Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quick Team Preview: Hincapie Racing Team

After coming on their most successful season to date, Hincapie Development is set for yet another strong year with most of the core roster back for another season under the direction of DS Thomas Craven.
The team lost a few key riders including Chris Butler, who transfers to Smartstop, and Joey Rosskopf, who impressed in Utah and Colorado and got a ride with BMC. Also departing the team are criterium monsters Alexander Ray and Alder Martz along with Jake King (younger brother of Ben) and Thomas Wrona.
The team returns with a strong core including UCI race winners in Robin Carpenter and Toms Skujins along with Kiwi strongman Dion Smith, Ty Magner, Oscar Clark, Miguel Bryon and Aussie Joe Lewis. Skujins should be aiming at more UCI wins after his overall win in Beauce so look for him on hillier courses. Carpenter is starting what will basically be his first professional season as every year up until now, he has been in school this time of year. He moved to San Diego and should be ripping once spring comes around.  Magner and Smith should take up the sprinting duties while Bryon should be getting into a few of the kicks.

While they lost two big riders in Rosskopf and Butler, they are gaining a good chunk of riders including climber Rob Squire, TT stud Mac Brennan, climber Jonathan Hornbeck, Division 2 Collegiate Criterium winner Charlie Hough and Latvian strongman Andzs Flaksis.

Squire had a rough go of it in Europe with Amore & Vita and Ceramica Flaminia but bounced back nicely with Jamis last year. He could be a GC threat is the stars align. Brennan was 2nd in the North Star GP TT and 5th at Elite Nationals TT. Hornbeck showed some promise in Beauce and Gila has had shitty luck with a shitty team like Kenda. Flaksis had a "down" year last year with Latvian Rietumu but when he is on, he is like a freight train, especially in time trials.

Prediction: 6 UCI wins (15 overall)

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