Canadian Continental team Silber Pro Cycling have announced its final 13-rider roster for the 2017 season with six new faces for the new year. Team owner Scott McFarlane has assembled a team with a mix of youth and experience and is aiming to continue the level of success Silber achieved in 2016 which included a stage at the Tour of Utah, national championships and the overall classification at Redlands Classic.
"I think it is important to recognize that we had wins and stellar performances spanning both the United States and Canada," said McFarlane. " From California to North Carolina, and from British Columbia to Quebec. The team became well-known throughout North American cycling community. Our audience grew steadily and was exceptionally engaged. Then, at the end of the season our riders could be seen performing in front of global audiences. They really stepped up!"
Ryan Roth, 33, will again be the team's road captain on the road with Gord Fraser calling the shots from the car. In the duo, McFarlance is confident he has the right men for sustainable success as he added.
"I feel really confident in our leadership. With Gord directing the team and Roth at the helm on the road, our riders can feel calmly confident in our tactical acumen. We have a great environment for younger riders to develop within," he said.
The new signings for 2017 include Canadians Adam Roberge, Nickolas Zukowsky, Danick Vandale and Alec Cowan, while Stephen Bassett will become the first American to race for Silber.
"2017 will be a completely new feel for us. We’ve graduated most of our core athletes and I’m looking forward to working with the infusion of young talent. We’ll continue to push our veteran riders to achieve loftier goals while nudging our new riders into the professional lifestyle both on and off the bike," said Fraser.
2017 Silber Pro Cycling Roster
Stephen Bassett, Pier-André Coté, Alec Cowan, Kris Dahl, David Drouin, Nigel Ellsay, Julien Gagné, Émile Jean, Nicolas Masbourian, Adam Roberge, Ryan Roth, Dannick Vandale and Nicolas Zuckowsky.
One year extension at LottoNL-Jumbo for Bram Tankink
Dutchman Bram Tankink will continue racing in the LottoNL-Jumbo colours for at least another season following confirmation of his contract extension with the WorldTour team. The extension ensure that Tankink, who recently turned 38, will ride for a tenth season with the team after previous stints with Quickstep-Innergetic and Domo-Farm Frites.
"I decide season by season and this year, and I decided to add on a year to my career. I feel good, I'm motivated and I am very happy with this team. Why should I stop now?", he said.
Having helped Steven Kruijswijk into the position to the win the 2016 Giro d'Italia, only for a crash to end his teammates' hopes, Tankink is hoping for a familiar sensations next May at the Italian grand tour.
"This year's Giro was a unique experience and that is something I would like to experience again," he added.
"I can use my experience with the new professionals teach the new pros through the season. To be a professional is a result of hard work and talent, but it is important to realise that cycling is a profession and a way of life. I hope to instil this in the new guys."
LottoNL-Jumbo technical director Nico Verhoeven expressed his delight in securing Tankink for another season, highlighting hid versatility and selflessness across the season.
"Bram adds value to the team, as a helper and certainly as road captain. He can read the race through his years of experience and share his experience with the other riders," said Verhoeven. "Bram is a good rider who can be used anywhere. He can climb cols with best half of the peloton, so he can stay by Gesink and Kruijswijk. He is also helpful in the spring classics for riders like Lars Boom."
No excuses at Vlaamse Druivencross for Wout Van Aert
Having won Saturday's fourth round of the DVV Trophy in Essen, Belgium, Sunday's Vlaamse Druivencross proved to be a disappointment for 'cross world champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) as he couldn't match the pace of Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon). Despite suffering deep wounds from a pre-race crash, Van Aert wasn't making excuses for his race result which was 55 seconds off Van der Poel,
"During the race it did not bother me. It was also not because I had the race on Saturday in the legs," he told Het Nieuwsblad. " I felt better recovered than last week in Mol, but compared to Mathieu I was inferior today. Yesterday I went very deep, while he could get more rest due to the circumstance. Then you are a bit faster at the start of the race. I could feel that. I had hoped for more here, but Mathieu did not want to wait. He flew away immediately and it was soon clear that he was the strongest. He deserved to win here."
While Van Aert has enjoyed fours wins this season, it is Dutchman van der Poel who is the standout rider thus far and after his defeat his Saturday, he explained he was riding for "revenge" in the Vlaamse Druivencross
"Today I wanted revenge and I am proud of this win. I won with a nice gap and have rode the frustration of Saturday out of my body," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I immediately wanted to take control of the race," he said, "but the plan was not to ride the entire race in the lead. After two laps I felt that I had maybe started too fast so I stepped off the gas a bit. Wout seemed to get closer, but then he made a small mistake and I opened the gap again. I knew I just had to keep riding. A beautiful victory, a beautiful renewed course and a tricky race. Finally, we had a tricky race and here I could really express myself. I am proud of this victory."
Jasmin Glaesser moves from Rally Cycling to Twenty16-Ridebiker
Canadian Jasmin Glaesser will ride for the Twenty16-Ridebiker team in 2017 with the 24-year-old moving on after one season with Rally Cycling. Glaesser is a two-time Olympic Games bronze medallist on the track and is aiming to achieve similar success on the road with her new team.
"It has always been my opinion that to keep growing as an athlete you have to keep challenging yourself and never become too comfortable in any given environment. With that in mind I wanted to explore new opportunities next season that would force me to set new goals and also be surrounded by the tools and people to help me meet them," she said. "It's no secret that TWENTY16 Ridebiker has played a part in the development and success of a multitude of riders and I am excited to see where we will go together. The exceptional partnerships that they maintain with industry leaders will mean that I am equipped to go up against the best in the field and hopefully put the top of the podium a little more within reach."
From next season the team will change its name from Twenty16 to Twenty20 to reflect its updated goals and aims for the next Olympic cycle.