2017 season is underway for Silber Pro Cycling. A brand new jersey design from the help of Giordana, 5 fresh new roster additions and new staff members make our first 3 days together seem a little foreign. What better way to put aside any apprehension then simply to dive into a race together and bond as a team.

The Tucson Bicycle Classic has been going for an astounding 31 years. It’s promoted, logistically run and even officiated by generous people I’m proud to call my friends. The race has a beautiful little format of a tricky prologue tt and two deceivingly difficult circuit races.

Our goals were to have the guys try their brand new Jamis Xenith road bikes and a few even made the very debut of Jamis’ incredibly stealth TT-X time trial machine. Going into the final day, Nigel held a very slender 3 second lead over on-form UHC rider and motivated local boy Travis McCabe. It was a tall order to usher the tactics in our favour and we’d eventually lose the GC to Travis after a well fought stage.

Small mistakes were made both by the riders and yours truly in the directing role. It emphasizes the need for us to pin the numbers on before the fast approaching UCI race in Arkansas where Nigel finished a familiar and disappointing runner up after the very last sprint of the race in 2016.

Aerial photo, training ride

Monday will see the guys cruise the amazing bike path network looping around my adopted hometown of Tucson. I can almost guarantee the Giordana café jerseys will be worn with coffee stops assured. Next week will see the arrival of more equipment and capturing the mood will be photog extraordinaire Brian Black Hodes. It will be difficult for him to improve on the dramatic backdrop of team camp held last year in Buellton but I know a few spots I can show him. Later in the week guests from team owner Scott McFarlane’s Toguri Training Systems group will spend time with the guys but what we’re looking forward most in hosting team co-owners Arthur Silber and Michael Wolfe of Mandevco Properties.

We were disappointed to lose the race overall in the final meters, by time bonus seconds. But I think the group will come together more quickly with a bit of adversity. After the brutal starts we had the past 3 years with unbelievable number of crashes, broken bikes and bones I guess I’ll take the so far safe debut to 2017. We have a very young roster and they’re clearly talented and motivated and I look forward to spending more time with them this week on home roads.

Gord Fraser

Written by Gord Fraser

Gord is a three-time Olympian with over 200 career wins including becoming the 2004 Canadian national road race champion. He retired from professional cycling at the end of the 2006 season. He has been a Sports Director ever since, joining Silber in 2014. He was inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2016.

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