September 25, 2016 – Reigning Canadian U23 Road and Crit champ, Ben Perry, 22, who currently rides for Silber Pro has signed a 2-year contract with Israel-based Cycling Academy which has applied for Pro Continental status.
Perry, from St Catharines, ON, recently distinguished himself winning the KOM Jersey at the 2016 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal. He’s a 9-time national champ also holding eight provincial championship titles. While en-route to defending his U23 title this year he finished second overall in the Elite Men’s road race also garnering numerous other accolades including 2nd overall at the 2016 GP de Saguenay; Best Young Rider at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic; 2015 Crit Champion and 3x U23 Road Champion; winner of the KOM jersey at the 2015 Tour of Alberta.
Perry joins fellow Canuck, Guillaume Boivin, the 2015 national road champ on the team which launched in November 2014 by a group that included Peter Sagan with the aim of developing young cyclists, especially from Israel.
“We are excited to have Benjamin join our team,” said team board member, Mr. Sylvan Adams, the Israeli-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, who is a major force behind Cycling Academy’s dramatic fast paced graduation to the Pro-Continental level, only two years removed from its founding as a professional team. Adams added, “Benjamin, is a promising talent on the rise, who has already demonstrated that he is capable of preforming under pressure at crunch time at the end of races. We are confident that he will help us significantly in our quest to win races next year, as we deliver our Israeli team to the start line of some of the biggest races in the world”.
Congrats on signing with the Cycling Academy – tell us how it came about?
Benjamin Perry : At GP Saguenay this year after I beat one of their key guys, Miku Raim, for the win on stage 1. I think they took notice to this as Miku doesn’t often lose. The team manager, Ran Margaillot, spoke with Guillaume Boivin about me and from there we met in person in Beauce at the end of June.
Were you also looking at other teams ?
BP: I had a handful of other offers, but from the moment this offer came about I was very attracted to it. The goals, mission, and structure at Cycling Academy really line up with my interests, that was all that mattered to me. I had my heart set on Cycling Academy quite quickly.
How important is it that the Cycling Academy is going Pro Conti ?
BP: It is very crucial in my reasoning for signing with them. The team will have a strong focus on classic style races in Europe, which are perfect for me. I get maybe 10 days a year of .1 or above racing in North America, Pro Conti gives a team a great ability to get into .1 and .HC races which I need to be doing far more frequently if I want to develop into a rider who can win pro races in Europe.
How do the next two seasons look for you…?
BP: I am going to move to Spain with my girlfriend and get settled this fall. After that I am focusing hard on my racing and training and putting all my energy into learning the craft. A two year contract really gives me peace of mind with settling down indefinitely on a new continent. I will also chip away at my business degree when I have down time, and probably end up spending half my days on the patio at La Fabrica.
When do you report to boot camp – is it in Israel?
BP: Yes! Unofficially I believe we will have a week or so team camp early December in Israel. Details to come…
Is this your first foreign team?
BP: If you consider me a die-hard Belgie then yes, otherwise no, I have raced for three separate Belgian teams from 2nd year junior to my second year U23.
Any shout-outs to fans for supporters ?
BP: YES. Thank you Mom and Dad (please run your recent Peter Kraiker photo, he just sent it to me the other day, it’s from Montreal, I attached it) & the whole family, my girlfriend, my friends, Coach Rick at NCCH, Everyone at Silber Pro Cycling, special thanks to Scott who is so so happy to see me go and is doing incredible things for the development of young Canadians. Global Relay, Cycling Canada I also would love to say thanks to Rejean, Paul and everyone in the Edmonton cycling community for adopting me this summer.
Good luck to you, Ben!