For racers in the southeast the red and black kits of the Hincapie Development squad have been a constant sight in the peloton. The squad has mostly focused on regional events with a few forays to bigger races such the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico with Hincapie Devo rider Mike Stone and a trip to Bend, Oregon for junior nationals with Blair Turner finishing 5th in the 17-18 year old’s road race. However for 2011 the team is stepping up a notch.
The team has the support of a new a sponsor, Mark Holowesko of Holowesko Partners. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Holowesko is on the jersey of the ProTour team of Garmin-Cervélo. So why has the backer of a ProTour team decided to invest in the Hincapie Development squad?
“I’m proud of the way Rich and George (Hincapie) have grown their development program over the last few years,” said Holowesko. “I’m passionate about cycling and I am involved on many levels. Programs like the Hincapie Development Team are important for the sport, and I’m happy to help them provide opportunities for young cyclists.”
Team leader and president of Hincapie Sportswear Rich Hincapie echoed that statement.
“We have been growing the sport and developing young talent through our Hincapie Devo Team for many years,” said Rich Hincapie, Team Leader and president of Hincapie Sportswear. “We’re very pleased to welcome Holowesko Partners to our program for 2011. With their generous support, we can provide more opportunities for our riders and really help them progress to the next level of the sport. My brother, George, and I understand how far you can go in this sport when you have quality opportunities, and we’re proud to provide support to these talented young cyclists.”
Also joining the team in 2011 is Steve Carpenter, a USA Cycling Level 2 coach, who will be serving as team director.
“We have all had visions of what this program could be, and with our new sponsor support, we are in a position to take the team to the next level, explains Carpenter. “We’ve had great success graduating riders to the top professional level and that trend is sure to continue with our increased resources. I truly believe that we have one of the best development programs in the country.”
Riders who have graduated from the Hincapie Development squad and made that step to professional racing includes Craig Lewis (HTC-Highroad) and Chris Butler (BMC).
Presently a four man squad of Hincapie Devo riders are racing in the Tour of the Bahamas. This is a three stage race which includes a time trial, circuit race and a road race on the last day.