Team Illuminate, represented by a UCI women's team and a men's Continental team, has finalised the 2019 rosters for both squads, posting an update on Twitter Wednesday from 2013 Vuelta a España champion Chris Horner, who says he may make "a couple appearances" with the team this summer if his health allows.
The team previously announced signing Colombian climber Rodolfo Torres from Androni Giocattoli. Torres spent the past three seasons with the Italian Pro Continental team after coming up through the Colombian national team. The 31-year-old was second overall at the 2015 Tour de San Luis, and he was second to Fränk Schleck in a stage of the 2015 Vuelta a España. He's also ridden the Giro d'Italia twice and was third at the Vuelta a San Juan in both 2017 and 2018.
Torres will join fellow Colombians Camilo Castiblanco and Felix Baron on the 2019 Illuminate men's roster, which also includes newcomer Steven Kalf from Estonia, sprinter Martin Laas from Estonia and Americans Aria Kiani, Cameron Piper and Jack Duncan.
Horner, who rode for Team Illuminate precursor Airgas-Safeway in 2015, stepped away from racing in 2017 but joined Illuminate last year in June before the USPro championships and then competed with the team in Colombia and Romania.
In a video the team posted on Wednesday, Horner addresses his wish to race with the team again this year.
"Hey guys," Horner says while standing on the porch of his home in Oregon. "It looks like this year maybe if I get lucky I'll do a little bit of appearances with Illuminate cycling team again. We'll see what's going on on the horizon or something. Maybe this summer or something like that, but at the moment, you can see there's snow here in Bend, Oregon, so I'm on the trainer."
Horner says he still may need surgery to correct the breathing problems he's dealt with since 2014.
"I'm probably getting ready to go under the knife," he says. "The surgeon's going to do some work on the stomach to help the lungs out with the acid reflux, so if that works out good I'll start some training and maybe do a couple appearances with Illuminate."
The nine-rider Illuminate women's roster includes riders from the US, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Cuba and Colombia. Returning from the 2018 squad are Americans Amity Gregg and Lexie Millard, along with Rebecca Beaumont of Canada, Stephanie Subercaseaux of Cuba, Shoko Kashiki of Japan, and Kulacha Chairin of Tailand.
Colombians Tatiana Duenas and Jessenia Meneses join American Daphne Karagianis among the newcomers on the 2019 roster.
Although both teams are registered in the US, they rarely race stateside, choosing instead to compete around the globe. In 2018, Team Illuminate raced in 10 countries on four continents.
2019 Team Illuminate men: Felix Baron,Camilo Castiblanco, Jack Duncan, Chris Horner, Steven Kalf, Aria Kiani, Martin Laas, Cameron Piper, Rodolfo Torres
2019 Team Illuminate women: Rebecca Beaumont, Kulacha Chairin, Tatiana Duenas, Daphne Karagianis, Shoko Kashiki, Jessenia Meneses, Lexi Millard and Stephanie Subercaseaux
STILL KICKIN'! The one and only @hornerakg completes Team Illuminate's roster for 2019! It's a privilege to have the 2013 Vuelta a Espana champion continue to ride with us and we're looking forward to see him race whenever he's ready. GO, CHRIS! #illuminatethebikepic.twitter.com/rOaRmgXNRk— Team Illuminate (@Illuminatebike) January 9, 2019