The Holowesko-Citadel pro cycling team has applied with the UCI for Pro Continental status for 2018. The team announced its application in a release on Thursday.
The team was launched in 2012 as a development squad by brothers George and Rich Hincapie. It has competed at the UCI Continental level since its inception.
As a Continental squad, the American team won nine UCI races in 2017 to date, including two stages at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Robin Carpenter also won the Cascade Classic stage race with the team in July.
Throughout its history the team has graduated multiple riders to the UCI WorldTour and Pro Continental level. American Joey Rosskopf now rides for BMC. Latvian Toms Skujins is on Cannondale-Drapac. Kiwi Dion Smith is halfway through a two-year contract with Pro Continental team Wanty-Groupe Gobert, and U.S. national champion Larry Warbasse rides for Aqua Blue Sport.
“Rich and I started this team with the aim to help mentor young cyclists to the Pro Tour circuit,” says George Hincapie. “Advancing our team to Pro Continental is the natural next step and allows a more seamless transition to Pro Tour for each of the cyclists on the team.”
The jump to UCI Pro Continental will allow the team to compete in higher level races. In 2017 the team was unable to compete in the Amgen Tour of California after that race stepped up to the WorldTour level. Only two UCI Continental teams were granted access to the California race—Jelly Belly and Rally Pro Cycling. Should Holowesko-Citadel gain its UCI Pro Continental status, the Amgen Tour of California could come back into its racing program.
Sport director Thomas Craven said that the team’s laid-back family atmosphere won’t change with the second-tier status.
“We’re all about making memories,” Craven said. “We’re at the events to enjoy the location, the race, the competition, each other, and the lifestyle. With plans for the team advancing to Pro Continental, we’re excited to do this more, excited for the new adventures and opportunities available. I can’t wait to take this crew to the next level.”
Holowesko-Citadel is the third U.S. Continental team to announce its intentions to apply for Pro Continental status. In August Rally Pro Cycling confirmed its intentions to apply for Pro Continental status, as did Axeon Hagens Berman.