Rally Cycling today announced Canadian Ryan Anderson will return to the US team after riding for French Pro Continental outfit Direct Energie for two years. Anderson, 30, previously rode for the team in 2009 and 2010, and then again in 2013 through 2015.
"I couldn’t be happier to rejoin this organisation," Anderson said in a post on the team's website. "The thing that I remember the most about Rally Cycling is the positive attitude throughout the whole organization. Starting with (Managing Director) Charles Aaron, I just remember how good the vibe is between everyone. From staff that are on the road, employees in the office, to all of the riders and partners. Everyone enjoyed spending time together which I think plays a big part in the team’s achievements."
Anderson joins the team as it moves to the Pro Continental level next year. Team director Jonas Carney said Anderson was "valuable part of the team" when he rode with other iterations of the Circuit Sport-owned program, first as Kelly Benefit Stratgeies and then as Optum Pro Cycling.
"When he rode for us in the past he was one of our strongest and most consistent riders," Carney said. "We were happy for him when he got the opportunity to race in Europe. But our program has reached the level where riders like Anderson are now looking to ride for us in order to get that ambitious European race schedule."
In two years with Direct Energie, Anderson sprinted to second at La Poly Normande, was fifth at the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise and finished his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, last year. Despite the most recent results, Anderson said his second place to Peter Sagan in the final stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge remains his personal favourite result.
"It wasn’t a win but I opened my sprint from where I had planned and did everything I could that day," he said. "I was only beaten by Peter Sagan, which I can live with – he beats a lot of guys."
Rally is hoping Anderson's experience in Europe will be vital in helping some of the team's other riders adjust to the peloton and life across the Atlantic.
"You can get tossed into all sorts of stuff you take for granted back home," Anderson said. "Now you are in a different part of the world trying to work things out in a different language. From banking, to going into a clinic for follow up X-rays after a crash, to setting up a phone, to just going to the store and using the train – some of it’s easy, but some of it really tests you. I can help my teammates through some of this, as can guys like Danny Pate.
"One of the things I bring to the team is more race experience," Anderson said. "I was able to do my first Grand Tour last year and have raced all the cobbled classics. I really hope I can pass on some things that I have learned, and that the younger guys ask questions."
Anderson joins Rob Britton, Evan Huffman, Robin Carpneter, Ty Magner, Kyle Muprhy and Nigel Ellsay on Rally's announced 2018 roster so far.