Gallery: UnitedHealthcare presents 2015 team in Asheville

Men's and women's teams aim at domination in 2015

The dual UnitedHealthcare UCI men's and women's teams were presented Monday night at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina - in what was a homecoming of sorts for the ambitious Pro Continental team. Banded behind the motto "one team", the squad firmly set their emphasis on the strength of the team as a whole, rather than on their distinguished stars.

Even new hire Janez Brajkovic - winner of the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné, whose career has been waylaid by misfortune and injury - touted the "family atmosphere" of this tight-knit team.

General manager Mike Tamayo recounted the team's history in front of the whole squad, who stood on stage. To demonstrate to the assembled crowd of sponsors and supporters how much of the team's core riders have stayed with the program over the past few years, he counted back the years, asking the riders who were on the team each year to remain standing.

Gradually, only one rider was left standing as an example of the team's continuity: Australian Karl "Ten Men" Menzies, who has been with the team since it was sponsored by HealthNet in 2006. The Australian was given an award for his decade of service by Thierry Atlas, the president of the team.

The men's team added some firepower for 2015 with Brajkovic as their general classification hopeful, with an aim at a wildcard entry for the Giro d'Italia. It also hired three Italians: Marco Canola, winner of stage 13 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, Daniele Ratto, winner of a stage in the Vuelta a España in 2013 and neo-pro Federico Zurlo, all of whom could help with the team's bid for the Italian Grand Tour.

Also new to the team for 2015 is U23 US champion Tanner Putt, whose punchy style fits well with the team's other fast finishers like Kiel Reijnen and Zurlo.

The women's team lost GC rider Mara Abbott to Wiggle Honda, and US champion Alison Powers to retirement, but added time trial strength with Linda Villumsen and Canadian Laura Brown, while third-place finisher in the Tour of the Gila Abby Mickey will be the team's climber and GC contender.

The team will continue to aim for total domination in the US races, with criterium champions John Murphy and Coryn Rivera, and overall NCC winner Luke Keough leading the way with their respective "blue trains".

To view the 2015 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team presentation gallery, please click here.

2015 UnitedHealthcare team:

Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Alessandro Bazzana (ITA)
Brad White (USA)
Carlos Alzate (COL)
Chris Jones (USA)
Daniele Ratto (ITA)
Danny Summerhill (USA)
Davide Frattini (ITA)
Federico Zurlo (ITA)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Isaac Bolivar (COL)
Janez Brajkovic (SLO)
John Murphy (USA)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Ken Hanson (USA)
Kiel Reijnen (USA)
Lucas Euser (USA)
Luke Keough (USA)
Marco Canola (ITA)
Robert Förster (GER)
Tanner Putt (USA)
Rushlee Buchanan (NZL)
Lauren Tamayo (USA)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Hannah Barnes (GBR)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Katie Hall (USA)
Cari Higgins (USA)
Scotti Wilborne (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA)
Linda Villumsen (NZL)
Laura Brown (CAN)
Abby Mickey (USA)

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