Canyon Bicycles Pro Cycling is Utah’s First UCI Pro Men’s Road Racing Team

0
249

By Dave Iltis — Canyon Bicycles Pro Cycling has made the leap this year to a UCI Continental Pro team for 2017. The squad is Utah’s first UCI pro men’s team. The team’s title sponsor is Utah based bicycle shop chain Canyon Bicycles. Canyon Bicycles has had a long history of racing, with Paco Mancebo previously taking second overall in the Tour of Utah. This year looks to be a year of exciting racing for the team.

The team is planning on racing across the continent with the following races scheduled:

  • April: Tour of the Gila
  • May: Redlands Bicycle Classic
  • June: Tulsa Tough, US Professional Road Racing Championships, Tour de Beauce, Sagueney
  • July: White Spot Delta Road Race, Tour de White Rock, Gastown Grand Prix (all British Columbia), Boise Twilight Criterium, Cascade Classic
  • August: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Tour of Colorado (both, if selected to race)
  • October: Hong Kong Cyclothon International Criterium

With a roster of seasoned veterans and developing riders, the team expects to be a factor throughout the year. So far this year, Canyon has been a factor in the recent Valley of the Sun with a couple second places. Tour of Gila will be the first official team race.

Cortlan Brown (Canyon Bicycles Pro Cycling) solos to victory in the A Flite at the Rocky Mountain Raceways Criterium 3-18-2017. Photo by Dave Iltis (Note: Find photos of all racers from this event at gallery.cyclingwest.com)

Canyon Bicycles – Shimano 2017 roster:

  • Rob Squire (USA)
  • Chad Beyer (USA)
  • Francisco Mancebo (ESP)
  • Cortlan Brown (USA)
  • Steve Fisher (USA)
  • Michael Burleigh (USA)
  • Cory Greenberg (USA)
  • Chris Winn (AUS)
  • Kaler Marshall (USA)
  • Erik Slack (USA)
  • Michael Booth (USA)

We asked Canyon Bicycles owner and team general manager Mike Pratt to tell us more.

Cycling West: Mike, you have been sponsoring bike racing teams for a long time. Tell us about what inspires you about bike racing and your drive to give back and sponsor a pro team?

Mike Pratt: The team dynamic makes road racing exciting to me. I like that a well-executed plan can trump pure fitness. The riders, the equipment, the show — it all makes it fun.

CW: What are some of the goals for the team for 2017?

MP: A major goal is to get an invite to the Tour of Utah. With a former winner on the team (Paco Mancebo) and the depth of our roster, we will have no problem being competitive. Other goals are to win some stages in other races on our schedule.

CW: The team is up against many other bigger teams. What strategies will Canyon use to be a factor in the races?

MP: It is no secret that riding the break and being active is how a smaller team gets exposure for its sponsors.

Although we are a very small budget team we need to show like we belong. Although this is the first year we have donned a Pro designation, we have been racing a similar pro schedule for 4 years. The other teams know us, so this will be a smooth transition,

CW: Who is the Director Sportif? Tell us about him.

MP: Alan Schmitz has been directing our team for a few seasons. He is a critical part of our operation. He is very connected within the bicycle racing community. Alan takes all the pressure off the riders so they can focus on racing.

CW: The team is hoping for an entry to the Tour of Utah. What are your chances of racing in Utah and in Colorado in August?

MP: We have been sponsoring the event for eight years and we have a strong roster. I would think we are a shoe-in for Utah, but we have not heard anything yet. As for Colorado, if we perform there is a chance we get an invite. Some of the big races want small teams to bring sponsors to the event or just outright pay big money for their invites. We don’t have the money to pay Utah or Colorado and I can’t see myself doing a Gofundme, so we will see.

CW: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

MP: I am happy that we provide an opportunity for riders to race at the next level, on a first-class team. It is very rewarding to watch riders develop in sour system. We have several great partners that help us pull off this team. Scott Bicycles has come on board for 2017. We are always on the lookout for additional partners. We do a lot with a little. I think we are the best deal in cycling.

For more information on the team, visit canyonprocycling.com

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here