January 11, 2013 (Montreal, QC) – The Montreal-based women’s road team, GSD gestion/Kallisto/Specialized has received notification of its official UCI continental team status. “I am very happy,” team president, Gerard Penarroya told Pedal in Montreal today. “I was quite nervous [about whether we would be approved] since last month, but we got word yesterday and I am very happy.”
“We are looking forward to the Olympics in Brazil [in 2016] and the Panam Games in Toronto [in 2015],” adds team director, Mirek Mazur. “We want to develop new riders and will be building our team up in 2013. We needed a team leader and recently added world scratch champion Katarzyna Pawlowska as well as Anna Harkwoska who won three silver medals at the London Paralympics.
“As you guessed from my name, I am the Polish connection who brought these two Polish riders to the team,” Mazur shared with Pedal in a phone interview.
“Harkwoska, while an accomplished paracyclist, will be competing primarily against able-bodied cyclists,” explained Mazur. He also revealed that the team will have a base in France and another base in Montreal for the 2013 season where the first races begin in March in Arizona. But it doesn’t sound like Canada will see much of the nine-woman road team in 2013.
“We are going to go to as many UCI races as possible,” explained Mazur. This means that the team will concentrate most of its time in Europe where most of the UCI-sanctioned women’s elite races will take place; Canada will only see two such events this year – the Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau on May 18 and the Chrono Gatineau on May 20.
The women will also race at The Keystone Open in Philadelphia, PA on July 7, but there are no other UCI elite women’s events in North America this year. “We are looking at our budget, but we might also be at some races in Brazil, El Salvador, and Mexico,” continued Mazur. “And in 2014, we will try to make the team even stronger.”
On the men’s side, only two Canadian teams have achieved continental status so far for 2013: Equipe Cycliste Ekoï – Devinci and Equipe Garneau – Québecor, both based in Quebec.
Team website here.
Keystone Open here.