Tears were shed when Team Spidertech found out that it would be racing at the Pro Continental level in 2011. The team had been racing in the Continental ranks this season but was awarded its new status by the UCI Licence Commission last Friday.
The team is currently having its first get-together just outside Toronto, Canada, and was informed by managers Steve Bauer and Josée Larocque.
“Tears were shed it was an emotional time,” said rider Lucas Euser.
“This is a real team and everyone is close here, and I can't speak highly enough about how Steve Bauer and Josée have worked. It’s more than just a team. It’s about Canadian cycling and making a future for cyclists in this country.”
The team was in a series of meetings when the UCI communication was released, and the managers kept the news from the riders until the meetings had concluded, sparking scenes of celebration.
Team Spidertech is Canada’s first ever Pro Continental team and has aspirations of performing on the world’s biggest stage at races like the Tour de France. They have nurtured home-grown talent while taking small but important steps over the last 12 months.
“Everyone is ecstatic,” Euser told Cyclingnews.
“I don't want to be clichéd here, but it was a 100-percent team effort, and I don’t mean that lightly. Steve Bauer and Josée were the two leaders, and they put in a load of work and that trickled down to everyone else, and I think we all did our parts.
“We didn’t give up and they went to each round. Steve and Josée flew to Switzerland and sat in front of the UCI License Commission and stated their case. I think the UCI saw us as legitimate team to be racing in the Pro Continental.”
The news means that Spidertech will race an improved but tougher race programme in 2011. The team is looking to base itself in Europe for part of the season - like it did in 2011 – but also race the high profile race in North America – Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the Canadian ProTeam events.
“It opens the doors to Europe - more where the team wants to be based eventually. We have Tour de France aspirations so we’re going to go on a similar path so some of other Pro Continental teams coming out of America. Ideally from February to April, we’re racing in Europe.”
“We’re a little bit behind the game in getting invites, but we’ll hit the ground running and we’ve proved we can get things done. We’re going to have a good racing programme.”