Canyon-Shimano will be Continental team in 2017

The US domestic peloton got a boost Tuesday with the announcement that Canyon-Shimano will move from amateur elite to the UCI Continental level for 2017.

The Utah-based team joins CCB Velotooler and the Aevolo development team among the US programs that have declared they will seek Continental licenses for the first time next season.

The team has been competing domestically since 1994, first regionally and then stepping up to the national level in 2009. During the 2010 Tour of Utah, Francisco Mancebo competed with the team as a guest rider, finishing second behind Levi Leipheimer and ahead of third-placed Ian Boswell.

Following several successful seasons on the national calendar, team owner Mike Pratt decided it was time to go to the Continental level.

"With the team's current momentum, it seemed like the right time to do this," Pratt said. "I want to do my part to grow this sport in the US. I could not be happier with our squad this year, both our returning riders and our impressive new guys."

For its inaugural year on the Continental level, the team brought on board Chad Beyer from the now-defunct Lupus Racing team, Rob Squire from Holowesko-Citadel, Cory Greenberg from Cylance-Incycle and Australian Chris Winn from Satalyst Verve Racing Team.

Returning riders include Cortlan Brown, Michael Burleigh, Steve Fisher, Kaler Marshall and Eric Slack. Alan Schmitz will return as director.

Beyer had a resurgent year in 2016, racing on Lupus alongside Chris Horner. He scored top 10 finishes at Tour of the Gila, the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, the Winston-Salem Classic and the US pro road race.

Squire raced with Holowesko the past two years following stints at Jamis, Amore & Vita, Ceramica Flaminia and Chipotle. He finished ninth at the Tour of Utah this year, was fifth in Philly and took the mountains jersey at the Tour de Beauce.

Greenberg spent 2016 with Cylance-Incycle contesting criteriums across the country. He won the River Parks Criterium and its infamous multiple ascents of Cry Baby Hill at Tulsa Tough.

Winn spent part of the year with Australian Continental team Satalyst Verve but also competed in the US as a guest rider with several teams.

"Chris joined us periodically last year and was a great addition," the team said in its announcement. "This year we decided to make it official. Chris brings his tireless work ethic, great knowledge of the sport and constant upbeat personality to cap off a very exciting roster for 2017."

The team is sponsored by Canyon Bicycles, a chain of shops in the Salt Lake City area, and component manufacturer Shimano. The team will ride Scott Bicycles in 2017 while contesting USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour as well as a handful of international events.

Canyon Bicycles-Shimano 2017 roster:
Chad Beyer, Cortlan Brown, Michael Burleigh, Steve Fisher, Cory Greenberg, Kaler Marshall, Erik Slack, Rob Squire, Chris Winn

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