Two Silber Pro Cycling alumni are graduating to the UCI Pro Continental level in 2020. Canadian under-23 road champion Nick Zukowsky and American Stephen Bassett have signed with Rally UHC for the 2020 season joining the team entirely made up of North American riders.
Zukowsky has been steadily progressing throughout his young career which began with two seasons at Silber Pro Cycling before joining Floyd’s Pro Cycling in 2019. Zukowsky took a major step forward in 2019 winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and then finished third at the Tour de Beauce. Zukowsky also finished third at the 2019 national championships behind Rally UHC Canadian teammates Adam de Vos and Nigel Ellsay. Zukowsky represented Canada at the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir and has raced with Canada at the world championships.
“I think what really clicked for me was becoming more confident,” Zukowsky said. “Once you experience the feeling of being at the front of a race and in contention for a good result, you build confidence and realize that you have what it takes to win.”
Bassett raced with Silber in 2017 and 2018 before moving to the amateur level with First Internet Bank Cycling before a move to Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis mid-season. Bassett won two stages and the overall at the Joe Martin stage race and was runner up to Alex Howes at the American road championships.
“It was my best season by a factor of 10,” said Bassett. “What seemed like a downgrade on paper was actually a huge opportunity for me and really revived my love of the sport and working hard.”
The 2019 Rally UHC men’s roster includes seven Canadians including Silber veterans Matteo Dal-Cin, Nigel Ellsay and Pier-André Coté, along with Svein Tuft who is riding his final pro season, Rob Britton and Ryan Anderson.
The American Pro Continental team intends to expand its European campaign in 2020 with more riders expected to establish themselves in Girona, Spain in 2020. In 2019, the team got invites to La Fleche-Wallone, Tour de Suisse, Tour of California, Tour de Luxembourg, the Arctic Tour of Norway and Tour de Yorkshire.
“They’re taking huge steps into becoming major players in Europe,” Bassett said in a team press release announcing his arrival. “I also pay attention to retention rates – once riders get to the team, they want to stick around.”