Some will remember just two years ago when Raphael Gagne took the US cyclocross scene by storm, ripping off some surprising wins against the top Americans. Now Gagne has signed on for a full cyclocross season, and has teamed up with fellow Canadian cyclocrossers Craig Richey (see his excellent article on tips to secure cyclocross sponsorship in Issue 29), CXM contributor Michael van den Ham, and Natasha Eliot to form a new cyclocross team.
The Red Truck – Louis Garneau p/b Easton Cycling cyclocross team should be a force to reckon with this season, and will kick off its season this Sunday on the back of Craig Richey in China at the third annual Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross race.
The team will be racing Easton Cycling EC90 SL wheels (clincher version reviewed in Issue 29) and Easton’s MCD cockpit. The Easton bits will be hanging on the Louis Garneau Steeple XC cyclocross bike (also reviewed extensively in the print and digital versions of Issue 29). With world class mud clearance out back around the BB86 shell (in part due to Cyclocross Magazine’s input on early prototypes sold under a different brand), the team may ride past the pits on muddy days.
It’s a shame that the all-Canadian team won’t have the opportunity this year to showcase their colors and talent at the now-cancelled Montreal World Cup, but look for the jerseys at Ellison Park and Cross Vegas this season.
See full press release below.
2015/2016 Red Truck – Louis Garneau p/b Easton Cycling Cyclocross Team Announced:
Red Truck – Garneau p/b Easton Cyclocross Team becomes Canada’s first pro Cyclocross team as well as one of the top teams in North America. By uniting riders from many different cycling communities, Red Truck – Garneau p/b Easton Cyclocross Team hopes to give young cross riders a team to aspire to and Canadian cyclocross fans a team to cheer for at the biggest races in the world. The team will race a mix of international UCI races including Canadian Nationals and the CrossVegas World Cup as well as local races to enhance the level of competition and support the growth of cyclocross in Canada.
The 2015/2016 Red Truck – Garneau p/b Easton Cycling Cyclocross team roster:
- Michael van den Ham – #2 Ranked rider in Canada, Current Alberta Provincial Champion (Elite Men) – Alberta
- Craig Richey – Former #1 Ranked rider in Canada, Current BC Provincial Champion (Elite Men) – British Columbia
- Raphael Gagne – 4 UCI CX Wins, Current Canadian XC National Champion (Elite Men) – Quebec
- Natasha Elliot – Former #1 Ranked rider in Canada, 14 UCI Wins (Elite Women) – Ontario
Red Truck continues on as the title sponsor for 2016 with the core sponsor group that has allowed the Trek – Red Truck road team to have such a successful 2015 season. Garneau has been the clothing sponsor for the TRT road team the past three years and has stepped up to support this cyclocross team as the co-title sponsor. The team will be racing on custom painted DreamFactory Steeple-XC bikes, as well as wearing Garneau clothing and helmets.
Easton Cycling also expands on their support of the TRT road program with increased support for the new cyclocross team which coincides with a larger focus by Easton on the Canadian market. The team will be racing on EC90 SL Disc tubular wheels and new Easton MCD road bars. Additional team sponsors include Vittoria Tires, Gorp Bars, Rumble, Crankbros and Mad Alchemy.
“It’s exciting to be working with athletes of this caliber. Our company has a passion for racing that extends well beyond the normal road season,” says Louis Garneau, president and Founder of Louis Garneau. “The support of the North American cyclocross racing scene will help highlight both our cross bikes as well as the custom apparel we have available for this segment of riders.”