The American team will continue as a Continental outfit, confirming nine riders for 2019 after budget shortfall put future in jeopardy.
Hincapie Racing, the American team that operated in 2018 under the title Holowesko-Citadel presented by Arapahoe Resources, has made important moves to return to the domestic pro peloton in 2019 at the UCI Continental level. The team has signed BMC Switzerland and Arapahoe Resources as title sponsors for next season and inked deals with nine riders.
The team announced the news in a release Friday morning.
“We’re extremely grateful for Arapahoe Resources and BMC Switzerland supporting our team for another year,” said George Hincapie in the release. “It’s my hope that with these partners, as well as this new team of guys, we can deliver wins and have a successful 2019 season.”
The team has deals with returning riders Miguel Byron, Brendan Rhim, Andrew Dalheim, Andz Flaksis, and TJ Eisenhart. Joining the squad are Ben Wolfe, Justin Oien, Seth Jones, and Tanner Putt.
The news comes nearly two months after the team missed the deadline to apply for UCI Pro Continental status in 2019, a move that put the team’s 2019 racing plans in jeopardy. A stalwart of the U.S. domestic scene, Holowesko-Citadel stepped up from UCI Continental to Pro Continental status in 2018 and embarked on a racing campaign in Europe. The step up was fueled, in part, by the addition of oil and gas company Arapahoe Resources to Hincapie’s sponsor lineup.
In an interview three weeks after the news broke, Hincapie said that the decision to step up was “a learning process.”
“It required a lot more resources,” Hincapie said. “And if we were able to have continued at that financial level, we could have done it.”
Hincapie said the team’s financial woes occurred after a potential title sponsor for 2019 backed out shortly before the deadline to register for Pro Continental status. Simultaneously, the team’s deals with investment firm Citadel and investor Mark Holowesko, had come to a close.
Pro Continental teams often require an operating budget that surpasses $1 million. UCI Continental squads, by contrast, can operate on a budget half that size.
The team’s new additions come from across the domestic and international peloton. Oien raced with Spanish squad Caja Rural in 2018. Wolfe raced for Jelly Belly-Maxxis, and Putt raced for UnitedHealthcare. Jones joins the squad from the North Carolina-based amateur elite team Dornier Racing.