Summer is here. Any doubt was dispelled by a hot and humid arrival into Winston Salem for their classic road race, one of the very few American single day races left on the UCI calendar.

Ryan Roth rides in the winning move with Canadian Champion Bruno Langlois (GQC) and eventual winner, Robin Carpenter – Holowesko-Citadel

Silber’s Summer Starts

Excusez pour mon clavier anglais, GF (!)

Winston Salem… Une ville construite par le tabac…  De grandes cheminees visibles partout….  Mais ce sont les routes de Winston Salem qui etaient en feu en cette journee du Memorial Day! Ryan a demontre que finalement sa forme revenait en defendant son titre de gagnant.  Avec courage il s’est vu meriter une deuxieme place derriere l’homme de 2017, Robin Carpenter.  Un bon signe que sa saison est enfin remise sur la route!

Silber approche les courses ‘d’ete’ au Quebec avec optimisme. Comme a WS, Ryan defendera le dossard  #1 et on espere de remporter le GP du Saguenay  pour une troisieme annee de suite (Matteo en 2015).

Beauce…  Une course avec une combinaison de reves a realiser et a casser des dernieres annees! On veut finalement jouer pour gagner le classement general, mais on sait qu’ avec notre  jeune equipe que ca va etre difficile.  Les lecons que nos jeunes coureurs apprendront sur les routes de la Beauce son irremplacables.

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Our friend Martin Penry and his mother Sarah opened their homes to us and welcomed us with typical Southern hospitality. Saturday’s criterium would be a ‘leg opener’ and the guys would later joke the legs were then closed as well.  The difficult course would see a split of a dozen riders with Silber represented by Alec and our resurgent captain Ryan.  We’d misplay our cards and the Holowesko duo of Magner and Lewis would play theirs to perfection with a 1-3 finish.

The silver lining of the criterium was Ryan showing signs that his difficult start to 2017 may be over.  An inexplicable lack of his typical form so far this year has left Ryan clearly frustrated.  If any race could snap Ryan out of his funk, it’s the WSCC where he’s the defending champion.

The course’s profile and technical nature demanded all members of Silber to race on the front foot.  Nigel would infiltrate the first major move of this year’s race and with the Garneau team missing the split, it was our Quebec rivals who would very professionally take responsibility and weld the race back together.  Up to this point the race had been very aggressive and it was due to explode once the junction was made.  When the dust settled,  a front trio emerged with Ryan, the canny Canadian champ Langlois of Garneau and arguably 2017’s most dominant rider: Robin Carpenter of Holowesko.

The 5 man chase group had two members of the Medellin team including their Spanish team leader Oscar Sevilla.  A second Colombian in team Illuminate’s Avila was also driving the second group along with UHC fast-man Travis McCabe while Holowesko had crit winner Ty Magner chaperoning on behalf of teammate Carpenter up front.

The next 3 laps saw a dramatic stalemate tug of war between the two groups.  The balance swung into the leaders’ favor once the chase lost one of the Medellin riders while the remaining trio was starting to get frustrated with the baggage of Magner tail-gunning.

Up front Ryan hung tough despite being distanced on the penultimate lap’s climb up Pilot View Road.  The last time up this 15% incline would springboard Carpenter to his winning attack while Ryan would desperately hold on to Langlois.  The duo would remain 10 seconds behind the leader for the next 2kms to the finish where Ryan would honour his number 1 dossard with a second place finish this year.

Our summer block received a well-needed shot in the arm with this podium finish and bodes well going into our Quebec races where once again Ryan will don the number 1 of defending champ in Saguenay, while the next week at Beauce,  Silber will try to erase a disappointing performance of 2016.  Let’s hope for summer-like weather but something tells me our Giordana G-Shield cold weather gear will be needed.

 

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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