Slipstream Sports has announced that it will bolster its Chipotle Junior Development team and make it a year-round program for 14 to 18 years olds.
The development team has produced the likes of Peter Stetina in recent years and is designed to work as a feeder team to Team Chipotle, Slipstream's Continental squad, which in turn works as a feeder team for Garmin-Cervelo.
"The Pro and Continental teams give us great pride and show that our mission of ethical sport and bringing young talent to the forefront of pro cycling is working," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports. "We'll now be devoting even more effort and energy to our mission of developing the next generation of cycling champions."
"To me personally and to people who were involved in this project at the beginning, the development of young athletes is what gives us the greatest satisfaction. We want to give life to the dreams these kids have, and the skills they have, and help them on their path to the pro level," Williams said.
The Chipolte programme will also test the riders and how they handle a racing environment on and off the bike, with two European trips - 10 weeks in total - planned for the 2012 season.
The riders will compete in junior races as well as Category 1 and 2 races. The goal is to give riders the experience of the high-level races that they will likely be doing in the future.
Knop is one of the two "older" riders on the team - at 18 years old, he hails from Monument, Colorado, and was a member of the winning team at Tour L'Abitibi in 2010.