After five years at Continental level, US-based Aevolo cycling team announced they will drop down from the pro level and race in 2022 as a domestic elite squad. The squad will continue as a development programme and will return just three riders for its roster of nine next season, the team announced on Thursday.
Returning to Aevolo are Americans Aidan McNeil and Gabriel Shipley along with Canadian U23 time trial champion Tristan Jussaume. The new riders are all from the US and include Cole Lewis, who won the California road race state championship as a Cat 2 rider, Sean Guydish, Cooper Johnson and a trio of 18-year-olds, Matthew Warren, Tobias Klein, and Luca Scuriatti.
Team Director Michael Creed said the team’s shift to amateur status in 2022 will provide the team more flexibility for logistics, such as roster moves and racing options, while still allowing for rider development across North America and abroad.
“With our objectives shifting towards European racing and no guarantee of any .1 races happening in the States, it makes sense to not bind ourselves to UCI regulations of roster sizes, mid-year transfers and/or not being able to do some U23 races while in Europe," Creed said in a team press release.
"I understand that this could look like a slide backward from the outside, but this is a step up for us.”
Last year as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic shut down pro racing in the US and disrupted the world calendar, Aevolo expanded its programme from U23 to U24 to cover riders who would have aged out of the team during the shutdown. This kept options open for five riders, including Gage Hecht, who won the 2018 US U23 time trial national title.
After the 2020 Sun Tour, the team did not race together again until the 2021 Tour of Rhodes in Greece.
"We can take a lot from this race though. [Gage] Hecht and a couple of the guys had good time trials on stage 1 and we were in a position to get a top-five overall but then we had three flats and crash within the space of about eight kilometres and it all went to hell but without that, we'd have two guys in the top 10 and one in the top-five,” Creed told Cyclingnews after the three-day stage race.
The team was able to take two stage wins at the Joe Martin Stage Race in August - Tyler Stites winning stage 2 and Hecht winning the individual time trial and securing second on GC - and Scott McGill took a turn in the polka dot jersey at Travers les Hauts de France in September.
Next season Hecht will race for Rally Cycling and McGill has signed for Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling, while Stites will move to Project Echelon.
Among the returning riders from this past season, Shipley will turn 20 in January and the Montana native looks forward to a full schedule.
"As a rider returning for my second year on Aevolo, I'm looking forward to racing with the squad over in Europe," Shipley said. "This year, I was exposed to the frantic European style of racing under the wings of my experienced Aevolo teammates, and I'm excited to lay the foundation with the new squad I will grow with for the next three seasons."
Aevolo roster 2022
- Sean Guydish
- Cooper Johnson
- Tristan Jussaume
- Tobias Klein
- Cole Lewis
- Aiden McNeil
- Luca Scuriatti
- Gabriel Shipley
- Matthew Warren
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