Race report

Red Truck - Garneau Dominates CSI

Red Truck Garneau Dominant with two wins at Cycle-Smart International

    Michael van den Ham closed out his North American Cyclocross season on a high note by taking his first ever UCI win in Northampton on November 7th. Meanwhile, Raphael Gagne also finished his year in victory as he took another impressive win on the following day. Natasha Elliott rode at the front of the race both days to land sixth place in each. 

    As has been the case so many times this season, Raphael and Michael worked together as teammates to the secure victory on both days. On day 1, they broke away from the most of the field early on with only two other riders, Mark McConnell and Anthony Clark, able to keep pace. As the race wore on, Gagne and van den Ham first left Clark and then McConnell behind as they set the stage for the Red Truck Garneau 1-2 finish. Ultimately, Van den Ham was able to distance Gagne in the final meters to seal the victory. 

    Van den Ham said, “Wow! It was my goal all season to take a UCI victory so to be able to accomplish that goal and to do so the support of a teammate feels amazing. Thanks to everyone - sponsors, friends, family, everyone - who made this happen.” 

    On the second day of racing Gagne attacked from the gun and established a gap by the end of the first lap. He said, ”after 3 minutes I was like, I'm going. I'm trying hard. Second day, you know, not everyone is as sharp so if you're willing to go hard not everyone's willing to do it.”

    The strategy worked as Raph took yet another beautiful victory to cap off his season. Meanwhile in the group behind, Michael van den Ham launched a last lap bid for second place but fell painfully short and had to settle for 5th on the day. 

    In the women’s race, Natasha Elliott continued her string of solid results by landing two 6th places. Racing against a field that contained some of the best riders in the continent, Natasha rode some of her best racing of the year to add to her extensive list of UCI top-10s. 

    As always, a huge thank you to all the sponsors who make this team possible. With 3 UCI victories, over a dozen top-10s, and over 20 local victories the team is, without a doubt, the best our country has to offer!

Link to Michael van den Ham Interview: http://dirtwire.tv/2015/11/csi-day-1-mike-van-den-ham-1st-we-joked-we-should-break-away-from-everybody-and-go-one-two/

Link to Raphael Gagne Interview: http://dirtwire.tv/2015/11/csi-day-2-raphael-gagne-1st-second-day-not-everyones-as-sharp-if-youre-willing-to-go-hard-not-everyones-willing-to-do-it/

Teamwork Wins the Day at Nationals

With thousands of eager Winnipeg fans cheering them on and thousands more watching online, Red Truck - Garneau’s Raphael Gagne stormed to victory and a new national title over Geoff Kabush this past week at the Canadian National Championships. Local favourite, Michael van den Ham finished just off the podium in fourth while Craig Richey overcame mechanical problems to finish ninth. On the women’s side of things, Natasha Elliott narrowly lost the sprint for the bronze medal to road sprinter, Leah Kirchmann. 

With three riders on Red Truck Garneau p/b Easton Cycling and three riders on Kabush’s Scott-3Rox, the Elite men’s race was destined to be a tactical matchup: A race won or lost as a result of teamwork. After Michael van den Ham and Raphael Gagne traded early attacks and dictated the pace of the race, Gagne struck out with two laps to go and established the race-winning gap. 

Two laps later and Gagne hit the pavement with time enough to celebrate his impressive victory. Just seconds behind van den Ham, clearly spent after the team effort, was distanced in a sprint for third by Aaron Schooler. Craig crossed the line 9th after he suffered an untimely mechanical on the first lap of the championship race. Craig showed true grit and won the hearts of the fans, battling back through the field from a distant last place inside the top-10. 

“Wow! I’m super happy to win my first title Canadian title in cyclocross,” Raphael said after the race. “Thanks to my teammate Michael van den Ham, it's a victory for team, we have worked well together. Thank you to Red Truck and Louis Garneau for their support of cyclocross!”

The victory, van den Ham explained, was no fluke, but a carefully crafted plan. “We sat down before the race and ran through some different scenarios of how things could play out and how we could make sure we had the jersey at the end of the day. We knew 3-Rox was going to race together so we went out fast and aggressive in order to put the pressure on them to chase, not us. Raph (Gagne) and I traded attacks in the hope that one would stick. I guess we were right!”

In the women’s race, Natasha was forced to settle for forth the second year in a row after a tight battle with multi-time road national champion, Leah Kirchmann. Natasha said, “The course was awesome and I raced as hard as I could on the given day, but was disappointed with another 4th place.” However, always the optimist, Natasha is already looking forward to next years national which will be held in her home province, Quebec.

All in all, it was a more than successful weekend for the Red Truck Garneau p/b Easton squad. With a national title and dominant performances at the National Championships and a day later at the Manitoba Gran Prix of Cyclocross (C2), the team has cemented their place at the pinnacle of Canadian cyclocross. 

