January 29, 2006 – Founded in 1968, Espoirs de Laval is known as one of the most important cycling clubs in Canada. The club can lay claim to over 100 national titles and has been represented by some of the best cyclists that Canada has ever produced including: Czeslaw Lukaszewicz, Steve Rover, Yanick Cojan, and Roland Green.
In 2005, riding for Espoirs de Laval, Francois Parisien won the senior Canadian National Road Race championships in Kamloops BC, while Joelle Numainville defendend her junior road race title and added national time trial gold. For 2006, the Espoirs de Laval Elite Team has brought their focus back to the development of promising, young riders.
Joining the team in 2006 are three espoir riders who have eyes on provincial and national titles. Coming to Montreal for the 2006 season will be New Brunswick rider Ryan Belliveau and Newfoundlander Zach Garland. Both riders participated in the 2005 Canada Summer Games and raced extensively in Europe. Also joining the team will be Quebec Category 3 provincial champion Martin Picard. Martin raced in 2005 for the McGill cycling team and topped his season off by winning Le dÃ©fi du Mont-Royal.
Martin, Zach, and Ryan will be joined by returning espoir category riders Francois Sztuke and David Roy. Francois had strong 2005 season that was highlighted by his invitation to the Canada Summer Games as a member of the Quebec provincial team. David won the 2005 Grand Prix de Brossard. Bringing leadership and experience to the team will be returning riders Nick Rowe, Alistair Howard, Andrew Leach, Hugues Lapointe, and Antoine Stundner. Nick, a past Canadian espoir national team rider, had a strong 2005 season with podiums at the Grand Prix de Longueuil and the Classique Cycliste de Magog. Alistair, brings a wealth experience as a five-time Canadian champion on the track and former national junior and espoir rider. Hugues is a former podium finisher at Lachine, and finished 7th in 2005 Quebec Provincial Time Trial.
In 2006 the team will focus on the Quebec calendar and the National Championships, but will also send riders to BC-Superweek, the eastern Canada Cup road events, Maritime Superweek, and other races in Ontario and the United States.
The team is also pleased to confirm its continued association with long-time sponsor Louis Garneau, and the addition of new sponsors Equibar and Martin Swiss Cycles. A complete list of sponsors for the 2006 season will be announced shortly.
– Ryan Belliveau (NB)
– Zach Garland (NFL)
– Alistair Howard (QC)
– Hugues Lapointe (QC)
– Andrew Leach (QC)
– Martin Picard (QC)
– Nick Rowe (QC)
– David Roy (QC)
– Antoine Stundner (QC)
– FranÃ§ois Sztuke (QC)