Canadian Team R.A.C.E. Pro announced continued financial sponsorship support and a stronger roster for its UCI Continental squad going into 2009. Planet Energy and Catalyst Capital Group Inc. have signed on to continue their sponsorship through 2009 while a mix of young and experienced racers will carry the team toward success next season.
"Our message is clear. We are focused on providing the best possible opportunity for Canadian road cyclists," said Josée Larocque, who along with Steve Bauer of Cycle Spot Management Inc. have been building the team over the past year.
For 2009, Francois Parisien, who was the 2005 Canadian Road Champion, and Ryan Roth, who finished second to Svein Tuft in the 2008 Canadian National Time Trial Championship, will return to the team.
New to the team will be 2008 track Olympian and 2007 Pan American Road Race Champion Martin Gilbert and Current Canadian National Criterium Champion Keven Lacombe, both from Kelly Benefit Strategies. Both should help the team in sprint finishes.
Eric Boily, who represented the Canadian National Team at the UCI Road World Championships in Varese, Italy, makes the transfer from Volkswagon and will bring youthful energy and attack power to the team's lineup.
Savvy experience and endurance will be provided by Andrew Randell, coming from Symmetrics and Bruno Langlois, coming from Volkswagen. Langlois finished second in the Canadian National Road Race Championships. Both of these veteran racers will bring strength and stability to the core team for the tough races in the UCI America Tour on which the team plans to focus.
Rounding out the team roster will be Maxime Vives and Charly Vives who will who join returning Team R.A.C.E. Pro teammates Joël Dion-Poitras, Keir Plaice, Andrew Hunt and Mark Batty. Vives, Boily, Dion-Poitras and Batty have all participated in the Canadian National U23 Team projects during 2008. The talented young racers will be looking for opportunities and experience and a chance to showcase their skills in some big races.
"I am very excited to work with all these young men," said Bauer. "Josée and I have worked very hard this first year to build this team in a positive direction. We have made considerable changes for 2009. Step by step, we are aiming to become a Canadian force to be reckoned with at international UCI races.
"Just like those cold weather fronts that descend out of the Canadian North, we want to make an impact and ensure it will be known that the team has arrived."