Durrin, Hoke, Anthony (Crystal) join Schouten in the orange and black for the team’s sophomore ‘cross season
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefits Strategies looks to keep the good times rolling after another successful road season, with excitement and expectations building before the team’s fast approaching second season of cyclocross.
As temperatures begin to fall, the Optum p/b KBS staff, mechanics, and riders are already well into their preparations for the upcoming ‘cross season. With an updated calendar, a renovated roster of dedicated riders, and the best supporting cast in the business, the Orange and Black are poised to improve upon the success of last years inaugural season, which was highlighted by Jade Wilcoxson’s runner-up at USA Cyclocross Nationals in Madison, WI and honor of representing the United States at the World Championships in Louisville, KY.
Fresh Faces for a New Season
As the only returning member of last season’s roster, longtime ‘cross veteran Tristan Schouten will be joined by three new athletes brought in to bolster the teams chances of winning races on the technical US circuit. Joining Schouten will be Mitchell Hoke, Jeremy Durrin, and Crystal Anthony.
“We are very excited about our ‘cross roster for this season,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “Jeremy Durrin and Mitch Hoke are two of the best up-and-coming North American cross racers, and Crystal Anthony has already proven she has what it takes to win.”
Hoke, long-time professional mountain bike racer (Kenda-Felt) who’s also represented the United States with the US National Team at U23 and Elite World Championships, is expected to make the transition to his Orbea Terra ‘cross bike and 33mm Challenge ‘cross tires with ease.
Durrin (formerly of JAM Fund-NCC) and Anthony (formerly of Cyclocrossworld) are both coming off successful 2012-13 ‘cross seasons. Both riders took the win on day one of the Bay State UCI CX last year (Durrin’s 1st UCI win) and bring to the team their experience and ability to win in the frigid, muddy conditions that epitomize the sport that is cyclocross.
The ‘cross team will be without road captain Alex Candelario, Mike Sherer, and Jesse Anthony (men’s Team) and Wilcoxson (women’s team), who will use the offseason to train and focus on the ’14 road season.
“By this point in the year Alex, Mike, Jesse, and Jade have left it all on the pavement through their extensive road programs, so we’ve decided to limit their ‘cross racing this season,” said Carney. “We want to protect our riders, as rest is pivotal to their success, but if there are races they’re passionate about doing, we’ll play it by ear and give them the freedom to do a race or two at their own discretion.”
Jesse Anthony, a self-declared “‘crosser at heart,” has revealed that he’s already registered for GP Gloucester in Gloucester, MA for the 15th season in a row, which doesn’t come entirely as a surprise; Jesse and Crystal, brother and sister, are both proud Bay Stater’s, born and raised in Massachusetts.
Wilcoxson, who enjoyed tremendous success last season in ‘cross, and this season on both the road and the track, winning the women’s elite road race at USA Road Nationals and the 3 kilometer individual pursuit at US Track Nationals, doesn’t expect to be racing ‘cross, instead opting to rest and recover from an exhausting season which will conclude with the TTT at the World Championships in Tuscany, Italy later this month.
2013 – 2014 Optum p/b KBS Cyclocross Team:
Jonas Carney – Cross Manager
Evan Mumford – Cross Mechanic
Mike Gavagan – Cross Mechanic
2013 – 2014 Optum p/b KBS Cyclocross Calendar:
Sept. 18: Cross Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
Sept. 21-22: Trek Collective Cup – Waterloo, WI
Sept. 28-29: Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
Oct. 5-6: Providence Cyclocross Festival – Providence, RI
Oct. 12-13: Colorado Cross Classic/Boulder Cup – Boulder, CO
Nov. 9-10: Sophisticated Living Derby City Cup – Louisville, KY
Nov. 15-17: The Jingle Cross Rock – Iowa City, IA
Dec. 7-8: Descutes Brewery Cup – Bend, OR
Jan. 11-12: USA National Championships – Boulder, CO