After a debut season fraught with challenges, Boston-based nonprofit cycling club Team CCB will again field a UCI Continental racing team for 2018. And the team has created a financial alliance with another East Coast 501(c)(3) cycling nonprofit, called Foundation Cycling, to help fund its competitive efforts.
For 2018 the team will be called Team CCB Foundation-Sicleri, with Italian apparel manufacturer Sicleri jumping on as a co-title sponsor. Foundation Cycling is a New York City-based cycling club that was founded in 2000.
“Foundation had a lot to offer that we did not have, and we had a lot to offer that they did not have,” said CCB manager Tim Mitchell. “It made a lot of sense to combine forces.”
The team will again be comprised predominantly of U23 riders, all of whom are enrolled in some type of college or educational program. The program’s nonprofit aim is to help teach riders about pro cycling while also furthering their studies. And the team will again seek funding from largely tax-exempt donations from club members and cycling fans. Mitchell pegged the overall team budget at under $75,000 for the entire year. The team does not pay its riders a salary; instead focusing its resources on travel, race entries, and housing at the events.
“Yes, we want to get results, but our program is based on acquiring experience and not just getting results,” Mitchell said. “If the riders gain experience and learn to race against the best, then mission accomplished.”
For 2018 the team will again embark on a racing schedule that includes non-WorldTour UCI races in Europe and Asia, as well as regional and UCI races across the East Coast. Mitchell said he hopes to take his team to Ireland’s An Post Ras, the Tour d’Azerbaijan, the Baltic Chain Tour, China’s Tour of Qinghai Lake, and Belgium’s Schaal Sels race, among other events.
The team debuted in 2017 and spent much of the season globetrotting to smaller UCI races. The constant travel created a handful of trying situations for the riders and staff. In July, the team’s trip to the Tour of Qinghai Lake turned into a fiasco when the team’s luggage — bikes and wheels included — were stranded at the Milwaukee airport. The team eventually borrowed neutral service bikes and were cleared to race. Things got worse when three of the team’s five riders abandoned due to illness after the first few stages.
In September, the team’s luck got worse. During the Tour of China, team soigneur Olaksandr Tarasov suffered a heart attack and had to undergo surgery. The Chinese hospital declined to accept the team’s health insurance, and thus the team had to pay approximately $12,000 out of pocket for the operation, which eliminated much of its travel budget for the event.
Despite the hurdles, the team also enjoyed a number of high points throughout the season. Jake Sitler finished second place on the queen stage of the An Post Ras. Noah Granigan finished second in the road race at the U23 U.S. national road championships. Development rider Thomas Revard won the U23 criterium title and then inked a deal to ride with Axeon Hagens Berman for 2018. John Harris rode into a breakaway at Schaal Sels alongside LottoNL-Jumbo rider Lars Boom.
Mitchell said he hopes to build on that success in 2018.
“We raced with no fear — not a lot of Conti teams can do that,” Mitchell said. “That’s something I’m really happy about. The guys embraced that attitude.”
2018 Team CCB Foundation-Sicleri
Conor Schunk, USA (19 years old)
Gabe Mendez, USA (19)
Spencer Petrov, USA (20)
Thomas Humphreys, DEN (20)
Cooper Willsey, USA (21)
Noah Granigan, USA (22)
Jonah Mead VanCort, USA (22)
Wyatt Goral, USA (20)
Patrick Collins, USA (23)
Brendan McCormack, USA (24)
John Harris, USA (25)
Jonathan Sandoval, MEX (25)
Jake Sitler, USA (29)