After a stellar season, Silber Pro Cycling signs director Gord Fraser to lead the team for another three years. Fraser directed the team to one of the most successful seasons in Canadian history in 2016. He will be able to once again rely on Ryan Roth to captain the team on the road, as Silber keeps its leadership in tact going forward.
Roth headlines the list of riders who have re-signed with Silber Pro Cycling for the 2017 campaign. He will be reunited with Nigel Ellsay, Kris Dahl, Nicolas Masbourian, Emile Jean and Julien Gagne on a team that finished second on the UCI America Tour. The team has also signed stagiare, David Drouin, for next season.
Roth led the team throughout the season, winning the Winston Salem Cycling Classic, the Canadian National ITT title, the UCI Delta RR and the overall at the GP Cycliste de Saguenay. Roth also won the National Individual Pursuit title and recently finished 15th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Team owner and GM, Scott McFarlane, explained Roth’s value to the team: “Ryan is one of the best riders in North America not only because he wins, but also because he performs at the highest level throughout the year. He therefore provides consistent leadership for our team of young riders on the road. Ryan also contributes a lot off the bike. I seek his input on many aspects of team management and on equipment needs. To top it off, he’s a fan favourite because he is insightful, prepared and precise–and willing to do the brutally hard work necessary to execute the task of winning.”
Roth will be reunited with some of the most promising young riders from Canada. Nigel Ellsay finished second overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race and was 7th in the GC at the Tour of Alberta. Kris Dahl’s 2016 wins included perhaps the team’s most significant victory: Stage 1 of the Tour of Utah. Nicolas Masbourian was 3rd at the U23 Canadian Road Championships and along with David Drouin, represented Canada at the World Championships.
After a season in which the team notched 26 wins and had 2 riders move on to Pro Continental teams, the returning riders will need to elevate once again if Silber is to garner similar success in 2017. “I feel good about our program and its ability to develop riders,” added McFarlane. “Ellsay is on track to take on a leadership role, and after making huge strides last year we can expect our other returning riders to also step up. Emile Jean will be an interesting rider to watch. His value to the team last year can’t be measured by his results so he’s a guy who could surprise a few people if he continues to improve. This is true of Julien Gagne also. He’s an immensely talented guy that has been injured for the last two years. He just needs a chance to show what he can do.”
The team will once again be directed on the ground by Gord Fraser, who was recently inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame. “Having Gord run the team has been key to our success over the past 2 years,” explained McFarlane. “Gord’s direction has been great for our young riders, but his logistics have also helped our staff just come in and do their jobs in a supportive context. He and Ryan are largely responsible for establishing a winning culture at Silber.”
For his part, Fraser relishes the challenge of keeping the program moving forward. “I look forward to working with the returning riders,” said Fraser. “We have set the bar very high and I’m confident the returning riders will continue to develop and strive to surpass a fantastic 2016.”
The team will be announcing its other signings and a major new industry sponsor in the coming weeks. According to McFarlane, “It’s an exciting time for Silber Pro Cycling. Thanks to the support of Cycling Canada, we finished an amazing year watching our riders representing their country by riding in the break of the day at 3 world class races: Masbourian in the World Tour race in Quebec; Perry and Dal-Cin in Montreal; and Roth at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. This says something about our ability to recruit and develop riders. Next year we are expanding our roster with a lot of young talent. It should be an adventure!”
Gallery: Pics by Brian Hodes/VeloImages unless noted