Team SpiderTech today unveiled Canada’s first ever professional cycling team to achieve UCI Professional Continental status, one level before the Tour de France. Never before has a Canadian team been in pursuit of the Tour de France, considered the highest level in pro cycling in the world.
According to Team SpiderTech founder Steve Bauer, Olympic silver medalist and fourth place finisher at the 1988 Tour De France and one of only two Canadians ever to wear the coveted yellow jersey, this team has what it takes to compete against the best in the world.
“Each year since 2008, we have climbed successively to the next level of professional cycling in our pursuit of the Tour,” said Bauer. “For the first time in Canadian sports history, a Canadian professional cycling team achieved Division 2 status, a Professional Continental license, which means we will race at events across Europe and in North America that will host many of the top professional cycling teams on the Tour. We will get experience, we will challenge and by 2013 we hope to reach World Tour status and be invited to race at the Tour de France,” he added.
Last year, Team SpiderTech was ranked #1 in North America on the UCI America tour reaching UCI podium 22 times and achieving 15 victories. This year’s team is the largest contingent since Bauer began the pursuit three years ago. Attracting high profile Canadian riders from international teams and across the country. “We have doubled our size since we began and now have 19 talented riders that are pushing for the podium,” said Bauer. “Will, Zach, Svein and Guillaume are all challenging the top cyclists internationally and they are winning.”
Among the 19 team members are several new riders including Svein Tuft, silver medalist World Cycling Championships, Zach Bell, current World Cup Track Leader and Silver medalist UCI Track World Cup 2010 and Will Routley, the Canadian Road Champion in 2010. Returning to the team are Guillaume Boivin, bronze medalist in the World Championships 2010, Martin Gilbert, four UCI wins in 2010, and Keven Lacombe, three UCI wins in 2010, just to name a few. There is a total of 16 Canadians, two Americans and one rider from Mexico on this year’s squad.
Bauer and Team SpiderTech have also created a unique Made in Canada approach to get corporate Canada involved in the team’s pursuit. C10 is an alliance of 10 potential corporate partners who work together to provide the funding and support required to field a competitive team on the world’s cycling stage. Currently six companies, SpiderTech, Research in Motion – BlackBerry, NRS Brakes, Planet Energy, Saputo and Pinetree Capital are part of the alliance and the team is actively recruiting for four more to join.
“Pro cycling is a thrilling competitive sport around the world with millions of passionate spectators and television audiences,” said Bauer. “We need four more Canadian partners who want to reach an international audience at this elite level of professional cycling,” he added. “It is an opportunity to become part of Canadian sports history at a more affordable cost than many professional sports sponsorships.”
The team departs for Europe to start this year’s racing season on February 5, 2011. They head to Italy for the first two races, Tropheo Laigueglia Feb. 19 followed by Giro di Sardegna (Sardinia) Feb. 22 to 27.
Scouting hockey. The team also announced a new national development program “Bauer Power Line” to scout hockey players from Canadian junior, and midget and bantam levels A-AAA.
“We need to develop tomorrow’s Tour de France champions and the cross over from hockey to cycling is a natural and competitive advantage,” said Steve Bauer, creator of the national development program and founder of Team SpiderTech, Olympic silver medalist, fourth place finisher at the 1988 Tour De France, and former hockey player.
“Canada is hockey and hockey players make great cyclists, so it just makes sense to start scouting our arenas for five hockey players, our first power line, to join our cycling development squad,” he added.
Paulo Saldanha, leading exercise physiologist and founder of PowerWatts, has been training several of the elite cyclists to prepare for this upcoming European campaign. According to Saldanha there are significant similarities in muscular conditioning and power outputs of hockey players and cyclists.
“We have a country of hockey players, many of whom might have the muscle power, aerobic engine and genetic pre-disposition to ride a bike competitively. Our goal to find the next Steve Bauer, Kevin Lacombe and Guillaume Boivin, as they are proof that hockey layers can develop into great cyclists.”
Bauer added, “Today in Canada we have over 5000 young hockey players competing at the junior, midget and bantam A-AAA levels which is an amazing group of athletes to draw from and pique their interest into professional cycling.”
“We believe we have a Tour de France champion playing right now in a Canadian arena, we just need to find him,” added Bauer.
Team SpiderTech will announce details on the recruitment program in June and will begin scouting and testing athletes in July and August 2011.
Team SpiderTech powered by C10 Fact Sheet Roster:
- Ryan Anderson
- Mark Batty
- Zachary Bell
- David Boily
- Guillaume Boivin
- Flavio de Luna Davila
- Lucas Euser
- Martin Gilbert
- Hugo Houle
- Keven Lacombe
- Simon Lambert-Lemay
- Bruno Langlois
- Jonathan Patrick McCarty
- François Parisien
- Andrew Randell
- Ryan Roth
- Will Routley
- Svein Tuft
- Charly Vives