AEVOLO TO ATTEND VALLEY OF THE SUN
February 14th, 2019
While half of the team is deep in Tour Colombia 2.1, four Aevolo riders will take the line at Valley of the Sun, a stage race known to attract a variety of domestic talent eager for early season racing miles.
The three-day race in Phoenix, held February 15-17, features a time trial, road race and criterium. It’s also the first time Jono Coulter officially steps into the role of team director in 2019.
“This program ended on a high in 2018,” Coulter said. “(Michael) Creed and the crew have used that momentum to build an awesome schedule for 2019, especially with Colombia happening right now.”
The roster includes returning riders Michael Hernandez, Tyler Stites, and Laurent Gervais. New signing for 2019, Andrew Vollmer rounds out the line-up.
“I’m chuffed to bring Hernandez, Vollmer, Stites and Gervais to this traditional North American season opener for a showdown against the top US-based squads. Valley of the Sun is a race where the teachers find out who has done their homework and who still needs to be taught a lesson. These lads are fast, and they’re hungry for success. I’ve already told them to bring their legs of steel and will of iron so no doubt they’ll take that to heart and show the peloton what champs are made of.”
For Hernandez, it will be his fourth trip to Phoenix for the Valley of the Sun. He says he enjoys starting his season there because the racing is hard, the pressure is minimal, and opportunities arise that can’t be found in larger events.
“It feels like years ago since racing with the team back at Colorado, so I'm looking forward to throwing down with my guys again even if it is just a four-man team,” Hernandez said. “Most of the GC for Valley of the Sun is decided in the 14-mile time trial, so tactics should be pretty straight forward after the time trial sorts the pack out. I'm looking to give the road race and criterium a good go. Both these races have a history of finishing in a bunch or reduced group sprint so it will be nice to see where I'm at early in the season."
Winner of prestigious European junior race Ronde des Vallées last year, Vollmer said he’s anxious to clip in alongside his new Aevolo teammates.
“I’m looking forward to pinning on numbers and getting out to race with new teammates,” Vollmer said. “This is my fourth consecutive year racing Valley of the Sun, and it’s always a nice early season race to dust off some cobwebs. I’m aiming to perform well in the time trial, do my best to help out my teammates in the road race and crit, while gaining experience racing in the Pro/1 field.
Racing starts February 15 with a 14-mile time trial. More info on the race can be found at www.wmrc.org/news/2019-valley-of-the-sun-stage-race/.