Canada’s first UCI Pro Continental squad, Team SpiderTech powered by C10, has recruited two former WorldTour riders for the 2012 season.
The American riders, Caleb Fairly, who rode alongside Mark Cavendish in the now disbanded HTC-Highroad team, and former Team RadioShack man, Bjorn Selander, will compete for the Canadian team in races in Europe and North America in 2012.
Fairly rode 28 WorldTour races with HTC-Highroad in 2011, joining one of cycling’s most successful teams from Garmin-Transitions. Selander rode the 2011 Giro d’Italia and his second Paris-Roubaix with Team RadioShack, having made his debut at l’enfer du Nord in 2010.
In 2011, Team SpiderTech powered by C10 raced about 130 days and scored eight UCI wins, 30 podiums and more than 60 top-10 finishes.
Team co-founder, Steve Bauer, who led the Tour de France for five days in 1988, becoming only the second Canadian to wear the yellow jersey, and for a further nine days in the 1990 Tour, said he was ‘thrilled’ by his WorldTour acquisitions.
“Pro cycling is a business and strong riders have options to sign with various teams, all teams must market themselves to riders to attract top talent. These riders bring a wealth of international experience and impressive racing resumes,” he said.
The demise of HTC-Highroad, and the merger of the former Team RadioShack and Trek Leopard squads to create RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, has reduced considerably the number of WorldTour places, allowing teams from the UCI’s second-tier Pro Continental circuit to compete for riders from cycling’s elite squads.
The team has retained 13 riders from a successful debut campaign in 2011 and will field a 16-strong squad in the year ahead. Several Canadian riders have remained on the roster, including 2010 Canadian Road Champion, Will Routley; David Boily, who finished second in this season’s Tour de l’Avenir after five days in yellow, and the man who tied with BMC’s Taylor Phinney for the bronze medal at the 2010 U23 World Road Race Championship, Guillaume Boivin.
Bauer added: “The experience gained racing in Europe and across North America against the best pro teams in 2011 is invaluable to our riders as we prepare for 2012. The success we had as a team in 2011 proved to ourselves and to any skeptics that a Canadian team can race and compete with the best teams and individual riders in the world.”
The team is backed by SpiderTech, a company making support bandages for athletes, and the C10 consortium of Canadian companies, which includes mobile communications giant, Blackberry, and Montreal-based bike manufacturer, Argon18.
In 2012, the team will ride Argon 18’s Gallium Pro road bike, and E-118 time trial machine, continuing a five-year partnership with the Canadian bike builder. They will depart for Europe in early January for pre-season training, with the race season starting in late January. The team will release a full 2012 race schedule in January.