TORONTO - A new Canadian cycling team with dreams of racing at the Tour de France in 2013 will be unveiled Thursday in Toronto, with team members set to begin racing as early as next week.
All but one of the team's 15 riders are expected to be in attendance, including Martin Gilbert, the Chateauguay, Que., native who represented Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Canadian racing legend Steve Bauer, who is the driving force behind the team, will also be on hand.
"It's really a Canadian team," said Josee Larocque, manager of Cycle Sport Management Inc. "Our partners are Canadian ... and this is our goal: to bring in Canadian athletes, and to have the chance to race at the highest level of the sport."
Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Inc., has helped to connect the team with corporate partners. Balsillie, an avid amateur cyclist, reportedly developed an interest in the plan after receiving an email from American Tour de France hero Lance Armstrong.
Larocque said the Canadian team will begin competing at an event in Cuba next week.