The Rally UHC Pro Continental squad have scored a coveted wildcard invitation to La Flèche Wallonne, organisers ASO announced on Tuesday. The American team were surprised by the nod, which came alongside Belgian teams Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Wallonie-Bruxelles, and Sport Vlaanderen Baloise, and well-established European squads such as Cofidis, Euskadi-Murias and the ambitious Israel Cycling Academy squad.
"We worked our tails off for 12 years to build this program and now we've received an invitation to one of the most prestigious races in the world," performance director Jonas Carney said.
"It was a big surprise. We did not expect to receive this invitation but once it was confirmed, we were elated."
The 83rd edition of La Flèche Wallonne will take place on April 24th, starting in Seraing, and finishing this year with an additional lap of the closing circuit that includes the Côte d'Ereffe, Côte de Cherave, and the final ascent of the Mur de Huy.
"The level of competition at Flèche is incredibly high and most of our riders have never done this race," Carney said. "It's a big ask of our team to get a result, but you can trust that we'll be swinging for the fences."
Rally UHC is kicking off the 2019 season in Europe at the Challenge Mallorca, Volta Valenciana, Vuelta a Murcia and Clasica Almeria, before sending teams to both Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol and the Tour of Oman.
The squad will decide upon its La Flèche Wallonne roster following the Ruta del Sol.