Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies announced its complete 10-woman roster for the 2015 road season on Thursday. Optum will keep much of 2014 squad, while adding few riders under the new directorship of Patrick McCarty.
Canadian road race, time trial, and criterium champion Leah Kirchmann, veteran racer Janel Holcomb, and young stars Annie Ewart, Brianna Walle, and Maura Kinsella all return to Optum for 2015. New signings to Optum include, Ally Stacher, Lex Albrecht, Alison Tetrick, Jasmin Glaesser, and Ariane Horbach.
Another addition to the team is the promotion of Patrick McCarty. After spending the 2014 season as the team’s assistant director, McCarty will step up into to role of women’s performance director in 2015.
“With Pat at the helm for 2015, we’re putting our program in the best position to be successful,” said performance director Jonas Carney. “Pat had an excellent professional career in his own right and knows what it takes to win. He did a great job last year in his first year as a director, and we are excited to have him as a leader for 2015.”
“In 2014, we targeted the team time trial at the world championships in Ponferrada, Spain, and we finished fourth — an exceptional result,” said McCarty. “We will again make that race a major goal, especially with the world championships in Richmond, Virginia. We will again target National Racing Calendar events, the U.S. national championships, La Course by Le Tour de France, the Women’s Tour of Britain, and work hard to defend Leah’s championships.”
Looking ahead to the North American calendar in 2015, it’s important to note that the schedule has been improved for women’s racing in 2015. Many of NRC races are becoming UCI events, and the Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge are each adding two new stages.
“This is very encouraging and exciting for women’s cycling in the United States, and we plan to make these newly introduced and upgraded races a major priority,” said McCarty. “It will help bring the world’s top talent to American soil, which makes for more exciting and more meaningful racing. It is a win-win for teams and fans.”
2015 Women’s Road Roster: