September 23, 2016 – As reported, Canadian road rider Alex Cataford (Silber Pro) has signed with US-based UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team for 2017. Cataford, 23, notably finished 2nd in the GC at the Tour of the Gila in 2016 and was top the Canadian at the Tour of Alberta (5th overall). He defended his U23 ITT national title in 2016 and landed second on the Elite Men’s podium. Cataford also holds four junior national championships (ITT, Pursuit, Points race, Scratch race) from 2011 when he was also the junior Pan American Champion in Individual Pursuit.
The talented cyclist has ridden for Garneau-Quebecor ( 2013); Amore & Vita-Selle SMP (2014); and Silber Pro Cycling Team (2015, 2016). We caught up with the Ottawa native to find out more:
Congatulations on joining UHC – what can you share about next season and your hopes/expectations ?
Alex Cataford: Thanks, I’m very excited to join UnitedHealthCare for next year. They have assembled a very strong team for next year and I am looking forward to racing at the highest level with them. It is great to be able to jump up to the pro continental level and have the opportunity to bigger races. I am excited to see what the season will bring for us. Personally, I hope to continue to improve in my stage racing abilities and to be a GC contender in week long stage races.
You’ve had some great results at Tour of Gila and more recently at the Tour of Alberta.
AC: I feel these performances show the level that I have risen to this year. They showed that I can be one of the top stage racers in the North American circuit. Of course, these performances wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my teammates. I am happy all of the hard work I have been putting in has paid off in results like these.
Silber has been a powerhouse team – what have you learned there ?
AC: I want to say a big thank you to Silber Pro cycling. It is an amazing team that have given me to opportunity to develop into the rider I am now. I really think I developed a lot of the skills I currently have at Silber. It was a great environment to develop as a rider, with the help of Gord and also great teammates. The team provided all of us with lots of opportunities to improve ourselves and to race at a high level. One of the biggest thing’s I have learnt during my time at Silber what it means to race as a ‘professional’. A lot of us joined the team from smaller provincial programs where to calendar demands and team size just aren’t the same. So it was great to learn the skills necessary to compete on a cohesive team on a full racing schedule.
You recovered from a tough crash in 2014 – what advice can you give others in situations like this ?
AC: I definitely took a life ‘crash course’ in resilience that year. I had a lot of unexpected roadblocks thrown my way very quickly. But the best advice I can give is that, as you as you keep working hard and don’t give up, things will always get better. For reasons outside our own control, we can find ourselves in pretty tough circumstances, but its always up to us to make the best of a bad situation.
All the best going forward