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Cycling: a legacy for the next generation

Now united in the same formation, the best Canadian cyclists Hugo Houle, Guillaume Boivin and Michael Woods were able to pedal together in the last few days under the new colors of the Israel-Premier Tech team.

Based in Girona, Spain for a training camp, the group can also count on the presence of Montrealer James Piccoli and Ontario’s Alex Cataford.

Also accompanied by sports director Steve Bauer, for the 2022 season they will be five Canadian teammates at the highest level of world cycling. Only Antoine Duchesne is still going it alone at Groupama-FDJ.

A way forward

“We have identical goals for the development of Canadian cycling. Young people will know that there is a path to follow. If they’re good, they can make it to the WorldTour,” said Israeli-Canadian businessman and team boss Sylvan Adams of his new four-year partnership with the club. Quebec company Premier Tech.

Cycling: a legacy for the next generation

Photo courtesy, Israel-Premier Tech

Jean Bélanger of Premier Tech and Sylvan Adams, team boss

The marriage seemed natural but the discussions took several weeks since the two leaders wanted to get it right. The team should perform better in 2022.

“All Canadians are there. We have the same passion,” added Jean Bélanger, President, CEO and majority shareholder of Premier Tech in Rivière-du-Loup.

Last December, Premier Tech also announced the creation of a U23 development team to give local talent a chance. “It is fundamental for me. There is a slight hole after and I hope that others will be able to go up, ”said Bélanger who knows very well that the current leaders in the country are all over 30 years old.

woods packed

“They are trying to put Canadian cycling on the map. With Premier Tech having arrived, I really feel like I’m on a Canadian team. I feel lucky to be in this team”, declared Michael Woods during the presentation of the team.

Cycling: a legacy for the next generation

Photo courtesy, Israel-Premier Tech

Michael Woods during the team presentation

Affected by Covid-19 recently, Woods said he was rather confident to be at the same level as last year at the same time. He only missed a few days of training. “Yes unfortunately my daughter brought the virus back from school.”

Swell ready to help

Hugo Houle also appreciates this new start in his career. At 31, he signed up for three years.

“With the new gang, it’s fun to see a lot of familiar faces together. It is important that the management is on the same wavelength. They’re growing Canadian cycling, making sure the next generation continues.”

Very critical of Cycling Canada last year, Houle turned the page but did not change his mind about the national federation.

“Let them not call me. We will take care of the succession with private and serious partners. They will realize one day who was right. With us, young people will have the necessary provisions to allow them to learn. You have to help and in the right way. The path will be accessible for them”, concludes Houle who is still aiming for a great victory on the big circuit in 2022.

– If the start of the season is not disrupted in Europe, the Israel-Premier Tech team should start its calendar at the end of January by fielding a few riders at the Mallorca Challenge in Spain.

– In the fall of 2022, billionaire and philanthropist Sylvan Adams should also inaugurate the new indoor velodrome that will bear his name in Bromont, Quebec.