The Arapahoe-Hincapie p/b BMC riders have wrapped up their spring training camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina and are preparing to head across the Atlantic for the Tour of Normandie in France, from March 25-31.
The nine team riders on the pared-down 2019 roster spent two weeks in Greenville, South Carolina, training on the same routes that retired pro and team founder George Hincapie – who also serves as the team’s general manager – rode while training for his own career.
Following the first week of camp, the team travelled to Georgia for the Tour of the Southern Highlands – an early season regional race where team riders took the top seven GC spots. Ben Wolfe, new to the team this year, took second in the opening time trial, while TJ Eisenhart, Brendan Rhim, Andzs Flaksis and Miguel Bryon all landed in the top 10.
Team riders then took the top nine spots at the evening criterium, followed by the top five spots in Saturday’s circuit race. And through the downpour of the last stage’s road race, Tanner Putt lived up to his 'Polar Bear' nickname and took first.
“Getting the team together and pulling the riders and staff from a training camp situation into a difficult three-day stage race was great for everyone," said team director Thomas Craven. "We were able to fine-tune the process and figure out where we need work.”
The team is coming down from its ascent to the Pro Continental ranks last year, when the then Holowesko-Citadel team fielded a 16-rider roster and started its season in South America at the Colombia Oro y Paz. The departure of title sponsors Holowesko and Citadel, however, meant a step back to the Continental level this year for the the team that has raced at UCI level since 2012.
After Normandie, the team will stay in France for La Roue Tourangelle on April 7 and the Circuit des Ardennes from April 12-14. A trip to the Netherlands on April 20 for the Arno Wallaard Memorial is next, followed by the Tour de Bretagne in France from April 25 to May 1. The South Carolina camp allowed a chance for the riders to meet up ahead of the big trek across the Atlantic.
“I feel really good about how the team and staff have come together over the last two weeks,” Craven said. “This time together lays the foundation to the success we want to have this season. Although we’re a smaller team this year, we’re still just as crazy.”
Arapahoe-Hincapie p/b BMC for 2019: Miguel Bryon, Andrew Dahlheim, TJ Eisenhart, Andz Flaksis, Seth Jones, Justin Oien, Tanner Putt, Brendan Rhim, Ben Wolfe