Human Powered Health will have four Canadian riders on its roster for the 2023 season with Benjamin Perry signing from the British WiV SunGod team, and current stagiaire Charles-Étienne Chrétien making the permanent move from Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project.
The duo will join the returning Adam de Vos and Canadian champion Pier-André Coté who both re-sign for 2023.
“We are always looking for North Americans who are capable of helping us have an impact on the European races,” said performance director Jonas Carney. “Ben is a super versatile rider who had a great year in 2022 and we are excited to finally work with him.”
The stars align for Perry
Perry will return to the upper echelons of cycling, having previously raced for the Israel Cycling Academy and on the WorldTour with Astana – Premier Tech in 2021. As a North American athlete, the 28-year-old from St. Catharines, Ontario has always had the program on his radar.
“It feels like a long time coming,” Perry said of the signing having had a long relationship with the team. “It’s a great program and environment for me with the North American connection,” he added on the familiarity of the squad.
Perry has been ever-present in breakaways throughout the season, racing strongly in the Tour of Antalya, Olympia’s Tour and Tour de la Mirabelle, before taking bronze behind Pier-André Coté at the Canadian national road championships.
The Ontarian scored his biggest result of 2022 at the recently shortened Tour of Britain, where he sprinted to second place on stage three from a 146km breakaway and then wore the red leader’s jersey the following day. With the Tour coming to a halt after stage five, Perry placed fourth on the general classification.
“I like lumpy classics style racing where it’s hard all day and I would say I’m a breakaway specialist,” Perry explained. “The Tour of Britain was incredible and the plan was always to get into the breakaways. I followed all those moves and suffered so much the day I was in red with Pidcock and all these guys attacking trying to get rid of me. They did on a small rise right at the end, but fourth was a massive result for me.”
Perry had a chance destiny with road cycling having skateboarded as a child. His dad bought him a mountain bike after his BMX was stolen and through having to train on the road to boost his stamina, Perry made the code switch which led to his first Continental contract in 2015.
Alongside racing, the Canadian likes to swim and is also completing a degree in business. Perry is passionate about prostate cancer research, while also raising money for cystic fibrosis awareness.
View this post on Instagram
Chrétien steps up
The 23-year-old Chrétien will now turn professional through 2024 with Human Powered Health, after two stints as a stagiaire on the team. The French-speaking Quebecer previously performed strongly as a Rally Cycling trainee.
“It’s a dream coming true,” Chrétien said of the news. “I’ve been working hard for years to achieve this.”
With the Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project in 2022, the 23-year-old had strong performances at the Tour de Normandie, Flèche Ardennaise and the formidable Tro-Bro Léon, where he rode for 122km in the rain and mud as part of the breakaway.
His second stint with the program has seen him race the 11-day Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta and Tour de Slovaquie stage races where he proved himself a reliable teammate. His journey is one like many North American pros, who make the sacrifice to cross the Atlantic to race, a testament to the discipline, commitment and dedication it takes to make it to the higher echelons of the sport.
“I moved to Europe two years ago so I’m really excited to be part of a team that has a full European calendar,” he said. “After being a stagiaire for two years, and teammate with a few of the guys in the past already, it makes sense for me to join Human Powered Health for the next two seasons.”
Human Powered Health is delighted to welcome more Canadians to its ranks for 2023 and looks forward to Benjamin linking up with the squad.