BMC Racing Team will bring two trainees to the Tour of Utah for the seven-day stage race beginning on August 1: Utah native Taylor Eisenhart and Swiss rider Fabian Lienhard move up to the WorldTour squad from BMC's development team.
"We are heading to Utah with a young and ambitious team. Many of our riders have raced here before and with a solid week's recon, we will be lining up with a strong and well-prepared team. We are not heading to the race with a clear leader as we have multiple options available to us so we will see how the race evolves day by day," directeur sportif Jackson Stewart said.
"It is also great to have BMC Racing Team stagiaires, Eisenhart and Lienhard here with us. They've progressed well as part of the BMC Development Team program and this is a perfect race for them to enter the professional world of cycling and demonstrate their abilities. It is particularly exciting to see Eisenhart starting here in his home state and on his home roads."
BMC Racing for Tour of Utah: Darwin Atapuma, Tom Bohli, Taylor Eisenhart, Fabian Lienhard, Joey Rosskopf, Manuel Senni, Dylan Teuns, Rick Zabel.
Giant-Alpecin adds three trainees
Team Giant-Alpecin announced on Thursday its three trainees for the season: German Max Kanter (LKT Team Brandenburg) and two Dutch riders, Jochem Hoekstra (Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team) and Martijn Tusveld (Rabobank Development Team).
Kanter, 18, has been signed to the Giant-Alpecin development program for 2017. Last season he won the overall in the Ville de Grudziadz and the Driedaagse van Axel and this season was third overall and best young rider in the Carpathian Couriers Race.
"To have the chance to already ride this autumn a few races as a stagiaire with the WorldTour Program of the team before joining Team Giant-Alpecin's Development Program next year was a surprise to me," Kanter said. "I think it is very special to get a stagiaire contract in the first year of being an U23 rider. I'm really pleased and I think it is a great opportunity for me to develop and continue my learning process in the Development Program next year."
Hoekstra, 23, won the Ronde van Limburg and Omloop der Kempen last season, while Tusveld was second in the Paris-Tours espoirs race last season.
"Talent development belongs to the core of our existence and our aim is to connect the world's best talents to the team," team coach Marc Reef said. "Next to that we want to take responsibility for German cycling by focusing on grassroots development. Those two goals go hand in hand with signing Max [Kanter], who is a big talent. We are happy that he joins our Development Program next season with the aim to proceed to our WorldTour Program in the future.
"Both Jochem [Hoekstra] and Martijn [Tusveld] have been followed by the team to monitor their progression during the last years and they have shown good potential. For us, the stagiaire period will be an opportunity to see what they are capable of, and they will get the chance to prove themselves."
Carapaz joins Movistar Team as trainee
The Movistar Team announced it has signed Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz as a trainee for the rest of the season. He will make his debut with the team at the Tour de l'Ain.
Carapaz comes from Lizarte development team. A strong climber, he won the U23 Pan American Games road race and Vuelta al Porvenir in 2015.
"Hailing from the Carchí prefecture, just next to the Colombia border, [Carapaz has shone bright thanks to his climbing abilities and strategic nose during his four-month stay as an amateur in Spain: he finished 2nd in the Memorial Valenciaga, arguably the biggest one-day event in the country, in only his second appearance in Lizarte's pink and black jersey, before going on to win in Lazkao, the Urraki hill climb and also the prestigious Vuelta a Navarra, where he proved himself as the strongest into the ascents", the Movistar team stated.
Team Stölting Service Group adds three trainees
Team Stölting Service Group brought on three young Germans as their stagiaires for the season: Moritz Backofen, 21, of Team Kuota - Lotto, Willi Willwohl, 21, of Team LKT Brandenburg, and 25-year-old amateur rider Alexander Weifenbach.
Backofen previously raced for the Team Stölting continental team in 2015 where he finished second in the German national U23 road race. Willwohl, a sprinter, came in seventh at the German national road race behind riders like Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel, and was the third-best U23 rider.
Weifenbach impressed with a regional championship in Nordrhein-Westfalen this season in addition to a win in the United States at the Prairie State Series Intelligentsia Cup.
“Moritz Backofen already rode for Team Stölting in 2015. We promised to keep an eye on our former riders, and Moritz will get to start some bigger races with us," Sports Director Jochen Hahn said. "Willi Willwohl is a good sprinter who may get a chance in a race or two. We already followed Alexander Weifenbach last year, but since he wasn't U23 anymore we couldn't give him a stagiaire contract then. As a professional team we can, and after a string of good results in North Rhine-Westphalia including the regional title he will now get the opportunity to give pro races a try.”
Backofen and Weifenbach will debut at the Rad am Ring on July 31, while Willwohl’s first race will be Dwars door het Hageland Aarschot on August 5.