Nationals Media

Velonews: http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/10/race-report/gagne-pedals-to-canadian-national-cross-championship_388252

Cyclingnews: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/canadian-cyclo-cross-national-championships-2015/elite-men/results/

Canadian Cyclist: http://www.canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=30268&title=gagne-caps-best-ever-season-with-cyclo-cross-title

Cyclocross Magazine: http://www.cxmagazine.com/raphael-gagne-attacks-late-elite-mens-win-2015-canadian-cyclocross-national-championships

Early Season Round Up

Early Season Round-Up

It’s hard to believe it, but September’s warm temperatures have already given way to quickly turning leaves and frosty mornings. Already at the mid-point of the season Red Truck - Garneau p/b Easton Cycling has asserted themselves as the Canadian team to watch at Nationals, the biggest events in North American, and the World Championships. In doing so, we have given the quickly growing Canadian scene something that was previously missing: a team that united Canadian riders as they raced at the highest level and provided a goal for young cyclocross racers to aspire to. 

Locally Engagement, International Exposure  

There is a perception among Elite level cyclocross teams that they need to travel to UCI weekends on all corners of the continent every single weekend in order to compete with the best. With Craig Richey, Michael van den Ham, Raphaël Gagné, and Natasha all taking numerous wins locally and also finding success at UCI races, they have been able to both develop their own skills as some of North America’s top racers and, at the same time, remain engaged in their home cycling communities. No matter where is Canada we race, we are the home-team; no matter where we race, we are Canada’s team.

This success locally has also translated into international results. Buoyed by the incredible support from our Canadian fans, the team has gone toe to toe with the best racers in the world in China, the Las Vegas World Cup, New England, and elsewhere and come out with numerous impressive results.

The biggest event of the year is just around the corner; the National Championships in Winnipeg. Look for multiple Red Truck Garneau p/b Easton riders on the podium this weekend and, if all goes to plan, perhaps you’ll even see them on the top step of the podium! You can watch the races live right here: http://winnipegcx2015.ca/live-stream/

Strong Sponsorship Returns

We have been lucky enough to land some of the best sponsors in the business this year and we know that results are only one small reason why these sponsors have chosen to work with our team. Since day one, one of our primary goals has been to generate strong returns for our sponsors. We’ve focussed on achieving this goal through signing engaging and approachable riders, creating a consistent social media presence, working with the cycling media, and helping our partner companies generate content to highlight their product. 

Although the season is not even half over, the team has already been generating significant buzz from some the the biggest cycling news sources. Linked below are a couple of the most recent examples of this in the media. 

Raphaël Gagné interview in Velonews: 

http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/10/news/Raphaël-gagne-takes-on-cyclocross-after-standout-mtb-season_387725

Craig Richey interview in Pedal Magazine: 

http://pedalmag.com/interview-with-craig-richey-about-the-new-red-truck-garneau-cx-team/

Michael van den Ham interview in Canadian Cycling Magazine: 

http://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/news/michael-van-den-ham-comes-to-winnipeg-with-confidence/

 

Next Season

Although this season seems to have barely begun, we are already looking to move forward and grow the team next year. As we search for more partners next season, we are continually looking for news ways to make sponsoring our team a mutually beneficial relationship. 

 

Notable Results - Eastern Canada

1st - Serie de Cyclocross Maglia Rosa 1 (Natasha Elliott) 

1st - Serie de Cyclocross Magila Rosa 6 (Natasha Elliott) 

1st - Q-Cup Baie-Saint-Paul (Raphaël Gagné) 

Notable Results - West Coast

1st - Adler Acres CX (Craig Richey) 

1st - Foreshore CX (Craig Richey) 

1st - Whistler Cyclocross Day 1 and 2 (Craig Richey) 

1st - Vanier Park CX (Craig Richey) 

1st - Mahon Park (Craig Richey) 

Notable Results - Alberta

1st - Bici Rodeo 'Cross (Michael van den Ham) 

1st - Red Bike RedCross (Michael van den Ham) 

1st - Pumphouse 'Cross (Michael van den Ham) 

1st - Velocicross (Michael van den Ham) 

Las Vegas World Cup Results

34th (Natasha Elliott)

42nd (Craig Richey)

60th (Michael van den Ham)

UCI Race Results

7th - Qiansen Trophy Station 1 (Craig Richey) 

8th - Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 1 (Raphaël Gagné) 

8th - Trek CXC Cup Day 2 (Craig Richey) 

9th - Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 1 (Michael van den Ham) 

10th - Grand Prix of Gloucester Day 1 (Raphaël Gagné) 

11th - Gran Prix of Gloucester Day 2 (Natasha Elliott) 

14th - Qiansen Trophy Station 2 (Craig Richey) 

14th - Gran Prix of Gloucester Day 2 (Raphaël Gagné) 

15th - Trek CXC Cup Day 1 (Craig Richey) 

15th - Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 2 (Raphaël Gagné) 

16th - Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 2 (Michael van den Ham)