USA Pro Challenge announces teams line-up
DENVER, Colorado — The USA Pro Challenge announced its 16-team line-up for the 2015 race, scheduled for August 17-23. The selection includes four UCI WorldTour teams: American-registered squads BMC Racing, Trek Factory Racing, and Cannondale-Garmin, as well as Tinkoff-Saxo of Russia.
“It’s always an exciting time when we get to announce the phenomenal level of talent and superstar teams who will ride in our race,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO and co-chairman of the USA Pro Challenge. “This year, we have some new additions who will make their debut at the USA Pro Challenge in front of millions of people.”
BMC Racing will be led by Rohan Dennis, winner of Tour de France stage 1, which earned him the first yellow jersey of this year’s Tour. He will be joined by Damiano Caruso, a top-10 finisher in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Trek Factory Racing will feature current U.S. champion Matthew Busche and Haimar Zubeldia, a five-time Tour de France top-10 finisher. The Cannondale-Garmin team, based in Denver, will feature Italian Davide Formolo, a stage winner at this year’s Giro, German Ruben Zepuntke, the third-place overall finisher in last year’s Tour of Alberta, and Colombian Janier Acevedo, who finished third overall in the 2013 Amgen Tour of California.
Four Pro Continental teams will also compete: Novo Nordisk (USA), UnitedHealthcare (USA), Drapac (AUS), and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP), a first-time race participant.
Additionally, the organizers named American Continental squads Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, Team SmartStop, Hincapie Racing, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Jelly Belly-Maxxis, and Axeon.
Most of the top teams in the Americas will be featured, including UnitedHealthcare, led by Kiel Reijnen, who won the opening stage of last year’s race and recently won stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Utah. Young upstart teams like Hincapie Racing and Axeon highlight rising talent, such as American Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing), a stage winner in last year’s USA Pro Challenge, and U.S. under-23 national time trial champion Daniel Eaton (Axeon).
“The USA Pro Challenge has always been a proving ground for rising young talent and this year will be no different,” said Hunter. “We are definitely seeing a changing of the guards in the international-level cycling and it’s exhilarating to see it first-hand on the roads of Colorado.”
2015 USA Pro Challenge teams line-up
UCI World Teams
BMC Racing (USA)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
UCI Professional Continental teams
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
UCI Continental teams
Budget Forklifts (AUS)
Cycling Academy (ISR)
Hincapie Racing (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
Jelly Belly-Maxxis (USA)
Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Team SmartStop (USA)