When the time comes for the #crossiscoming hashtag to start heating up, it also means it’s time for riders to start announcing new teams, new sponsors and new plans for the upcoming season.
Earlier in the spring, we saw the announcement of a merger of the Pauwels Sauzen and Marlux – Bingoal teams in Europe, and today, we have a look at what will be new on the domestic scene in 2019.
Keough to Race in Europe
Back when we wrote about the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld team, team owner Stu Thorne indicated he could see his Elite riders racing in Europe in the near future.
Kaitie Keough verified that she will be the first one to make the move to Europe. Keough will be joined by husband Luke and Lucy the dog in Belgium following the U.S. World Cups to race a full European calendar.
Keough’s decision follows a trend for North American women, with her mentor Katie Compton coming off her second-straight season in Europe and Maghalie Rochette living and racing in the Motherland from Canadian Nationals onward last year.
Changes for Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru
The coming season will bring changes for the successful Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru program. The Colorado-based team has counted some of the top young cyclocross talent in the country among its riders, including Gage Hecht, Katie Clouse, Brannan Fix, Lauren Zoerner and Turney Ramsay.
Earlier this spring, the team announced that Hecht and Clouse will be moving to new teams. To fill the roster, the team has added Ross Ellwood to its Elite team, and Lauren Zoerner, winner of two National Championships in 2018, graduates to the Elite team as she moves into the Junior 17-18 category.
Pivot Cycles – Maxxis, Pivots
Last year, the Pivot Cycles – Maxxis p/b Stan’s/DNA Cycling was headed up by Courtenay McFadden, Sofia Gomez Villafane and Jamey Driscoll.
The 2019 roster will also feature some changes. McFadden returns as the team’s lead rider, and she will be joined by Grant Ellwood and Ruby West. West raced for Specialized / TenSpeed Hero last year, but as we learned from Sarah Sturm after her BWR win, the program has switched to a gravel focus for 2019.
Driscoll is moving on to his own program, and Gomez Villafane will be taking the season off from cyclocross to focus on qualifying for the 2020 Toyko XCO Olympics.
New Tires for Tobin
When we interviewed Tobin Ortenblad about riding Vittoria tires, he described himself as a “tire geek.” We saw Ortenblad running Challenge tires at Lost and Found, and he verified that he has signed a deal to race on the company’s handmade tubulars this coming cyclocross season.
Ortenblad raced—and won—Lost and Found despite suffering a second broken collarbone at the beginning of May. In another sign he is recovering quickly, Ortenblad said he plans on racing the Tour of America’s Dairyland crit series that starts this week and the Breck Epic in August.
Benny Hops Gets 🦑
Last season, Ben Gomez Villafane raced for the Garneau – Easton p/b Transitions LifeCare team alongside riders such as Michael van den Ham and Eric Zaveta during his first season as a U23 rider.
The new season brings a new home for Gomez Villafane, as he will be joining Anthony Clark, Sammi Runnels and Emily Kachorek on the Squid Squad. Joining Squid, of course, means a chance to paint your own bike.
McGovern, Hollicky Team Up in Coaching Biz
Ortenblad’s coach Chris McGovern announced that he will be joining Grant Holicky‘s Forever Endurance coaching program. When he is not busy building bikes, McGovern has run his Cycleution Coaching business. Both McGovern and Holicky has strong backgrounds in cyclocross, and McGovern is expected to enhance the company’s background in the discipline.
Got more team news or rumors to be rumbled about? You can reach us at news [at] cxmagazine [dot] com.