Three of Arizona’s top four men’s cycling talents will ride for new teams next year.
National crit champion Eric Marcotte and Travis McCabe, both who rode two years for SmartStop Pro Cycling, are splitting up after SmartStop announced it would disband at the end of the season.
Tucson’s McCabe, 26, will ride for Holowesko-Citadel, formerly known as Hincapie Racing, the team announced Tuesday.
“Hincapie was the best team in the U.S. this year, and I love their aggressive style of racing,” McCabe said. “I find myself to thrive in scenarios like that. I have a lot of friends on that team and get along with everyone, which is crucial for team chemistry.”
Holowesko-Citadel chief sports director Thomas Craven said the team never has been built around one strong rider.
“We excel at tough races, work hard for teammates, and celebrate success together,” Craven said. “Andrei [Krasilnikau], Brendan [Rhim] and Travis will fit well with our aggressive style and team-first approach.”
McCabe without Marcotte
McCabe said it will be different racing without Marcotte, but he welcomes change.
“I’m just really excited for a change and having another chance to race and do what I love,” McCabe said. “I wouldn’t say I’m sad that Eric and I won’t be racing together, but it will definitely be different. And no I’m not looking forward to racing against him. [Lucas] Haedo now has one of the best lead-out guys in the country.”
Scottsdale’s Marcotte, 35, will ride for Jamis, a team for which he can play a strong role as a lead out or sprinter depending on the race, according to Jamis’ team manager Sebastian Alexandre.
“I was missing a lead-out rider for Haedo or another sprinter that Haedo could work for,” Alexandre told Cycling News. He said Marcotte’s aggressive style of racing, work ethic and love of the sport would be a good fit for Jamis.
Eaton and McNulty’s future plans
Mesa’s Danny Eaton, who will age out of his U23 status, and thus, the U23 team Axeon Pro Cycling, signed with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling.
He said signing for United Healthcare was an easy decision.
“It’s one of the best pro [continental] programs out there, and as an American it made perfect sense,” Eaton said. “They came to me after the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge with a great offer that I couldn’t pass up. I think for next season I am most excited about doing pro races in Europe and learning as much as I can about what it means to be a pro cyclist.”
Brandon McNulty, a top junior talent, will stick with Lux Development. McNulty took bronze in the UCI World Road Championships junior individual time trial.