The Incycle-Cannondale Continental team that has been registered in Puerto Rico for the past two seasons will return as Cylance-Incycle p/b Cannondale for 2016 and will be registered in the US.
Former UnitedHealthcare rider and 2015 National Criterium Calendar overall winner Hilton Clarke will headline the team, which also includes US 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.
The team, which had mainly focused on the US criterium calendars, first registered as a Puerto Rican Continental team in 2014 as Incycle-Predator Components. Cannondale came on board last year as a secondary sponsor, and the team kept its focus primarily on criteriums.
Formerly managed by Micah Clouteaux of Southern California, operations for the team have been taken over by the Inspire Sports management company run by former pro Omer Kem, who also owns the Cylance Pro Cycling women's team that recently competed at the Tour Down Under. Mike Roecklein will be the men's team director for 2016.
Kem told Cyclingnews the Incycle owner approached him at the end of the summer about taking over the men's team and helping it step up to the next level. Kem said he was already involved in negotiations with Cannondale about sponsoring the women's team, and Cylance came on board in late October with an offer to be title sponsor for both programs.
“Cylance, Inc., came on board with Inspire very late,” Kem told Cyclingnews. “They wanted to maximize their investment and said they wanted to be title sponsor of both teams. It was incredibly exciting, but it took a lot of work to make all of the pieces fit together.”
Cylance is a cyber security firm with products and services that use artificial intelligence to proactively prevent advanced persistent threats and malware, while Incycle Bicycles is one of the top retailers of Cannondale bicycles.
“Cycling is a sport that promotes an active lifestyle along with values of sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication, persistence and endurance,” Cylance founder and CEO Stuart McClure said in a statement released by the team. "These values are the bedrock of Cylance and our mission to protect the planet. We’re excited to be the title sponsor in 2016 and look forward to seeing the team excel across the country.”
For 2016, Cylance-Incycle will continue its focus on the domestic criterium calendar and select road races. With the Cylance Pro Cycling women's team focusing on an international schedule and helping riders prepare for the 2016 Olympics, the men's team will provide more opportunities to engage with the US audience.
“With the men's team, I think it's about, from a domestic perspective, going out and really being able to engage Cylance, Inc., with the fans of cycling throughout the United States,” Kem said. “The men's team is really going to give Cylance the US foot print in terms of Cylance's investment in cycling. And so it's not so much about being men and women, it's more about broadening our reach as a whole.”
Clarke, who has ridden for UnitedHealthcare since 2010, has been one of the most prolific winners on the US criterium circuit in recent years. He'll find new challenges trying to match that record without the benefit of UnitedHealthcare's vaunted “Blue Train” lead out, but Kem said Clarke is excited about the challenge.
“Hilton is really excited to be able to work with some younger riders, some up-and-coming riders,” Kem said. “And the domestic calendar is really wide open right now.”
Cylance-Incycle will focus on USA Cycling’s National Events Calendar, starting with the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California April 6-10.
Cyclance-Incycle p/b Cannondale 2016 roster: Hilton Clarke, Andres Diaz, Orlando Garibay, Cory Greenberg, Hunter Grove, Josh Ruiz, Deigo Sandoval, Cory Williams, Justin Williams, Camilo Zambrino