Over the last three seasons, Canadian Continental outfit Silber Pro Cycling have launched at least one rider to the ProConti ranks, quickly solidifying themselves as a key cog in the machine that is cycling in Canada. American Pro Conti outfit Rally Pro Cycling have been the biggest beneficiaries of the team’s excellent developmental skills, turning one rider pro in each of the last three offseasons, including this one.
The man they have handed the pro contract to is Pier-André Coté, a 21 year old from Gaspé. A fast finisher, Pier-André has been an ever-present in many of the sprints on the US scene in 2018, and has rightly earned his shot at the pros in Europe. Fighting the time difference as he was racing in the two Canadian one-day races at Quebec and Montreal as part of the national team, U23 Cycling Zone caught up with Pier-André to get to know him a little better, before European readers begin to see him a little more often from 2019 onwards.
“I feel like this year’s season was a breakthrough one. Last year was my first year with Silber, but we could already see that I had what it takes to win big races by scoring several top tens. Always there, but also always missing a little something. I was finally able to hit two wins in the same week at the Tour de Beauce and it gave me a lot of confidence for the big projects of the season: Tour of Utah, Tour of Colorado and the World Tour Races of Quebec and Montreal. I was ok in Utah with a 6th place on a day, but I felt better in Colorado with a 5th on the queen stage but I unfortunately crashed 5km from the finish on the last stage.”
Pier-André has been mainly used by his current team as a sprinter, but he feels he also has some added qualities that can allow him to be more than “just” a bunch sprinter.
“I have been used mainly as a sprinter by the team for the past two years, but I feel a bit more of a puncher/sprinter. Like a Peter Sagan if I ever get near his level.”
Winning two stages at the Tour de Beauce, Canada’s biggest stage race, really allowed the Canadian to show just how good he is, and he hasn’t looked back from there, as he freely admitted.
“I actually won twice in Tour de Beauce, and it indeed gave me a confident boost, since I knew I was close to winning, but never really got there before. Knowing that I could do it was a great asset for the rest of the season.”
Knowing he is the latest in a string of Canadians to find success at Silber, Pier-André spoke a little about why he thinks his soon-to-be former employers are so good at developing young Canadian talent.
“I think there is two main elements why Silber is doing such a great job at developing great talents. First, they trust them. They put confidence in their athletes and they give them opportunities in which they can shine. The other thing is that the main goal of the team is to give a racing platform with flawless equipment, staff and teammates in order to be able to develop rider properly.”
Pier-André revealed that he has dreamt of going pro for a while, and really set his mind on the target for either this season or the next. Once Rally came calling, there was never going to be any doubt he would achieve his dream by the start of the 2019 season.
“Moving to the ProConti level for the 2019 or 2020 season was a goal I set for myself at the beginning of this season. I felt that with the Beauce result, it was the year to move up and Rally was clearly a good fit for me. I wanted a smooth transition to European racing and I think riding for a North American team racing in Europe is the best I could get. It’s a well-established program and it only took a few discussions with the management to know that it was the perfect place.”
After his WorldTour showings last weekend, Pier-André confirmed he has ended his road season, but his Canadian fans will get to see him once more in a different discipline before he pulls on the orange kit of Rally.
“Road season is actually over for me, but I’ll be racing one last time at track nationals.”
After experiencing the race as a rider for the first time last weekend, the proud Canadian selected one of his nation’s WorldTour races as his dream pro race to win.
“I would win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, since it would in front of friends and family.”
U23 Cycling Zone wishes to thank Pier-André for taking part in the interview, especially with time difference difficulties, and we wish him all the best for 2019 with Rally. We also want to thank Silber’s GM Scott McFarlane for setting the interview up. You can follow Pier-André on Instagram here.