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BMC, Hincapie Sportswear team up for new U23 team

Young riders will see backing under a new program next season that will ride under the banner of the BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team for the 2012 season.

Young riders will see backing under a new program next season that will ride under the banner of the BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team for the 2012 season.

Hincapie Sportswear, BMC and Holowesko Partners have expanded their support of development cycling by creating a professional Under 23 development team registered with USA Cycling as a UCI continental team. The squad will be the official development program for the BMC Racing Team, the team announced Tuesday.

The effort was born from strong connections between current BMC rider George Hincapie and BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz, who has contact with Hincapie dating back to the Motorola days in the 1990s.

“I strongly believe in supporting the next generation of cyclists,” Hincapie said Tuesday in a team release. “Without the help of development programs and folks like Jim Ochowicz guiding me as a new pro, I never could have gotten where I am today.”

Ochowicz is the founder of the 7-Eleven and Motorola Cycling Teams and the one who gave Hincapie his first professional cycling contract in 1994.

Ochowicz is the president and general manager of the BMC Racing Team and is a driving force behind the new BMC-Hincapie Sportswear U23 team.

“George and I have a long history together in cycling,” Ochowicz said. ”We are both passionate about the sport and want to see it grow. It’s only natural that BMC and Hincapie Sportswear join forces in creating a professional U23 program.”

Ex-pro Thomas Craven will be the team’s lead sport director. Thomas spent several years in the professional European peloton racing for 7-Eleven.

“We are thrilled to have Thomas lead the team,” said Rich Hincapie, president of Hincapie Sportswear. “He has top level racing experience and has been through the same things our riders are going through as new pros. He’s the perfect person to guide the young riders through the pro peloton and teach them how to be a professional in all aspects of the sport.”

The new racing team is composed of graduates of the former Hincapie-Holowesko Partners amateur development team, and a selection of talented young international riders.

Roster for 2012:

Alder Martz (USA), Aleksa Velickovic (SRB), Blair Turner (USA), Isaac Enderline (USA), Jovan Zekavica (SRB), Larry Warbasse (USA), Matt Lipscomb (USA), Michael Stone (USA), Parker Kyzer (USA), Tanner Putt (USA), Tyler Karnes (USA), Ty Magner (USA), A.J. Meyer (USA) and Will Richter (USA)