Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies presents improved rosters for 2013
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies presents improved rosters for 2013

by Ben Atkins at 3:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Strategic signings made by both men’s and women’s teams

jesse anthonyAfter a satisfying 2012 road season - and with a number of its riders currently racing cyclocross - Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies has announced its men’s and women’s rosters for 2013. The teams both feature “key re-signings, important new additions, and the retention of three national championship jerseys holders”, and both hold onto the majority of their riders from this year.

"Both the men's and women's teams had a lot of success in 2012 and we didn't want to change the formula too much," said performance director Jonas Carney. "We worked hard to keep the core together and make a couple of strategic additions. Last year the men's team was able to win both the KOM jersey at the Tour of California the USPRO Criterium Championship, two vastly different races.

“The women's team was equally as balanced, winning time trials, difficult stage races, and dead flat criteriums,” he added. “We want to continue to be that well rounded. Our goal is to be competitive in every race we start."

The men’s roster drops two riders from 19 to 17, but signs Jeremy Durrin, Mitchell Hoke, Eric Young and Bjorn Selander. Selander has experience at WorldTour level, having spent two years at RadioShack, and is another rider rescued from Spidertech p/b C10, which unexpectedly folded recently. Young, the 2011 US criterium champion, is expected to be the rider to watch in 2013, Carney thinks.

“The addition of Eric Young means we have the last two national criterium champions, and this will make our team even more dangerous in field sprints,” Carney said. “Hanson did a fantastic job this year, but we cannot expect him to attend every race and be on form for nine months straight. Eric is going to give us depth at that position. When it comes to field sprinting, it's always better to have a dual-pronged attack. Those two guys will be hard to beat with Cando [Alex Candelario - ed] and [Mike] Friedman leading them out. When the sprints are more selective, Cando and Friedman will get their chances as well.”

The women’s roster also drops a little, from 12 to 11, with the most high-profile departure being Carmen Small’s departure to Specialized-lululemon, but has brought in Grace Alexander, Amber Gaffney, Brianna Walle and two-time US track champion Lauren Hall.

"We had a phenomenal year in 2012 and I am happy that we've retained the core strengths of our team for 2013," said women’s performance director Rachel Heal. "We've also added some great riders - Lauren is an experienced and versatile road racer, and we have some great up-and-coming talent joining the ranks.”

The women’s team will also become eligible to ride some of the biggest races in the calendar in 2013, as it takes becomes UCI-registered for the first time.

“Upgrading our status will also allow us to compete in bigger events around the world, which is very exciting,” said Heal. “We have a great balance of experience and youth, and we are all looking forward to building on the successes of 2012.”

2013 Men's Roster
Jesse Anthony  -  USA
Alex Candelario  -  USA
Marsh Cooper  -  CAN
Mike Creed  -  USA
Jeremy Durrin  - USA
Mike Friedman  -  USA
Chad Haga  -  USA
Ken Hanson  -  USA
Mitchell Hoke  -  USA
Ian Moir  -  USA
Sebastian Salas  -  CAN
Bjorn Selander  -  USA
Mike Sherer  -  USA
Tom Soladay  -  USA
Eric Young  -  USA
Tom Zirbel  -  USA
Scott Zwizanski  -  USA
2013 Women's Roster
Grace Alexander  -  USA
Annie Ewart  -  CAN
Amber Gaffney  -  USA
Lauren Hall  -  USA
Janel Holcomb  -  USA
Leah Kirchmann  -  CAN
Courteney Lowe  -  NZL
Joelle Numainville  -  CAN
Denise Ramsden  -  CAN
Brianna Walle  -  USA
Jade Wilcoxson  -  USA


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