National champion looking for a good rivalry
Ryan Roth is hoping his new team will have a healthy rivalry with a squad based about 70 km northeast. Roth’s outfit, Hamilton United Pro Cycling, was announced at the end of October. The trade team will feature young riders who will compete in Ontario events, gravel races and, possibly, some bigger North American road races, such as BC Superweek and the Tour de Beauce. The squad’s focus on development and its declared connection with a city are similarities that it has with a team in Ontario’s capital: Toronto Hustle. It’s with the Hustle that Roth hopes a rivalry grows.
“Part of this idea behind the team is to use the model from other North American sports of rivalry between the cities. Ideally, there will be more cycling teams doing similar things. It’s also something we’re trying to work on,” Roth said referring to the plans he and others behind Hamilton United are making. His colleagues include rider Ed Veal and manager and head coach at the National Cycling Centre Hamilton Rick Lee. “If there were teams from Kitchener-waterloo, London, Barrie and Ottawa, then you’d almost have a bit of a league format. If those teams stay around long enough, then young kids coming up will want to ride for them.”
Roth, the 2012 national road champion and 2016 national time trial champion, has seen a few teams come and go. He was on Steve Bauer’s Spidertech squad until it folded in 2012 and later Silber Pro Cycling, which disbanded in 2018. Roth hopes the model he and his team are working on at Hamilton United will bring some durability to the organization. He acknowledged it might not succeed, but he’s committed to trying something new.
At the end of November, Roth and the others behind the team were still working on the roster, which is a mix of young riders and masters to lend a bit of experience. Roth thought he might race a bit with Hamilton United in 2020 as a road captain, even though his off-season training was a bit behind. “I’m doing school part-time and integrating into a non-full-time bike rider lifestyle,” he said. His work, however, might give others the chance to pursue that lifestyle close to home.