Wow, what a week of racing! If someone had told you just a couple of years ago that North America would host two World Cups in 2016, would you have believed it? Sure, the crowds aren’t as massive as in Europe and the field sizes are slightly shrunken, but all in all these races have to be considered a huge success and an even bigger opportunity for our riders to show themselves on the biggest stage in the world.
And show themselves they did! Despite being one of the smallest teams out there, Garneau - Easton Cycling punched well above its weight all week long. Michael van den Ham rode to a huge 17th place in Las Vegas. A result even made sweeter by the fact that, as he found out later, it’s the best ever Canadian finish is a World Cup. Meanwhile Craig easily took home the prize as the fastest working man in the field with an impressive 34th place.
Fast forward a couple days and a pile of travel later and Michael and Craig met up with Gunnar for the Jingle Cross / Iowa City World Cup weekend. With three races and some crazy weather, Iowa City did not disappoint!
Day 1 brought what was easily some of the craziest conditions the team has ever seen. With the World Cup the following Day, Craig and Michael sat the race out, but Gunnar overcame an early crash to finish 3rd on the day.
Although conditions started to dry out considerably on Saturday, sections of the course were still mud pits. At the end of the day, Michael finished in 33rd and Craig in 40th.
Gunnar was back at it on Sunday but fell victim to a mechanical while leading the race and was forced to take a long run to the pits. Despite that he still managed to finish inside the top-10 to close out his weekend,
Finally Michael and Craig closed out the weekend with Sunday’s UCI C1. Despite Wout van Aert and Telenet-Fidea deciding to sit the race out, there was still a dozen European riders looks to secure some precious UCI points. After crashing mid-race and losing nearly half a minute, Michael rode up to 12th place. Meanwhile Craig continued his run of solid results with at 25th place.
As always, a huge thank you to everyone that made our success possible. Thanks to Robert Holmgren, Matias Perret, and Dave Sheek for helping us in the pits; to Brook Watts and John Meehan (all all of their volunteers) for making these events happen; to Brendan Kealey for hosting us in Iowa City; to all of our supporters and sponsors for providing the team with World Class equipment; and, lastly, to all the ridiculously loud and rowdy Canadian fans cheering us on!