UnitedHealthcare: Keough, de Maar, Clarke, Deignan and Förster amongst thirteen returning riders for 2013
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

UnitedHealthcare: Keough, de Maar, Clarke, Deignan and Förster amongst thirteen returning riders for 2013

by VeloNation Press at 9:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
American Pro Continental squad to harbour bigger ambitions in coming season

UnitedHealthcareAfter announcing yesterday the identities of eight riders who will join the team prior to the start of the 2013 season, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling squad today confirmed the names of thirteen riders who will remain with the setup next year.

In total it will have 21 competitors wearing its colours, with those staying on board being Americans Jake Keough, Jeff Louder, Brad White, Chris Jones and Adrian Hegyvary, the Australians Hilton Clarke, Ben Day, Jonny Clarke and Karl Menzies, plus Davide Frattini (Italy), Philip Deignan (Ireland), Robert Förster (Germany) and Marc de Maar (Curacao).

“We are very happy to have thirteen outstanding riders return to the team for this upcoming season,” said general manager and team director Mike Tamayo. “These guys have proven through the years how valuable they are and combined with the eight new guys joining us, we are confident these 21 individuals will quickly come together to race most effectively as one unit.

“We are looking forward to a great season ahead and having a solid group of strong professionals and high character guys like the ones who are returning along with our newest additions, I believe the sky is the limit for where we can go in 2013.”

The team had a strong season in 2012, clocking up many good performances and twelve UCI wins. Rory Sutherland won a stage and the overall in the Tour of Gila, the Tour de Beauce, and also a stage in both the Tour of Utah and in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Marc de Maar also took multiple wins, topping the podium in the national road and time trial championships plus stage five of the Tour of Britain. Jake Keogh was victorious on stage four of the Tour of Utah, and Jay Thomson, Jason McCartney plus Kai Reus all won stages in the Tour of Portugal.

Of those, Sutherland, Thomson, Reus and McCartney have moved on, and so other riders will have to step up and deliver instead.

Some of the new riders will undoubtedly have victories in mind, but so too those who have remained with the team.

Tamayo sees Keogh as one of those who should continue to improve in 2013. “We saw Jake go head-to-head with the best in the world in the beginning and throughout all of last season and he got on the podium. Jake’s growth has been tremendous and he is one of the best sprinters in the sport right now,” he said. “He is hungry for the top step on the podium and a hungry, motivated Jake is bad news for other teams!”

He also regards Clarke and De Maar as very dangerous riders, in terms of their ability to chase success. “2012 was a great year for us with Hilton, with countless wins and podiums,” he said. “Winning the NCC individual title was huge. Hilton is our criterium specialist and a leader in the discipline.”

De Maar showed strong form in netting second in the recent Amstel Curaçao Race and Tamayo believe he’ll step up a level next season. “If anyone knows how to seize an opportunity, it is Marc de Maar,” he stated. “Marc showed us that this year with his stage wins and overall performance. He is even more focused going into this season and should prove to be an even bigger factor in 2013.”

He’s also hoping for big performances from former Vuelta a España stage winner Philip Deignan, who wasn’t at his best in 2012 but who showed flashes of good form in the work he did for the team.

“Phil is coming off a season of bad luck and health and the reset button has been pushed,” he said. “The team has full confidence that Phil can get back to his top ten Grand Tour form. Phil is going to be someone to look out for in the big mountains.”

Remaining on board is the very experienced Robert Förster who, like Deignan, is a past Vuelta a España stage winner. “A leader in his own right, a champion’s attitude, and the ability to make things happen,” said Tamayo, characterising the German. “What Robert brings to the team is wins through himself and his teammates. Robert is a great rider and fantastic mentor. Our young sprinters are fortunate to have a guy like Robert pushing them.”

The team’s programme is yet to be announced, but the new and remaining riders will get acquainted at the pre-season training camps.

The 2013 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team:

Jake Keough (USA)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Robert Förster (GER)
Marc de Maar (CUR)
Jeff Louder (USA)
Ben Day (AUS)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Brad White (USA)
Chris Jones (USA)
Philip Deignan (IRE)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Davide Frattini (ITA)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Lucas Euser (USA) *
Alessandro Bazzana (ITA) *
Luke Keough (USA) *
Aldo Ilesic (SLO) *
Kiel Reijnen (USA) *
Martin Irvine (IRE) *
Danny Summerhill (USA) *
John Murphy (USA) *

* new riders for 2013


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