Setbacks Create Opportunities for Masbou and Vandale
Silber Pro Cycling will start the season without Stephen Bassett and Charles-Etienne Chrétien due to injuries. One of the team’s core riders, Bassett is still recovering from off-season surgery to remove a cyst and is not yet able to ride his bike. He has been in the gym and staying active, but the team does not expect him back into the line-up until the Tour de Beauce (June 13-17). Last year the versatile American had two 2nd place finishes at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and was selected to represent the United States at the Tour de l’Avenir.
Chrétien discovered a blood clot in his leg during final preparations for our training camp in Tucson, which starts March 25th. The situation is under control and the team expects last year’s Junior National Road Champion to return to the line up in time for the Winston Salem Classic on May 28th.
“There’s no sugar-coating this for the athletes,” said the team’s GM, Scott McFarlane. “They worked hard all off-season and both were in shape. They now need to deal with the disappointment with patience, which is easy to say but does little to help with their frustration.”
From the team’s perspective, we feel fortunate to have Dr Michael Roshon’s insight available for all our riders. His familiarity with the sport and high performance athletes helps on every level, including appropriate timelines for a return to training and racing. He will be at our training camp having one-on-one consults with each rider.
The team hired 14 instead of 12-13 riders this year for exactly this scenario, but losing Bassett early hurts. He’s a racer’s racer–and makes huge contributions both on and off the bike. He’s good over all types of terrain. He gets into breaks, does work on the front and helps with leadouts–plus he gets results.
As for Chrétien, he is the most dynamic rider to come out of the junior ranks in Canada in 2018. He was training with (Adam) Roberge for part of the off-season. Adam told the team that he wished he was that strong coming out of junior. Remember, Roberge is a beast who won Junior Nationals in one of his first few road races and is the current U23 time trial champ–and he wasn’t the only one who had his eyebrows raised while riding with Chrétien this winter.
It’s a part of team sport: injuries create opportunities for others. In this case roster spots and perhaps different roles will open up for riders during our opening block of races, starting with the Joe Martin (Apr 12-15) in Arkansas, then Gila (Apr 18-22) in New Mexico, followed by Redlands (May 2-6) in California. It will be interesting to see who’ll step up and capitalize. “I know that two guys who missed a lot of last year are hungry,” said McFarlane. “Masbou (Nicolas Masbourian) and Danick Vandale definitely understand what Bassett and Chrétien are going through. Thankfully they are now ready to go, so it should be fun to watch.”