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January 16, 2016
Photography by Rally Cycling/Sam Wiebe
Rally Health, a Washington, D.C. digital health company, has taken over title sponsorship of the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies men’s and women’s teams operated by the Minneapolis-based Circuit Sport sports management group.
The title sponsor begins immediately, into 2016 “and beyond,” the team announced Friday.
Rally Health is “working to reimagine health engagement, offering simple ways for individuals to navigate the complex healthcare system, get access to care, and achieve their health and wellness goals,” a team press release stated. “Rally Health brings a fresh and exciting element to cycling while reinforcing the team’s mission to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Rally Cycling is the next step forward for a team that has been a fixture in the peloton since 2007 and has taken more than 260 competitive wins and 550 podiums. The men’s team ended the 2015 season atop of the UCI America Tour rankings, and heads into 2016 with the addition of former WorldTour riders Danny Pate (Team Sky) and Evan Huffman (Astana).
Four more North Americans will join Huffman and Pate in new Rally colors: Adam De Vos, an up-and-coming climber hailing from Victoria, British Columbia; Shane Kline, a field sprinter who rode for the Kelly Benefit Strategies team in 2009; Rob Britton, a strong general classification rider; and Emerson Oronte, a climbing specialist based in Boulder, Colorado.
On the women’s side, Olympic and Pan Am medalist Jasmin Glaesser returns to anchor the team. A strong all-arounder, Glaesser is joined by Kirsti Lay, her teammate on the Canadian pursuit squad. Together Glaesser and Lay will feature strongly in road races and are sure to play a part in Canada’s Olympic ambitions.
In addition to Lay, new recruits include all-arounder Heather Fischer and time trial specialist Hannah Ross. Cyclocross racer Elle Anderson comes on board, along with sprint specialist Erica Allar and all-arounder Jessica Prinner to headline the team’s criterium contingent. Also joining the team is a quartet of young up-and-coming riders; Sara Poidevin, Catherine Ouellette, Katherine Maine, and Emma White, who earned silver medals at the junior world road and time trial championships in September.
Rally Cycling will continue the team’s long tradition of success on the racecourse while helping people make positive changes toward an active, healthy lifestyle. The original men’s program, under title sponsor Kelly Benefit Strategies, started in 2007 with a win at the USPRO Criterium National Championships – the only team in history to win the event in its first season.
Under the direction of Olympians Jonas Carney, Eric Wohlberg, and Zach Bell, along with former WorldTour rider Patrick McCarty, the team has achieved major victories on the national and international stage. The men’s program took high-profile wins at the Amgen Tour of California and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, podiums at the USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Alberta, and multiple Amgen Tour of California King of the Mountain jerseys. The team has also won its hometown race, the North Star Grand Prix, for five consecutive years.
At the international level, the women’s team has found success with an historic podium at La Course by Le Tour de France and a fourth place at the UCI World Team Time Trial Championships in 2014.
Eric Young aboard a SRAM equipped Diamondback Podium team bike. Photo © Rally Cycling/Sam Wiebe
Rally Cycling Men’s Team
Jesse Anthony | Newbury Park, CA
Rob Britton | Victoria, BC
Adam de Vos | Victoria, BC
Brad Huff | Springfield, MO
Evan Huffman | El Dorado Hills, CA
Shane Kline | Bally, PA
Pierrick Naud | Amos, QC
Emerson Oronte | Boulder, CO
Danny Pate | Colorado Springs, CO
Will Routley | Abbotsford, BC
Bjørn Selander | Hudson, WI
Thomas Soladay | Glendale, CA
Curtis White | Delanson, NY
Eric Young | Boulder, CO
Tom Zirbel | Boulder, CO
Rally Cycling Women’s Team
Erica Allar | Tucson, AZ
Elle Anderson | San Francisco, CA
Heather Fischer | Boulder, CO
Jasmin Glaesser | Coquitlam, BC
Kirsti Vivian Lay | Montreal, QC
Katherine Maine | Ottawa, ON
Sara Poidevin | Canmore, AB
Jessica Prinner | Saint Charles, MO
Hannah Ross | Wichita Falls, TX
Emma White | Delanson, NY
Catherine Ouellette | Saint-Lambert, QC