June 23, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – We head into the Canadian Road Championships coming off our best Tour de Beauce ever. Emile Jean won Stage 1. Alec Cowan won Stage 3a, took yellow and at one point the team held every jersey on offer at the race. Nigel Ellsay would finish in polka dots and Alec held the yellow jersey until the dramatic final stage. You can read a recap and see pics on our website.
There’s a consistent storyline, however, that’s starting to unfold:
When Alec Cowan won the ITT at Beauce, he beat some of the best time trialers in North America. We’ve been describing him to you in race recaps/previews as a rider to watch. He was 12th at the 2016 U23 ITT World Championships and is the defending U23 Canadian ITT champion. This year he’s been hovering near the top step of the podium. He was 3rd on Stage 3 at Joe Martin; wore the Young Rider’s jersey at Gila; was 4th on Stage 3 at Saguenay; 6th on Stage 1 at the Beauce and then broke through with a convincing win on Stage 3a. This weekend he will be racing at the Canadian RR Championships, and on Tuesday June 27 he defends his National U23 ITT title but will be gunning for the overall.
Alec has taken a leadership role amongst a group of U23 riders on Silber Pro Cycling that are starting to elevate. When some of our stronger riders moved up to Pro Conti teams and larger programs, many predicted Silber would need a year or two to rebuild. But take a look at the guys we recruited. In time trials, our team consistently has 3-4 guys in the top 10-15. The basic physiological fitness is there. Now the platform of sponsorship, coaching, race direction, experienced staff and a culture of accountability is starting to deliver results. Emile Jean and Cowan are delivering wins. Nigel Ellsay, Ryan Roth and Stephen Bassett have been hitting the podium. Who’s next?
Last year we were the dominant team at the Canadian Road Championships. This year, Rally will bring a very strong team and the country’s two other Continental teams, H&R Block and Garneau Quebecor have stepped up. With injuries to Nicolas Masbourian and Danick Vandale, we will be in tough but keep an eye on Pier-André Côté, Nick Zukowsky and Adam Roberge. All have been winning local races and they’re the next group of Silber riders positioned to elevate.
And then there’s Stephen Bassett. “Hound Dog” is the lone American on our team. He’s another of our U23 riders to elevate, with two podiums recently. This weekend Stephen will be racing at the US Pro National Championships in Knoxville, TN–his home town. The Time Trial is on Saturday June 24, and Stephen will be looking to put in a solid performance. Without teammates, he’ll be hoping to surf the right waves during the Road Road.
In sum, Cowan is becoming the face of Silber Pro Cycling’s development program. But who knows? If Pier-André, Nick, Adam or Stephen step up at Nationals, the face of the program will be an orange jersey waiting for riders that crave opportunity and a platform for success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re building something here.
2017 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus FACT-SHEET
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Class: UCI NC
• Sunday June 25 (2pm start): Elite/U23 Men’s RR (160km) Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa
• Tuesday June 27 (12:30pm start): Elite/U23 Men’s ITT (36km)
• Wednesday June 28 (7:45 pm start): Elite Men’s Criterium (1hr + 3 laps) Gatineau
2016 Canadian Champions
Elite Men’s RR: Bruno Langlois, Garneau Quebecor
U23 Men’s RR: Benjamin Perry, Silber Pro Cycling
Elite Men’s ITT: Ryan Roth, Silber Pro Cycling
U23 Men’s ITT: Alec Cowan, Team Race Clean
Elite Men’s Criterium: Benjamin Perry, Silber Pro Cycling
Official Website: Cycling Canada
SILBER PRO CYCLING CANADIAN ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS ROSTER
Pier-André Côté Emile Jean
Alec Cowan Adam Roberge
Nigel Ellsay Ryan Roth
Julien Gagne Nickolas Zukowsky
More info? Rider’s Bios ?