As the transfer season draws to an end, 2012 season contracts for Southeast based pros are becoming public. Greenville’s George Hincapie will continue to ride for BMC in 2012 as is Athens, Georgia teammate Brent Bookwalter. However, his two other Southeast teammates are moving on: John Murphy and Chris Butler. Murphy also of Athens, Georgia is transferring to Kenda/5-Hour Energy in 2012. An email to Butler asking about his 2012 plan wasn’t returned. The Furman University grad showed he has the power to be an asset to any team, so look for him to reappear in the professional peloton.
While not a Southeast native, Italian Davide Frattini of the UnitedHealthcare Pro squad calls Asheville, North Carolina his home and will once again part of the Blue Train in 2012.
Team director Mike Tamayo in a press release boasted how Frattini and teammate Brad White are some of the best breakaway riders in the peloton. Frattini is expecting a baby with his wife, Cyclingnews.com reporter Kristen later this year. Sounds like Davide will have a busy off-season.
Furman University student and Bissell pro Andy Baker has also re-signed for an additional year to the Bissell team.
In a team press release team director Omer Kem says, “With a smaller and deeper roster, Bissell will be capable of really jelling as a team in 2012.”
Craig Lewis has been part of the very successful HTC-Highroad squad for most of his professional career; however, the team is folding at the end of the year. Fortunately, Lewis has announced that he has signed with a new squad for next year. One that will allow him to race in Europe and the States, as well as give him a chance at a leadership role – something he didn’t have at HTC-Highroad.
Talking to Cyclingnews.com Lewis said, “I wasn’t going to go to any random team. This team showed me a lot of belief and a lot of respect. I will have a leadership role, and it will give me more freedom. What more can you ask for from a team?” The 26-year old hasn’t revealed the squad’s name yet, but an official announcement should be coming soon.
In addition to a new team Lewis is also moving to a new state. His wife Courtney has taken a new job located in Boulder, Colorado necessitating the move. Carolina Cycling News wishes the Lewises good luck.
Before many of these riders made the jump to the professional ranks they honed their skills in the junior category. If you are coaching juniors or are interested in junior development, there is an excellent opportunity in Southeast to meet others in the field and learn from the experts. The USAC’s first Junior Cycling Conference and will be held on Oct 22-23 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD and co-author of “Bike Racing for Juniors” will be the lead presenter for the conference. Ralph Frazier of Frazier Cycling in Atlanta will be presenting, “The advantages of using the team approach to coaching and training junior cyclists”.
Coach Frazier has been successful training and developing junior cyclists ages 10-18 for 9 years using a coaching philosophy based on team training. His program has grown to be the largest in the southeast and has produced 6 national championship titles.