TJ Eisenhart will continue with Holowesko-Citadel next year as the US team applies for Pro Continental status. Eisenhart announced on Twitter Monday that he will be staying with his 'family' for the 2018 season.
The 23-year-old American signed with the Continental team last year after several years racing in Europe with the BMC Development Team. Eisenhart blossomed this season on his new team, sporting a large turquoise necklace and developing a self-described 'hippie' persona while notching wins and top places in several high-profle US races.
"Holowesko-Citadel has really encouraged me to be myself," Eisenhart said in a team press release announcing the Pro Continental application. "On this team, I'm able to be 100 per cent me and not hold back, and that translates to my riding. The team respects that, and it's why I've had a lot of success this year."
Eisenhart started the early season with an overall win at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, then finished third overall at the Tour of the Gila, where he finished second in the time trial to overall winner Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling). The team missed out on an invitation to the Tour of California, but Eisenhart bounced back with fourth in the Queen stage and second in the time trial at Tour de Beauce.
Eisenhart rode aggressively for a hard-fought 11th overall at the Tour of Utah, then followed it with second on the Queen stage and fourth overall at the inaugural Colorado Classic. He ended his season at the Tour of Alberta, where the team announced its Pro Continental plans.
"Rich and I started this team with the aim to help mentor young cyclists to the [WorldTour] circuit," team owner George Hincapie said of he and brother Rich's reasons for taking the team to the next level. "Advancing our team to Pro Continental is the natural next step and allows a more seamless transition to [the WorldTour] for each of the cyclists on the team."
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