Posted by Editor on 12/5/15
Canadian road pro Ryan Anderson has just officially signed with the French-based Professional Continental squad Direct Energie [see Ryan Anderson Joins Direct Energie for 2016]. We spoke with him from his home in Vancouver about his big move to Europe for next year.
Canadian Cyclist: So, Direct Energie! That's a pretty substantial move to a European Pro Conti team. How long has this been in the works?
Ryan Anderson: Yeah, definitely. I'm looking forward to it. It kind of goes back to last year. I've looking to get back to racing more in Europe, so I've been turning over all the stones to create connections. I have kept in touch with David Veilleux [Anderson's now retired Kelly Benefit team mate who raced for Europcar], and Dave put me in touch with some people from the Direct Energie and Louis Garneau side of things.
So I started talks with Jean-Rene Bernaudeau [Team Director] last year. Things didn't quite work out last year, but I kept in contact through the year this year, and after Worlds [this year in Richmond], Antoine [Duchesne, the Canadian who is staying with the team after the transition from Europcar] did a big push for me and it worked out.
2015 Road Worlds in Richmond, VA USA
CC: The team has had some delays getting its licence; were you concerned?
RA: Personally I wasn't too concerned. Once I got word that they were going to take me, all those stresses went away for me. I was pretty confident that everything was moving along fine for the team and that everything was under control.
CC: How about your role with the team? There has been some French press speculation that you are there to support sprinter Bryan Coquard?
RA: I think that is definitely one of the ways they think I can help the team. I'm really looking forward to being able to help Bryan. He's a pretty fantastic rider; he's quite young but he's already achieved a number of great things. I'm really motivated to be able to come in and try to help him.
2015 Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec
CC: Any idea yet on your program for the early season?
RA: We haven't fully discussed it, but I think there is a double program going on in the early part of the year, so there will be plenty of racing right out of the gate. So, I'll be starting earlier then usual. My first race will either be the end of January or the beginning of February.
CC: So you will need to move to Europe, I guess?
RA: Yes, that's the plan. I'm going to go over in early January. For the first bit I'm going to stay close to the team. A lot of the team lives in the Vendée region [near Nantes, on the west coast of France], so I'm going to set up near the team for the first bit. The schedule is going to be so busy that I'm going to be racing most of the time. I suspect that I'll go down and visit some of the familiar [Canadian] faces in Spain at times, but I think for the permanent base to hang my hat it will be in France, near the team.
CC: Are there any team camps for you prior to racing?
RA: There is going to be a little one in December, but they're going to let me stay here in Canada. I'm going to be over there for the first camp in the beginning of January, in Spain.
CC: Well, congrats, and we'll look forward to hear more as the season gets underway.
RA: Thanks very much.
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