National Champions and Top-Level Cyclists Come to Canada’s Biggest Cycling Series
The fastest week in Canadian cycling begins tomorrow, July 5th, as BC Superweek gets underway with the Tour de Delta’s North Delta Criterium – the first of nine races over ten days.
With more than $140,000 in prize money on the line and some of the top Canadian cyclists and professional American teams registered to participate, the racing is fast-paced and exciting from start to finish. Below is a list of some of the top riders attending BC Superweek, though history has shown to never count out the top local riders. Many of them on this list are returning pros after catching the eye of team directors in previous years.
Floyd’s Pro Cycling
It’s tough enough to juggle everything life throws at us – but imagine juggling a pro cycling career along with finishing a mechanical engineering degree! That’s exactly what Emile Jean did back in 2017. It was part of a breakout year for the fourth-year pro from Trois Rivieres, Quebec which saw him post stage wins at the Grande Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce. The 25-year-old narrowly missed the podium at last year’s Tour de Delta | White Spot Road Race and finished fourth, but Jean did place third at the 2018 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.
It is a common sight to see Knauer on the podium during BC Superweek. He finished no worse than third seven times out of nine races in 2018, including a win at the New West Grand Prix for the second straight year, and second place at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. The German also had six top-10 finishes in 2017, 2016 and 2014 at BC Superweek, along with five top-10 appearances in 2013 and 2015. The 30-year-old has also been either first or second in the the Tour de White Rock presented by Landmark Premiere Properties omnium (total points) every year for the last seven, earning him the nickname “Mr. Tour de White Rock”.
Floyd’s Pro Cycling
McCabe is the defending US Pro Criterium National Champion after claiming the crown earlier this week in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also won the US national criterium championship title in 2017. The 30-year-old is a four-time stage winner at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (twice in 2018, plus once each 2017 and 2016) and a two-time stage winner at the Tour of the Gila, including this past May. The Prescott, Arizona native also won a stage and the points jersey at the Tour of Langkawi in April. McCabe finished second in Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California earlier this spring.
DCBank Pro Cycling Team
2019 is the first year Pavlic has raced with the DCBank Pro Cycling Team after being signed late last year. So far this year, the 26-year-old was 7th in general classification at May’s Tour of the Gila after finishing top-20 in all five stages. Other career results for Pavlic from 2018 include placing 3rd at Tour of Quanzhou Bay, 6th in the Tour of Fuzhou general classification and 7th in Stage 1 of the Tour of Fuzhou. Pavic, who’s from Slovenia, was 7th in general classification and 4th in points classification at Course de la Paix U23 in 2015.
New Zealand National Cycling Team
Simpson is part of another strong Kiwi contingent racing BC Superweek this year. The 18-year-old finished 9th among U23 riders in the 2019 Oceania Road Championships Road Race and 11th in the individual time trial. At this year’s New Zealand Elite Track Championships, Simpson was fifth in points as well as the scratch race. He also served as a New Zealand road and track rep from 2016 to 2018 and represented his country at the 2018 Commonweath Youth Games.
New Zealand National Cycling Team
Stewart, who won the 2017 Giro di Burnaby presented by Appia Development, is New Zealand’s most successful track cyclist at the junior world championships with four gold medals and one silver in 2015 and 2016. He moved to elite in 2017 to place second in the omnium and Madison at the UCI World Cup in Los Angeles. Stewart was also part of the Team Pursuit that won the World Cup competitions in Canada and Chile. This year, he came second in the omnium at the Hong Kong World Cup and first in the Madison, then won the omnium at the World Track Champs in Poland in March. He was a member of the New Zealand Team that rode the second fastest time in history at the Cambridge World Cup this past January.
A familiar face at BC Superweek over the years, “Real Deal” Ed Veal is a relative latecomer to the pro cycling scene. He started road racing in 2006 at the age of 29. The Queensville, Ontario resident represented Canada in the Men’s 4 kilometre Team Pursuit at the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games, winning bronze. On April 10, 2015, Veal set the Canadian “Hour Record” at the Milton Velodrome, covering 47.59 kilometres in 60 minutes. In 2011, the 42-year-old attended the Para Pan-Am Games where he rode tandem as the guide for Daniel Chalifour in visually impaired events and won a gold, a silver, and two bronze medals.
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
Young is the defending back-to-back-to-back champion at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix to go along with top-10 finishes at the race in 2013 and 2014. This year, he looks to rewrite the record book as the only cyclist to win the prestigious race four times. Young dominated BC Superweek last year with four wins and three other podium appearances. The Boulder, Colorado resident is a nine-year pro who won the US National Criterium Championships in both 2011 and 2013 and was second this year. The 30-year-old also won Stage 4 of the Tour of the Gila in May and was second in Stage 1 of the Tour de Taiwan in March.
