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American cyclocross racer Stephen Hyde will spend his spring and summer racing with Cylance-InCycle, the UCI Continental team sponsored by a California-based cybersecurity company.
It will be an all-Cannondale affair for Hyde, who races CX for Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, as his road team contract was arranged by Jonathan Geran, Cannondale’s global director of sports marketing. The team’s co-sponsor, Incycle Bicycles, based in Southern California, is one of Cannondale’s top retailers.
“At Cannondale we try to find athletes that align with the Cannondale brand, and personality,” Geran said. “You can go back to riders we’ve worked with, like Mario Cipollini, or Peter Sagan… Stephen Hyde may not be on that level, but he’s someone we want to keep a connection with. Tim Johnson is another athlete like that, he’s been part of Cannondale for 10 years, to give us product advice, and to be a brand ambassador. We want to keep people like this connected to the brand, for their athletic ability but also for who they are off the bike.”
Hyde, who is 29, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons racing with the Continental road team Astellas, but he’s best known for his exploits on knobby tires. With a background in BMX and mountain biking, Hyde came to cyclocross late, winning his first UCI race in 2012, at 25 years old. His progression has been rapid since, and after two seasons with the JAM Fund program, set up by national champion Jeremy Powers, Hyde joined Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com in August.
During the 2015-16 season Hyde twice beat Powers (Rapha-Focus) racing in the U.S. He finished ahead of Powers at the World Cup in Namur, France, and finished second to Powers in a closely contested U.S. national championship in January.
“I didn’t have big plan for the road this year,” Hyde said. “I raced in the past with Astellas, but this year I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be on a road program or a mountain-bike program, but it’s worked out really well. As a cyclocross athlete, it’s difficult to be on a program where you’re taking up a rider’s spot, a rider’s salary, a rider’s equipment, and that could be someone who is racing for six or eight months, and you’ll only race for three months. It’s always interesting to work out those deals with road programs, and I’m lucky Cannondale was there to see the importance of that and make it work with Cylance.”
Cylance-InCycle will compete in UCI and USA Cycling National Calendar Events throughout the U.S. in 2016. Team members include 2015 NCC overall champion, Australian Hilton Clarke, and U.S. riders Justin Williams, Cory Williams, Hunter Grove, Cory Greenberg, Josh Ruiz and Camilo Zambrano. Orlando Garibay and Diego Sandoval of Mexico, and Colombian racer Andres Diaz complete the 2016 roster.
Hyde said he will focus on one-day races, rather than stage races, and expects to race at U.S. road nationals, the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, the Winston-Salem Classic, and “a lot of crits.”
“I’ll try to be supportive to the rest of team as I can, and I also have some of my own fitness goals,” Hyde said, adding that he’ll wind down his road season after the July 16 JAM Fund Grand Fundo, to take a break and prepare for cyclocross season.