Rally Cycling presented their Professional Continental men's and UCI Women's teams in California on Sunday. Each rider was presented on stage at the Pedalers Fork in Calabasas. The presentation coincided with an annual warm-weather training camp. The men's team camp was held from January 10 to 20 and the women's team camp from January 19 to 31.
The men's team moved up from a Continental team to the Professional Continental division for the first time in their eleven seasons on the circuit. The 2018 men's roster includes Ryan Anderson, Jesse Anthony, Rob Britton, Robin Carpenter, Matteo Dal-Cin, Adam de Vos, Nigel Ellsay, Charles Bradley Huff, Evan Huffman, Colin Joyce, Ty Magner, Brandon McNulty, Kyle Murphy, Emerson Oronte, Danny Pate, Eric Young.
"The men's team has done more miles and harder efforts than they have done in the past, since they are getting ready for the racing in the Middle East and Europe," Communications Director Tom Soladay told Cyclingnews. "All of the WorldTour teams are already racing in Australia and Argentina, so it's important that the guys got everything out of this camp."
The women's team will showcase one of their strongest rosters to date beginning at the Valley of the Sun. They announced their women's roster in November to include US criterium champion Erica Allar, Sara Bergen, Allison Beveridge, Kelly Catlin, Gillian Ellsay, Heidi Franz, Megan Heath, Kirsti Lay, Katherine Maine, Abigail Mickey, Summer Moak, Sara Poidevin and Emma White.
"We have some of our women's team preparing for the world championship on the track and in cyclo-cross," Soladay said. "We have a few full-time students. The rest of the team, eight riders, are here at camp until the end of the month."
The Rally Cycling men's and women's teams have already united at the end of 2017 for a 'winter camp' in Winter Park, Colorado. The riders spent time snow shoeing, paintballing, skiing and fatbike riding. The team unveiled their new orange jersey in December. Their time spent in California was meant specifically to train for the start of the season, Soladay said.
Mike Dimkich, guitarist for the rock band Bad Religion and former lead guitarist for The Cult, attended the presentation and the VIP ride. Dimkich lives a few kilometres away from the Pedalers Fork and has attended the team camp for several seasons. "He's a fan of cycling," Soladay said. "He's a friend of the team. But he didn't play for our presentation. I imagine that is a common request, so we just tried to play it cool. We saw him back stage and it was a really good time."
Following the team launch on January 19, the riders took advantage of the warm weather and joined a team-hosted VIP ride starting and ending at the Anza Hotel on January 20.
The VIP route took participants through the hills above Malibu and onto the famous Mulholland Highway. View images from the team camp, presentation and VIP ride in the gallery above.
Listen to the Cyclingnews podcast below, and for more episodes, click here.