Canadian Continental team Silber Pro Cycling, known for developing young riders and graduating them to the higher ranks, have once again assembled a competitive team to race the UCI America Tour. The 14-rider team, directed by former racer Gord Fraser, added four new recruits and support five current Canadian national champions including junior road champion Charles-Étienne Chrétien and junior time trial champion Graydon Staples.
"I feel very fortunate to direct Silber Pro Cycling going into its fifth year as a UCI Continental team," Fraser said. "We have positioned ourselves as a top North American competitor while providing the very best Canadian talent a pathway to grow and achieve their dreams in cycling."
Chrétien and Staples will be joined by returning riders, compatriots Marc-André Soucy (under-23 road champion), Adam Roberge (under-23 time trial champion), and Pier-André Côté (elite men's criterium champion).
Also new to the team are Adam Jamieson, who spent three years in Europe and the 2017 season with An Post Chain Reaction. He is also a member of Canada's men's Team Pursuit squad. He will be competing on the track at the Commonwealth Games in April in Australia and will start his road season in June at the Tour de Beauce.
Travis Samuel joins the team after spending three years with H&R Block. He had one of his best seasons finishing fifth at the GPC de Saguenay and ninth overall at Cascade Cycling Classic. He was also tenth at the Tour of Taihu Lake.
The 2018 roster also includes returning riders Ryan Roth, who provides a leadership role to the younger riders on the team. The team will also look for leadership from Emile Jean, who signed on again for 2018 after last year’s stage wins at the GPC de Saguenay, part the UCI America Tour.
Alec Cowan returns after he won the time trial at the Tour de Beauce and wore the leader’s jersey until the final day. He also won the mountain classification at the Tour of Alberta. The 2018 roster is rounded out with Nick Zukowsky, Pier-André Côté, Stephen Bassett as the team's only American, Danick Vandale and Nicolas Masbourain.
Last year, Sibler Pro Cycling placed ninth in the final standings of the UCI America Tour, of the 50 teams in the ranking. American teams took the top four spots as Rally Cycling won the title followed by Holowesko-Citadel, UnitedHealthcare and Jelly Belly.
"After their first full year on the America Tour, all these guys now know the races better and have a better sense of the competition," said Scott McFarlane, Silber Pro Cycling's general manager. "With more options than ever, Silber can afford to be patient with youngsters Chrétien and Staples, while giving Jamieson the time to convert his fitness to the needs of road racing.
"I really like where we are at with this team, both on and off the bike. Last year’s team chemistry was picture perfect. I expect the same this year: 14 adventurous winners who are ambassadors for the sport."
In the last two seasons, the team graduated four Canadian riders to the Professional Continental ranks and they expect to do that same by the end of this season.
"We started in 2014," MacFarlane. "Riders such as Ben Perry (Israel Cycling Academy), Alex Cataford (UnitedHealtcare) and Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) began moving to larger programs and getting pro contracts in 2016. Nigel Ellsay (Rally Cycling) signed his pro contract in 2017. What's different this year from the past is that we have more guys capable of producing results."
Silber Pro Cycling roster for 2018: Charles-Étienne Chrétien, Graydon Staples, Marc-André Soucy, Adam Roberge, Pier-André Côté, Adam Jamieson, Travis Samuel, Ryan Roth, Emile Jean, Alec Cowan, Nick Zukowsky, Pier-André Côté, Stephen Bassett, Danick Vandale and Nicolas Masbourain.