Canada has not won a stage in the Tour de France for a long time; we do it Steve Bauer in 1988 but i am ready to be corrected. So when the American Pro Continental team Ottawan, 29 years old from Rally Cycling, Matteo Dal-Cin won a stage in the hotly contested “virtual, Big Loop”, we just had a word with the man:
PEZ: A medal in the Canadian junior team sprint a long time ago, were you a trackie to begin with?
Matteo Dal-Cin: I did a bit of track racing in London and Bromont, my dad was a big fan of track racing in his cycling career, so I gave it a try. I think we must have had a fair amount of luck for the newbies as we were by no means a well-oiled machine.
Kristofer Dahl and Matteo Dal-Cin (Silber Pro Cycling Team) Tour of Utah 2016 stage 2 start at Escalante
PEZ: How would you describe yourself as a rider now?
I would say I have become a versatile player. In general, I do better with a flatter / rolling course being a taller guy. I really appreciate it, going for the breakaway sometimes you have a chance to see what you can do in the day and if you don’t you still have a task to help keep your sprinters or climbers in shape while throughout the day. .
PEZ: A kermis victory at Westerloo on the 13th, have you ever considered becoming a “EuroDog”?
It was an awesome trip. I am now a teammate with Adam De Vos and Nigel Ellsay, but got to meet them on this project for the first time as we were trying to learn the ropes of the Kermis race. I wouldn’t say I imagined myself racing in Europe after that, but it was a good first glimpse of the racing scene there.
Germany Tour 2018 Stage 4
PEZ: How did the race with Silber come about?
They brought down a bunch of runners in a really bad fall in Gila and were looking for people to replace for the races while these guys were on the mend. I was looking for a guest ride in Beauce that year because my bike shop team was not going to be racing. Silber offered me a spot for the rest of the season and even let me race in Philly with them before Beauce instead of the guest race I was interested in, it was one to say the least. highly hazardous moment in my career.
Victory at Canadian Championship
PEZ: The Tour du Maroc in your first year with them – what was it like?
I did this race as a member of the Cyclery bike store team in Ottawa before changing teams to Silber later in the year. It was my first real UCI race and 10 days so I went south to train for the first time to try and get in shape for such an early race knowing that the home trainer was not would not be sufficient. I had a decent few days, getting into a breakaway that almost stuck him to the line on day two and also doing the lead group on a hectic mountain day on stage eight or ninth, but in between those i was super sick with such a pretty nasty bug alot of it got me limping just to try to cut down on time. I couldn’t eat anything so I was running on fumes packing TP in my pocket instead of snacks so there was definitely the full range of ups and downs to this run.
PEZ: You won Ville Saguenay in 15th, a Nations Cup race – a great result.
Yes the team really came together and did an amazing job defending throughout the race, it was our first time defending a GC which was a bit stressful at times but we had a great leadership in the car and on the road with Ryan Roth keeping us all in control. and patient in a foreign situation.
PEZ: Then Redlands in 16, another great victory.
It was special; I waited backstage with consistent climbs but just outside the podium until the last day when Nigel and I hit the road with the Hincapie boys and managed to break the Jamis team chase behind for run for the victory of the GC and the stage. It was a really fun race with a bunch of us in the break within striking distance of the GC victory and the weird Sunset Loop timing situation adding further uncertainty.
Beauce 2017 stage 2
PEZ: Rally in 17 when Silber retreated, how did you get this race?
I had always tried to participate in the Rally, being the team in North America, so when Jonas contacted in mid-2016 I was thrilled. I think the race consistently but also the result of Redlands was probably the catalyst to make the jump.
Gila stage victory
PEZ: National Champion in ’17 – it must have been special with Gila and Beauce’s stage victories too, a good year.
Yeah, I had a big crash the year before at the Nationals on the last corner and lost a group of three shot for the title with the home race in Ottawa, so it was a real sensation. incredible to be able to achieve victory. in ’17 on the same course at home and wash my hands from the previous year. Gila’s stint at the national championships was a great confidence when you’re in good shape and taking breaks to get victories.
Le Suadi Tour 2020
PEZ: You took part in the Saudi Tour this year, how was your first experience of racing in the desert?
It was my first time but not that of the team. The race was interesting with a lot of cross winds and fast finishes, but a lot of chill between the chaos as it’s still early in the year and everyone is just fine after the winter training. It was a lot different starting the season in Spain or the US like I did in the past where there was more gas racing all day at that point a little later in the year .
PEZ: How did you get the lockdown?
I came back to Ottawa and for the first time I hardened the end of winter with the coach; I just went outside if we have a nice day here or there. Once spring came in well, I started riding with a really amazing group of young guys (Theo Kincaid, Max Hayward, Nick Stewart) from here to Ottawa. It was great to have them train and push each other in training when we couldn’t run.
Virtual Tour de France stage winner
PEZ: You are a long term “Zwifter”, any advice for our readers on how to be a virtual winner?
Yeah, I’ve been there for a while now, signed up for the original beta actually. I think having a reliable internet connection and an ATN + signal is the first step, but of course you have to practice and it’s a little different from a road racing vibe with full starts and no never really go below the threshold. Thank goodness these are short runs so it’s doable because if we were to run as long as the outdoor runs with the trainer it would be a real bloodbath.
Virtual Tour de France stage 3
PEZ: Tell us about your stage victory in the virtual tour.
Ha! I finally timed my sprint with the aero helmet. It’s hard to nail everything down and get it right on a day when you have great legs – so horny the stars have aligned.
PEZ: How’s the rest of the year for Rally?
I mean, uncertain, like everyone else. We plan to return to Europe in August for the end of season races, but with Covid things seem to be changing so quickly; I think that as a team and as an athlete, we need to be flexible in all situations. Fingers crossed, we come back and can run without the second wave slowing down the season again.
Final sprint of stage 3