Montreal-based UCI continental team Silber Pro Cycling has announced its roster for the 2017 season. The team adds six riders to complete its roster of 13. All the new signings are under-23 riders indicating a commitment to development in the coming year.
Following a season in which the team ranked second in the UCI America tour standings, the team which had four riders representing Canada at the world championships will focus on development in the coming year after racking up wins and podium places in many of North America’s biggest races. Silber also graduated two riders to the UCI Pro Continental ranks, fulfulling the team’s mission to helo riders gain opportunties and exposure in order to develop and reach the next step in cycling. Ben Perry leaves Silber to join the Cycling Academy and Alex Cataford will join UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling. Matteo Dal-Cin also moves on to Rally Cycling.
“I think it is important to recognize that we had wins and stellar performances spanning both the United States and Canada. From California to North Carolina, and from British Columbia to Quebec,” said Silber’s general manager and owner, Scott McFarlane. “The team became well-known throughout North American cycling community. Our audience grew steadily and was exceptionally engaged. Then, at the end of the season our riders could be seen performing in front of global audiences. They really stepped up.”
The team will continue to be lead by veteran Ryan Roth on the road and by sports director Gord Fraser in 2017. “I feel really confident in our leadership,” explained McFarlane. “With Gord directing the team and Roth at the helm on the road, our riders can feel calmly confident in our tactical acumen. We have a great environment for younger riders to develop within.”
Canadians from B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec will be joined by the squads first American signing. Returning riders include Kris Dahl who won a stage of the Tour of Utah, Nigel Ellsay who finished second overall at the Joe Martin stage race and seventh at the Tour of Alberta, along with Nicolas Masbourian, Émile Jean, David Drouin, Julien Gagné and Roth.
The Canadian new comers include Adam Roberge, Nickolas Zukowsky, Danick Vandale, Pier-André Coté and Alec Cowan all of whom the team has seen promising talent in.
Roberge joins from the LowestRates cycling team and was 2015 Canadian men’s junior road champion “Roberge is a former canadian junior national champion who raced both in Quebec and Europe last year. He’s got a massive engine and is already capable of making a significant contribution at the front or up the road, said McFarlane.
Zukowsky comes over from the Accent Inns-Russ Hays Team showing promise as a junior in the elite ranks. “Zukowsky will be the youngest guy on the team. He’s fresh out of the junior ranks but we wouldn’t have hired him if we didn’t think he has talent,” McFarlane said. “We’re giving him a couple years to develop.
Vandale spent 2016 with H&R Block Pro Cycling Team. “Vandale maybe unknown to many, however, we know him as a rider who is always in the breaks. He’s relatively new to cycling but has good gamesmanship.
Cowan raced primarily in Europe with Team RaceClean in 2016. “Cowan is already a special talent and pulled off one of the best time trials at world’s in Canada’s recent history,” said McFarlane. “All these guys together give us an extremely young, versatile core.”
Coté is a powerful sprinter with McFarlane saying, “He’s a total athlete, very strong. Probably not a pure sprinter, while still being very fast. He knows how to get in a position to win.”
The team’s American recruit is Stephan Bassett from Knoxville, Tennessee. “Stephen raced with the Jamis team this season, along with the USAC Development Team. He had some impressive finishes in Europe,” explained McFarlane. “Gord flagged him after he won the final stage at Cascades. Then we really got to see him race first-hand at the Tour of Utah. Stephen was aggressive there, constantly attacking and making breakaway groups. He impressed us with his sheer capacity for work.”
The new editions to Silber are all promising young riders with big engines that boast speed and power in different terrain. With a younger roster than last year, the team likely will not repeat it’s successes on the same scale but hope to put together a well-drilled group of riders capable of riding together with purpose and professional execution.
“2017 will be a completely new feel for us,” said Fraser who will be working closely with the team as they progress, develop and grow as a unit. “We’ve graduated most of our core athletes and I’m looking forward to working with the infusion of young talent. We’ll continue to push our veteran riders to achieve loftier goals while nudging our new riders into the professional lifestyle both on and off the bike.”
2017 Silber Pro Cycling Roster
Stephen Bassett, 21, Knoxville, Tennessee
Pier-André Coté, 19, Quebec City
Alec Cowan, 20, Calgary
Kris Dahl, 24, Calgary
David Drouin, 21, Saint-Prosper, Que
Nigel Ellsay, 22, Comox, B.C.
Julien Gagné, 22, Sherbrooke, Que.
Émile Jean, 23, Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Nicolas Masbourian, 22, Montreal
Adam Roberge, 19, Montreal
Ryan Roth, 33, Guelph, Ont.
Dannick Vandale, 21, Winnipeg
Nicolas Zuckowsky, 18, Ste-Lucie, Que.