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Creed talks new team, split from Paralympics

Retired pro Mike Creed will return to the team director’s chair in 2017 as the leader of a new Continental team called Aevolo. The team, which has yet to release its roster, will be comprised solely of under-23 riders who are also attending college or graduate school.

The new team marks Creed’s return to team directing after a yearlong hiatus. He led Team SmartStop during its 2014-2015 seasons, but the team dissolved at the end of the 2015 season.

Creed said he was hesitant to sign on with the Aevolo project after the sudden demise of SmartStop. When he learned that the Aevolo squad was aimed squarely at rider development, Creed signed on.

“I walked away from pro cycling pretty bitter and thought that it would be my last time leading,” Creed said. “When we started talking it became clear that [Aevolo] was about development. We weren’t going to try to be this amazing NRC team and get ahead of ourselves by traveling to races we can’t afford and then have it all crumble down. Their plan made sense, we were talking about the stuff that I really valued in cycling.”

Creed said the team will forego targeting the Amgen Tour of California in 2017 and instead focus on one-day events and regional stage races, such as New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila, Oregon’s Cascade Classic, and Canada’s Tour de Beauce. Creed said the team’s major focus will be the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

“Utah is a race we can prepare for — the WorldTour guys don’t always have that luxury,” Creed said. “We’ll also do U23 and pro national championships.”

Creed spent much of 2016 working with U.S. Paralympics program as head coach of the cycling program. He coached more than a dozen Paralympic cyclists from 2015-16, and oversaw the team at the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro. At the Rio games the U.S. Paralympic team won 18 medals.

In October, Creed learned that he would not be coming back with the Paralympic team. Creed said U.S. Paralympic officials told him he was let go due to his management style.

“I think there were some instances where [athletes] thought I was trying to flex my muscles, or whatever,” Creed said. “It was like no, this is the way I operate with able-bodied athletes, and I’ve been told this whole time when you come into [Paralympics] that everybody is the same. There’s no difference between para- and able-bodied. You talk the same. There’s no pandering. And that’s how I played it, and I still play it.”

Creed says he still coaches para cycling athletes.

Team Aevolo has yet to release its roster, which Creed pegged at 10 riders, all of whom hail from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Creed said he assembled the roster based on results at the U.S. U23 and junior national championships and major professional races.

He also dipped into his cycling Rolodex.

“There was a lot of asking friends and friends of friends,” Creed said. “I turned into a stalker of young cyclists.”

Stay tuned to VeloNews.com for an upcoming podcast interview with Mike Creed. 

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