UCI Continental team Bissell Pro Cycling recently announced signing two newcomers, Carter Jones from Trek-Livestrong and Chris Barton from BMC Racing. The talented duo will add youth and experience to the domestic program during top-level stage races in 2012.
Jones, 22, had a successful season under the guidance of Axel Merckx with the UCI Continental under 23 Trek-Livestrong team. He is a valuable member of the under 23 US National Team in overseas stage races. He comes with ample experience on the domestic circuit, having also competed under the UCI Continental outfit Jelly Belly p/b Kenda in 2010.
“I moved from Trek to Bissell because Bissell will allow me to enter higher level races to further my development,” Jones told Cyclingnews. “I am unsure of what my role will be with Bissell, the team has a very experienced group of leaders that will be able to guide me through the season. The past two years I have had some big ups and downs, but next year I would like to be reliable throughout the season.”
Jones’ ambition is to improve his ability and bring consistent top performances during stage races under the guidance of several potential mentors on the Bissell roster. The team recently announced its roster to include US National Criterium Champion Eric Young, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Chris Baldwin, Frank Pipp, Jeremy Vennell, Chase Pinkham, Andrew Dahlheim, Patrick Bevin and Andy Baker. Noticeably absent from the roster is Andy Jacques-Maynes who has signed with a new team, to be announced soon.
Barton, 23, brings ample experience to the domestic team having competed for the previous three season on the WorldTour circuit with ProTeam team BMC Racing. Both Jones and Barton will add to the team’s overall classification strength in both domestic level and UCI-sanctioned events.
Bissell was ranked the number one team in the country, having secured the overall title at the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) series this year. It is a consistent contender in the nation’s top stages races including the Tour of California, Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge, among others.
“I am also looking forward to experiencing the big US races like California, Utah, and Colorado,” Jones said. “Bissell's past participation and success as a domestic team in these races is a big reason why I joined the program. If I am selected for these races, I will look to the veterans on the team to help me determine realistic goals.”