It’s time once again for our roundup of the American performances in the pro peloton. February, unlike January, actually yielded success for our rising stars, albeit there wasn’t a lot of opportunity in January for wins.
Starting off Down Under at the Herald Sun Tour, UnitedHealthcare’s star signing Travis McCabe took a sprint win on Stage 3, securing the first American win of the year. Teammate Tanner Putt (the Polar Bear) took an extremely impressive 3rd place from the breakaway on Stage 2, winning a small group sprint behind solo winner Luke Rowe (SKY) and chaser Connor Dunne (Aqua Blue).
Heading over to what was an exciting Middle Eastern season, even with the departure of the Tour of Qatar. The Dubai Tour didn’t yield any wins for the three Americans Ian Boswell (SKY), Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo), and Joey Rosskopf (BMC), as all three worked hard for their teammates. Ian Boswell being a climber didn’t fare well in the flat desert of Dubai, especially with the cancellation of the stage 4 climb. Reijnen, however, played an integral part in teammate John Degenkolb’s win on Stage 3.
The Tour of Oman yielded no results for the Americans, but in the World Tour level Abu Dhabi Tour, Kiel Reijnen managed to snag a ninth place the Stage 4 criterium around the Yas Marina F1 circuit, as well as play a huge role in teammate Bauke Mollema’s 4th place on GC.
In the early stage races in Europe, BMC, an American registered World Tour team, took the opening Team Time Trial in Valencia, albeit with no Americans racing. Two individual time trials took place simultaneously, one in Algarve and the other in Andalucia. For the Algarve, US TT champ Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac) finished 22nd, 56 seconds down on European TT Champ Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar). Evan Huffman of Rally Cycling was 17th at 47 seconds down. In Spain though, Chad Haga (Sunweb) took 11th in the TT, 32 seconds down on Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL).
In the smaller Volta ao Alentejo, Axeon Hagens Berman opened their season up in fine fashion as the 2015 Tour of Utah stage winner Logan Owen took his second career win on Stage 4. He also finished 6th on the GC, 1 second behind Axeon teammate Eddie Dunbar of Ireland. Colin Joyce, the former Axeon rider who now rides for Rally Cycling, snagged 3rd in a field sprint on Stage 2.
The final stage race of the month was the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia. UHC’s Travis McCabe took two sprint wins on stage 2 and 8 (his second and third of the year) as well as two more podiums in the eight stage race.
The spring classic races started this month with the Belgian Opening Weekend races of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Taylor Phinney was due to start but removed himself from the startlist due to knee trouble ahead of the race. Tyler Williams of the Israel Cycling Academy was the only American starter of the races, but failed to finish either race.
As for the women’s Opening Weekend, US National Champ and 2016 Women’s World Tour winner Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) took home 21st at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, having worked for her teammate Chantal Blaak’s second place. Alexis Ryan (Canyon SRAM) and Allie Dragoo (Cervelo-Bigla) finished the race in a domestique role. The Omloop van het Hageland on Sunday featured a strong move by Team Sunweb that featured 2016 Joe Martin Stage Race winner Coryn Rivera. The sprinter was pulled in around 5km to go, and failed to finish the race. Megan Guarnier suffered a crash that took her out of the race as well.
The Track World Cup started up again this month, firstly in Cali, Colombia, then heading to Los Angeles. Sarah Hammer took home 5th in the Omnium in Cali. Chloe Dygart took the Individual Pursuit in LA, with the US Women winning the Team Pursuit as well.
This month proved to be great for the young Americans, with 4 wins and the providing of tough competition in races. As for the seasoned pros, the domestique role they have been playing has worked out well for their teams. More to come in March!
-Grupetto Chat America