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Photo: Casey B. Gibson

December 27th, 2016

Aevolo Cycling, North America’s new development team, officially unveiled its roster, sponsors and mission on Tuesday. The team is a non-profit project managed by former American professional cyclist Mike Creed, built on passion, promise and professionalism.

Reigning junior road champion Gage Hecht (USA), recently crowned U23 cyclocross champion Lance Haidet (USA) and Zeke Mostov, the bronze medalist in the junior men’s time trial at the 2013 Road World Championships are among the most familiar names on the squad. The 10-strong roster consists of six Americans, two Canadians, one Mexican and one Basque rider.

All riders manage school or other educational obligations alongside training and racing. The student-athlete approach emphasizes a commitment to intellectual curiosity and broader human development that far outlasts an athletic career.
“There are a limited of number of professional contracts available,” said Creed. “I believe in my guys and their potential. I also believe it is my job to support the full range of their development should they choose a different path.”

The project was founded by Steven van der Zwan, who has been involved in several cycling teams and organizations over the last decade. His involvement was motivated by a gap in professional teams available for developing riders.

“Despite a growing amount of talent coming up through the junior ranks in recent years, most development teams have collapsed or merged into one remaining elite-level development team in the United States,” noted Van der Zwan. “Many young riders end up shoe-horned into teams that are too single-mindedly focused on delivering race results to their sponsors rather than nurturing rider development. We felt another elite development team was sorely needed.”

The foundation for the team’s stability lies in the three-year deal funded by a collective donor model rather than the traditional title sponsor model.

“We have built and are continuing to build a group of donors who are passionate about supporting cycling development and youth development in general,” said Van der Zwan. “Although we certainly need to expand that group, we believe that this donor model will provide the team with a great deal of stability in the years to come.”

Product sponsorship comes from a group of industry partners that have raised their hands to support the newest kid on the North American pro peloton block.

Aevolo’s primary technical partners are HIA Velo and Shimano. A new premium bike brand, HIA Velo has provided the team’s custom green frame sets. Shimano is supplying componentry, pedals and shoes. Additional partners include: Kallisto Sportswear (cycling apparel), GU Energy (gels and hydration), Bonk Breaker (energy and protein bars), Clement Cycling (tires), Arundel (bottle cages), Fice (casual apparel), Thule (vehicle racks) and Selle SMP (saddles).

The team will make its debut at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas in late March.
“It’s a traditional Pro Road Tour calendar from there,” said Creed. “We’ll also race the U23 National Championships, Tour de Beauce and GP Saguenay. I hope to see our young guys making their mark on the early season events with an aggressive and gutsy style of racing. The goal is to earn an invite to the Tour of Utah. Invites to the Tour of Colorado and Virginia would also be sweet.”

Creed’s definition of success is broader than most. While a Tour of Utah invite ranks high among the boxes he hopes to tick, a specific perception of Aevolo within the peloton is another main goal.

“What we hope to achieve this year goes beyond a quantifiable measure of success, like a result,” said Creed. “I want to have the feeling that we belong – from other teams, from riders, from directors. If there’s the sense that we’re a team worth going to, an attractive team for other riders, and that people know we run a good program, I can say we had a successful first season.”

2017 Aevolo Cycling Roster

Jack Burke (CAN)

Jokin Extabe Leturia (ESP)

Laurent Gervais (CAN)

Lance Haidet (USA)

Gage Hecht (USA)

Michael Hernandez (USA)

Zeke Mostov (USA)

Luis Ricardo Villalobos (MEX)

Jason Salzman (USA)

Tyler Stites (USA)

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