Canadian Men of the World Tour 2015
Transfer season for professional cycling is all but done with most teams reporting that their rosters are full for the 2015 seasons. Although some big names remain without contracts all of Canada’s World Tour riders from 2014 will be returning for the 2015 season. Luckily we lost none Unfortunately, Guillame Boivin failed to earn a new contract after Cannondale Pro Cycling folded and no one made the jump to the top level of the sport.
In this post I will run through who we have and where they are.
Ryder Hesjedal – Garmin-Cannondale (yet to be officially named)
Canada’s most well known professional rider, the former Giro d’Italia winner has been riding for the Garmin setup in all its iterations since 2008. Hesjedal had a strong season finishing 9th overall in this year’s Giro and 24th in La Vuelta a Espana where he won a stage and just missed out on another. I expect another solid season from the soon-to-be 34 year-old with the combined Garmin and Cannondale teams.
Svein Tuft – Orica-GreenEdge
The first of two Canadians riding for the Australian team Orica-GreenEdge, Tuft took home the double (road race and time trial) at this year’s Canadian National Championships. Tuft joined OGE in 2012 and is a key part of Orica-GreenEdge’s strong team time trial setup, which finished 2nd at the World Championships.
Christian Meier – Orica-GreenEdgeLike Tuft, Meier joined the Austrialian squad in 2012. Not known for his results, Meier is the consummate domestique which explains his constant inclusion by Orica-GreenEdge at big races. He did however finish 3rd in the road race at Nationals, playing anchor and getting a free ride in support of Tuft.
Hugo Houle – AG2R La Mondiale
2015 will be Houle’s third season with the French team AG2R La Mondiale. He had a pair of good results at the National Championships taking 2nd in the time trial and 7th in the road race. Houle also finished a respectable 22nd overall in the general classification at the Tour of Alberta.
Antoine Duchesne – Team Europecar
2014 was the first year with Team Europecar for the 23 year-old Duchesne so it was about the experience and adjusting to European cycling culture. He did however pick up a solid 6th place at Nationals.
Just like 2014, 2015 will see five Canadians waving the Maple Leaf in the World Tour. Hopefully through their success we will see a greater number of Canadians making the jump to the top level of professional cycling in the coming years as we have strong numbers at the Pro Continental and Continental levels.
Don’t worry, I have not forgotten about Canada’s women who are racing at the top level. Look for the post in the coming days.