Astana Women’s Team
Blais, who retired from competitive hockey at 23 once her university playing career was over, fell in love with cycling after using it to recover from injuries suffered on the ice. She turned pro just this year after signing with Astana back in November 2018. The 30-year-old was third at last year’s Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and eighth at the Tour de Delta | White Spot Road Race. She is coming off a stretch last month that saw her post four top-10 finishes. Blais was eighth at the Canadian National Championship road race and third in the individual time trial. She also placed eighth at the UCI 1.1 Chrono de Gatineau and sixth at the UCI 1.1 Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau.
Sho – Air TWENTY20
Highly involved in the collegiate cycling scene, Clyne raced in the Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference, where she managed and led the University of British Columbia’s cycling team. She graduated from UBC in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Math and a minor in Atmospheric Sciences. The 24-year-old from Boulder, Colorado dominated last year’s USA Collegiate Championships, finishing first in the road race, individual time trial, and omnium. She also came third in the USA Collegiate National criterium. She was also the 2017 USA National Champion in the hill climb. BC Superweek fans will remember that Clyne was second in the 2017 Tour de White Rock Westminster Savings Road Race.
Pickle Juice Pro Cycling Team
Coles-Lyster is a rising star in Canadian cycling. The 19-year-old from Maple Ridge, BC has been racing against the pros at BC Superweek since she was 15 and had five top-10 finishes last year, including podium appearances at the Giro di Burnaby, PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres and the Tour de White Rock Choices Markets Criterium. So far this year, Coles-Lyster has wins at North America’s oldest race – the Tour of Somerville, along with the CBR Carson Criterium and the Tour of Walla Walla criterium. A candidate for Canada’s 2020 Olympic team, she won the women’s points race at the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
Leigh Ann Ganzar
Despite only starting bike racing five years ago, Ganzar already has a US Pro Criterium Championship to her name after stunning the field to win in Knoxville, Tennessee last year. A runner in college, the 29-year-old is quickly making a name for herself in cycling, adding a win at the UCI 1.1 Winston Salem Cycling Classic two months ago to her already impressive resume. Also this spring, Ganzar finished third in two stages of the Tour of the Gila in May as well as third in Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California and Stage 1 of the Joe Martin Stage Race.
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
Jackson is coming off sixth place in the road race and a fifth place finish in the individual time trial at the Canadian National Championships last month. A multisport athlete who is also adept in cross-country running, Jackson was the 2015 Canadian National Criterium Champion. The Vermillion, Alberta native returned to BC Superweek last year after not racing the series in 2017 and finished in the top-10 at every race in the series in 2018. Among those results were wins at the Tour de White Rock Choices Markets Criterium and Westminster Savings Road Race along with claiming the Tour de White Rock omnium. She was also fourth at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and the New West Grand Prix.
Sho – Air TWENTY20
The 32-year-old from Calgary, Alberta has shone for Canada on the international stage. Roorda, a former downhill skier, is a Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit Record holder. In 2009, she was first in the Women’s Team Pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics and claimed second and third at the event in 2011 and 2010 respectively. She won a bronze medal for Canada in the women’s 4000m cycling team pursuit at last year’s Commonwealth Games. At BC Superweek, Roorda was third at the inaugural New West Grand Prix in 2017 and finished with four podiums during the series in 2016, including a win at the Westminster Savings Road Race as part of the Tour de White Rock.
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
Much like last year, Ryan has momentum coming into BC Superweek, as she was third at last month’s US Pro Criterium Championships. She is the back-to-back winner of the White Spot | Delta Road Race and was dominant once again at BC Superweek in 2018. She won the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, all three Tour de Delta races, the PoCo Grand Prix, and was third at the Giro di Burnaby. In total, Ryan has eight BC Superweek wins over the last two years. This year, she looks to be just the second woman ever to win three straight at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, joining Verna Buhler who did it from 1981-83. The 26-year-old Ryan was born into a family of cyclists and began racing BMX at 6-years-old.
After a second place finish at last year’s White Spot | Delta Road Race, the 25-year-old Williams looks to make her way to the top of the podium this year. She was sixth at the UCI 1.1 Winston Salem Cycling Classic in May after winning the race a year ago. Williams had a breakout year in 2018, with eight wins and ten podium finishes. In 2017, she shocked the field by winning Stage 3 of the UCI 2.2 Joe Martin Stage Race as an amateur. Before picking up cycling in 2016, she was a one-mile runner in high school and then college at Vanderbilt University.