustle is keen on supporting Canadian athletes and North American racing by investing in a professional license, professionalizing operations, adding top talent, and ensuring athletes have access to the biggest races on the continent.
“We’re committed to rebuilding the professional racing scene in North America, and being a part of the growth and expansion of the cycling community,” Kathryn Randle, principal of Toronto Hustle, said. “As we step up to the pro ranks, we’ve been able to sign some phenomenal talent that will ensure we’re competitive in all of North America’s biggest races.”
A new professional team, for Toronto.
As we enter our 6th season, we're excited to announce we'll be stepping up to the professional ranks for 2022! pic.twitter.com/EsQDdZTiGI
— Toronto Hustle (@Toronto_Hustle) January 20, 2022
Although the 2022 race and community agenda is extensive, their will be a focus on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar in support of the team’s commitment to the professional racing scene in North America.
New riders coming onboard
The team has signed several new riders, including:
– Matteo Dal-Cin, winner of numerous UCI races, a National Road Championship, a stage of the virtual Tour de France and a well known domestique on the World Tour circuit with Rally Pro Cycling.
– Michael Foley, who is fresh off an Olympic appearance with the Team Pursuit squad at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
– Edward Walsh, joining from continental pro team X-Speed United, who holds multiple national titles and was a U23 National Champion.
In addition to retaining current members, the Toronto-based team will continue to add to its roster of professional athletes, while also inspiring new riders to join both the men’s and women’s teams. The full team roster will be announced shortly.
Women’s gravel team continuing
After launching one of Canada’s first all-women’s gravel teams in 2020, Toronto Hustle plans to continue to grow the women’s cycling community. This year, four strong riders representing Toronto will line up at marquee gravel events across North America, including Unbound Gravel and Big Sugar.
Coupled with veteran leadership and coaching from one of North America’s top directors and off-the-bike mentorship from network partners, Toronto Hustle will also field what may be the next generation of riders through the Junior Development team in 2022. In 2021, the team held podiums at the Under 23 level (U23 National Championship and Best Young Rider Classifications at international stage races.)
More than just cycling
Since Toronto Hustle’s inception in 2016, the team has been involved with the community, both on and off the bicycle. For example, the team helped raise more than $750,000 for front line healthcare workers and mental health programs through “CrushCOVID,” a recently concluded “Gravel Run for Lyme” event in Niagara Region that raised nearly $80,000 for vital Lyme disease research, and ongoing road safety advocacy to help push cycling infrastructure forward.
“It’s been a challenging 2 years for everyone, as we focused our collective energy on combating the global pandemic. But with brighter days on the horizon, we’re committed to rebuilding the professional racing scene in North America, while continuing our efforts to make our streets safer, and get more people on bikes. Let’s go!” Brad Bradford, co-founder said.