Chris Horner was a late addition to the Lupus Racing Team, getting the call from director Phil Cortes just a week before the team's presentation in Atlanta, Georgia. But the 44-year-old fit right in as Lupus pedaled the rural roads outside of Atlanta.
Along with Horner, the team added Chad Beyer, Barry Miller and Nicolae Tanovitchii to the 2016 roster. Beyer, a seven-year pro who has ridden for BMC, Champion System and 5-hour Energy, signed with the team in August. Miller, a 27-year-old from Massachusetts, was fourth at the the Reading 120 in September, while Tanovicthii, a 21-year-old Moldovan who rode with Jelly Belly-Maxxis last year, led the Cascade Cycling Classic in July for several stages. Other new riders for 2016 include Marcus Lazzarotto, Bryan Lewis, Jonah Meadvancort and Nolan Tankersly.
In July of last year, the team added French riders Mathieu Jeannes and Thomas Vaubourzeix to bolster the squad for the end of this season, which included invitations to the Tour of Alberta and Tour of Qinghai Lake as well as a start at the team time trial World Championship in Richmond.
Hungry for more invitations to bigger races, the team moved in the off-season to shore up its edges and present a tempting new target for race organisers. Canadian director Cortes, formerly of Amore & Vita, will be the senior director in 2016. He'll be assisted by Steve Carpenter. Getting better and bigger results falls in line with the team's twofold mission, said general manager Brendan Sullivan. Aside from winning races, Lupus Racing Team hopes to raise awareness about Lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects nearly 1.5 million people in the US.
Although the team's long-term plan involves expanding to Europe, in 2016 the team will focus on North American racing and trying to earn invitations to the high-profile UCI stage races in California, Utah, Colorado and Alberta. There may also be an early trip abroad to get some miles in the legs before the American calendar begins.
Lupus Racing Team 2016 roster: Chad Beyer, Oliver Flautt, Chris Horner, Mathieu Jeannes, Marcus Lazzarotto, Bryan Lewis, Jonah Meadvancort, Barry Miller, Evan Murphy, Mike Olheiser, Mike Stone, Nolan Tankersly, Nicolae Tanovitchii, Thomas Vaubourzeix, David Wintson.