After spending the last two seasons racing for the French professional continental outfit, Direct Energie, Ryan Anderson is back with the orange and black. The Vancouver, British Columbia native strengthens the team’s one-day race and sprint squads.
Anderson cut his teeth with Circuit Sport teams, racing for the program at two different points in his career, from 2009 to 2010 and 2013 to 2015. Known as a scrappy rider, Anderson excels in selective race situations. Whether there are crosswinds, rain, hilly terrain, or a chaotic and decisive moment on the road, you can never count him out.
“I couldn’t be happier to rejoin this organization,” said Anderson. “The thing that I remember the most about Rally Cycling is the positive attitude throughout the whole organization. Starting with (Managing Director) Charles Aaron, I just remember how good the vibe is between everyone. From staff that are on the road, employees in the office, to all of the riders and partners. Everyone enjoyed spending time together which I think plays a big part in the team’s achievements.”
Anderson has seen some prominent results on the roads in Europe – in 2016, he sprinted to second at La Poly Normande, fifth at the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise and went on to finish his first Grand Tour, La Vuelta a España.
Despite these successes, he still considers his second place finish on stage seven of the USA Pro Challenge in 2013 a career highlight.
“The result that stands out for me is the stage in Denver,” said Anderson. “I was second. It wasn’t a win but I opened my sprint from where I had planned and did everything I could that day. I was only beaten by Peter Sagan which I can live with – he beats a lot of guys.”
Anderson, who previously left the program to race in Europe full-time, is returning to a program evolved in scope and ambition.
“Ryan was always a valuable part of this team,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “When he rode for us in the past he was one of our strongest and most consistent riders. We were happy for him when he got the opportunity to race in Europe. But our program has reached the level where riders like Anderson are now looking to ride for us in order to get that ambitious European race schedule.”
Anderson brings a wealth of knowledge to the growing program. He has invaluable experience racing and living in Europe for the last few seasons. For a lot of riders, the adjustment to living in a foreign country can prove difficult. It’s an issue that Anderson understands fully.
“You can get tossed into all sorts of stuff you take for granted back home,” said Anderson. “Now you are in a different part of the world trying to work things out in a different language. From banking, to going into a clinic for follow up X-rays after a crash, to setting up a phone, to just going to the store and using the train – some of it’s easy, but some of it really tests you. I can help my teammates through some of this, as can guys like Danny Pate.”
As the team prepares for a more extensive international racing program, a rider with experience racing (and living) in Europe is a vital addition.
“One of the things I bring to the team is more race experience,” said Anderson. “I was able to do my first grand tour last year and have raced all the cobbled classics. I really hope I can pass on some things that I have learned, and that the younger guys ask questions!”