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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Lucas Euser (SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy)
Euser's comeback coincides with Canadian team's growth
Spidertech Presented By Planet Energy will step up its long-term ambition to race at ProTour level when it embarks on its first European race this week at Paris-Corrèze.
The Canadian outfit has so far only raced in North and South America but has set up a temporary European base for the next month. Its schedule comprises of a number of UCI 2.1 and 2.2 events in northern Europe. Like many Classics teams do in the Spring, Spidertech has set up home in the Belgian town of Kortrijk.
Lucas Euser, the only Spidertech rider with ProTour experience, spoke to Cyclingnews about the team's aims for the coming weeks.
"There's not a load of experience here but from the Canadian projection and the national team, a handful of us have done the Nations Cup with U23 teams," Euser told Cyclingnews.
"There's some amateur experience too so we're not a fresh US team and Quebec has really adopted the European style of riding and training so we know what to expect."
The team has already raced a small kermesse in Belgium. "As you would expect, everyone was aggressive. We know what's coming," Euser added.
The team's European adventure is crucial in its aim to step up to Pro Continental status, with the long term goal to be Canada's first ProTour team.
"We don't ever go to a bike race not wanting to win, but we have to have some realistic goals, so we're going to try and we'll go out there swinging. The goal is to show the European peloton that we want to be here and earn some respect. You have to take the proper step to get there, just like I did when I was part of Slipstream."
"You've got to build a programme and earn some legitimacy in the field. We're the new kids on the block, and you've got to start from scratch. Steve Bauer wants to do it right, so over the next few months some big decisions are going to be made, and I hope that we go pro-continental and in the next few years.
Euser's year has been one of rehabilitation as he finds his racing legs again. He was hit by a car last May while out training with former teammate Dan Martin (Garmin-Tranisitions) and sustained two broken ribs, a broken finger and a shattered patella but his rehabilitation and recovery to racing have coincided with the Spidertech's growth in their inaugural season.
"It's been a bumpy ride, but I've not been complacent which is something that perhaps happened in the past. I've not done that at all year. I've not fully reached my potential yet but I think I can be better than I was before."
Before his accident, Euser won the Univest Grand Prix (2008) and finished fourth in the US national road championships (2008).