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by Mark Zalewski
December 13, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: British Cycling funding cut by £4 million; Stig Broeckx continues to make small improvements; Team Smartstop riders finally to get 2015 wages; Niels Albert worries two-man race not exciting enough for spectators; Viacheslav Ekimov nominated for president of Russian Cycling Federation; GreenEdge teams will be ORICA-Scott in 2017; Unitedhealthcare names rosters for 2017; Avanti IsoWhey and SwissWellness merge to create IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team; Canadian development team Silber reloads with young talent; BMC announces kit, tire sponsorship changes; Field, Payton win cyclocross British Cycling National Trophy; Rider recruited by Wiggins via Instagram; ‘Off the Beaten’ Path adventure cycling film.
The American UnitedHealthcare team presented its men’s and women’s teams for 2017, with a refocusing on the men’s side and a reloading on the women’s squad. The men’s team will no longer be split with a road race and separate criterium squad as the team shifts to only stage racing.
“2017 will be one of our biggest growth years.” said general manager Mike Tamayo. “We’ve been growing for ten years, and this past year we really looked back to see what we can do better. The riders we have selected are a mix of young and experienced. Youthful enthusiasm is very important for us, it drives us to give it our all in every race. The older riders serve the purpose of bringing real world racing experience to the table. This will be critical in the multi-day racing, where every effort and every move needs to be thought out.”
One of those older riders, Greg Henderson, is returning to the team after spending ten years at the WorldTour level. As an experienced lead-out rider, the Kiwi will captain the team in sprint finishes. “We’ve got a couple of really good fast-finishers, and we are going to do the hard work to get them to 200 meters as fresh as possible so the sprinters can have a clear path and fresh air ahead of them for the final,” he said.
The 2017 women’s squad has six new riders in its ranks, including top time trialist Tayler Wiles coming from ORICA-AIS and Lauren Hall from Team TIBCO-SVB. “I’m incredibly excited to join the program,” Wiles said. “It’s a team that I’ve admired for years. When I raced against UnitedHealthcare it was evident that they race as a unit, for each other, and that is something that has always been important to me.”
In addition to new rider talent, staff additions include former pro and longtime DS Sebastian Alexandre who comes from the closing Jamis-Sutter Home team and former pro rider Ben Day.