Several UCI road teams, including the Floyd’s Pro Cycling Continental and EF Education First WorldTour teams, have indicated they will be racing gravel events this season. Floyd’s Pro Cycling and EF Education. One of the first races UCI continental teams will be targeting is Ontario’s Paris to Ancaster on April 28. Learn more about how to register and the teams you can expect to see at the race in this release.
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As gravel and mixed-surface events continue to explode in popularity across Canada and much of the world, a number of world-class UCI Continental Road teams are heading off-road to start their season at Paris to Ancaster.
While the trend of gravel events is rather new, P2A has been around a long time. The race is in its 26th year and has always attracted world-class UCI-ranked individual riders from all disciplines. Race alumni include UCI cyclocrossers Helen Wyman and Jeremy Powers, and mountain bike Olympians Alison Sydor and Emily Batty.
This season though, several UCI Continental road teams are planning to bring small but strong squads to P2A as part of their international race program.
Floyd’s Pro Cycling, a brand new team featuring up-and-coming talent including Canadians Nick Zukowsky and Emile Jean, is planning to take their primarily road team to a few gravel events, starting with P2A and are ready to challenge for the win.
“P2A is an iconic North American race,” said Scott McFarlane, team rep for Floyd’s Cycling. “Our riders are in sunny Tucson now but they are stoked to line-up their Van Dessel gravel bikes on the start line to take on the thrashing weather and route.”
X Speed United, another newly-formed team comprised of riders from Canada, Australia and Hong Kong, will also be sending a delegation to ride P2A, including Guelph-native Ryan Roth, who’s been a pro at the Continental team level for 15-plus years and whose credentials include a Tro-Bro Léon win (and a 10th place finish at the 8th annual Paris to Ancaster in 2000).
Of his history at the P2A event, Roth says “Paris to Ancaster was one of the first races I heard about over 20 years ago when I began riding more seriously. Looking forward to seeing how X-Speed United does this year.”
Joining Floyd’s and X-Speed United at P2A19 is Team CCB Siclari, a U23 squad focused on developing young athletes as they attend post-secondary. The team includes this year’s U.S. U23 National Champion Spencer Petrov.
UCI teams from the world of mountain biking will be making an appearance as well. Norco, a long-time sponsor of P2A, has a squad set to challenge at P2A that includes the Disera Brothers, Peter and Quinten. Now a pro cyclist on the Mountain Bike circuit, Quinten Disera won the P2A 40km event in 2013 when he was just 15 years old.
It’s going to be a busy call-up line at this year’s event, with an impressive roster of teams featuring seasoned road and mountain champions vying for a P2A win.
“This is the first time that Continental pro teams have approached us about riding in our event as a team,” said co-race director Tim Farrar. “It shows the growing influence of gravel and mixed-surface events in the cycling world. Team sponsors and directors as well as riders are starting to take this seriously as an alternative to traditional road and mountain bike racing.”
The 26th Annual Paris to Ancaster takes place on April 28, 2019. It won’t be surprising if this year, 3-time consecutive winner Gunnar Holmgren is unseated by a UCI Team Pro.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Paris to Ancaster gravel race. The registration cost goes up on March 1.