united_health_care_professional_cycling_2014One of the best-kept secrets in Asheville may be the fact that perhaps the premier professional cycling team in the U.S. is based right here. They are the UnitedHealthCare Professional Cycling team, and they will be holding a training camp in Asheville from Dec. 5-15.

Be on the lookout, and you’ll likely see the fully-supported team on training rides around the area (with trailing vans and all). You’ll also have the chance to hang with the team during a Dec. 8 public event at The Orange Peel. Asheville native Lauren Tamayo, a silver medalist in the 2012 London Olympics, is a member of the team, and her husband, Mike Tamayo, is team manager.

Here’s the info on The Orange Peel event:

With the core of the 2014 roster returning and the addition of exciting new talent, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is ready to hit the road in 2015 for another outstanding season of racing. Come join the team as they officially present the 2015 roster and embark on another year of racing around the world. Now is your chance to meet some of the fastest riders in the sport, hailing from all over the world. An open bar is included with each ticket, so reserve yours today to become a part of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team history. You will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with all the riders, including:

– GC leader and Grand Tour rider Janez Brajkovic

– Olympic Silver Medalist and Asheville resident Lauren Tamayo

– 2014 USA National Criterium Champion and Asheville resident John Murphy

– 2014 USA National Criterium Champion Coryn Rivera

– USA Pro Challenge Sprint Jersey and Stage 1 Winner Kiel Reijnen

– New Zealand National Champions Linda Villumsen and Rushlee Buchanan

One of the most successful teams in the sport of professional cycling, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is carrying the momentum from a groundbreaking 2014 season and is set to build on that success with an even brighter 2015. The team launched an all-new and hugely successful women’s program in 2014, which earned overall victories at stage races like the Tour de Femenino de San Luis, Vuelta El Salvador, and Tour of the Gila, then went on to win all three of the US national championship jerseys. The men of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team expanded their European racing schedule in 2014 to participate in multiple WorldTour events, including Milan – San Remo, E3 Harelbeke, Paris-Roubaix, and La Fléche Wallonne. The men also saw great success in the United States, winning the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, the opening stage and sprinter’s jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, along with the US national criterium championship. Side-by-side, the men and women of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train took numerous high-profile criterium victories throughout the country as they dominated the USA Crit Series.

The team just announced its men roster, which is stacked with cycling stars. Click over to Cycling Illustrated to read about the United Health Care Professional Cycling team’s 2015 roster. From the story:

Always looking to the future, the team has signed promising young talent in Tanner Putt and Federico Zurlo. Young American Tanner Putt joins the program as the US U23 national road champion. He made his mark in the U23 World Championship road race, taking 13th in the finale for Team USA. With top-ten results at the 2014 Tour of Utah, 2014 U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Tanner shows signs of a very bright future. Federico Zurlo joined the team as a stagiaire for the 6-stage 2014 Tour of Denmark, where he managed 2nd in the King of the Mountains classification behind teammate John Murphy. With dozens of victories in the junior and U23 ranks, 20-year-old Federico has shown the drive and tenacity that the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team seeks in a young, up-and-coming rider.

General manager Mike Tamayo commented, “We have a well-rounded and immensely capable squad assembled for 2015. When you have a sponsorship commitment into the future, like that of UnitedHealthcare, we have to think beyond results of today.  We have hired some impressive talents for 2015 but also hired some young up-and-coming riders for the future. We’re excited to hit the road and start racing.”

Image link for United Health Care Professional Cycling team.

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