Ryan Roth is fresh off arguably the most successful season of his career. Injury hampered his early season but he stormed back to the top with a win at the Winston-Salem Classic in May. June saw him take the overall victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and the Canadian national time trial title. It was then onto BC Superweek where he took the win at the UCI White Spot/Delta Road Race.
“I tried to do everything you usually do and it all adds up after years and years,” said the 33-year-old from his home in Kitchener, Ontario. “There was nothing special or different about this season.” Though the results speak for themselves and Roth certainly helped his Silber Pro Cycling team rise to second overall in the UCI America Tour standings.
The world championships in Doha, Qatar closed out the season. After a strong showing in the time trial he infiltrated the day’s breakaway in the opening kilometers of the 260 km road race.
“It was definitely a unique situation, the course was not very selective on paper. For it to be interesting there needed to be wind,” explained Roth. “I could have been in the break and get caught by 150 guys. I was given the job to get into the break and I managed to do that. There was a lot of things to fall into place for me to get the result I did so I was pretty fortunate.”
Alongside some of the biggest names in the sport, Roth stuck with the lead riders right to the line and finished 15th. Peter Sagan defended his title while two former world champions, Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen, flanked the Slovak. “They get tired like anyone else, you cannot be in awe with the names. Without knowing them personally I can’t look up to any of them,” said Roth. “I don’t know them so for me I don’t let it get in my head.”
Roth has a few seasons left in his legs with the focus being to continue to work with Silber director sportif Gord Fraser and team owner Scott McFarlane to help young Canadian riders develop in the sport. His experience and role has been vital to the program’s progression. With two riders moving to pro-continental teams in 2017, Benjamin Perry and Alex Cataford, the evidence is that Silber is succeeding to elevate the level of cycling in Canada.
“It’s good to race with young guys, we are trying to help them move onto bigger teams so they are motivated, hungry and make the most of their opportunities,” said Roth about his role with Silber. “Our race program next season will be quite similar and I look forward to doing some of those new UCI races.”
For 2017, Silber will welcome new riders and Roth said that it will take two seasons before it’s back to where it was this year. “It’s still early days for the program so we will see if we can do that success with the younger guys, it will be exciting to see if we can do that,” said Roth about working with younger riders this coming season.
With worlds wrapped up the focus now is to rest up before preparing for next season. “I usually just hang out around the house, maybe go mountain biking or for a run,” said Roth. “Then I will hopefully be doing some good training on the track, I’ve enjoyed doing that.
“I like the change of pace, it’s different enough that it’s fresh for me,” said Roth who only picked up the discipline in late 2014. “It’s always intense hard training when yo go to go track and having structured intensity has been good.”
For the time being Roth is entirely focused on his cycling career. “I am hoping to keep racing for a few more years, things can change year to year so I don’t have anything super specific. I have some general ideas,” said Roth about what awaits after his career as a racer adding that he’s not ready to compromise his cycling to focus on something else yet.