Rally Cycling is set to go back to the Old World for its second European campaign of 2017. The team, which started the season in Spain in early February, will return to Europe to close out an incredible year. Rally Cycling’s second European campaign will take the team to Austria, Italy and finally to France for the famed Tour du Gévaudan Languedoc-Roussillon.
Sepp Kuss, fresh off his second place overall at the Tour of Alberta, will lead the team. Strong all-arounders Jesse Anthony, Adam de Vos and Emerson Oronte will join him. Colin Joyce completes the roster and will be on the hunt for another European podium after finishing third in stage three of the Volta ao Alentejo in March.
Road Captain Jesse Anthony will marshal the team on the roads of Europe
“I feel great after Alberta,” said Kuss. “It was a confirmation that I’ve carried my fitness from August, and I’m feeling fresh and motivated, which is nice at this point in the season. This trip to Europe is a big opportunity for me to gain as much experience as possible. I’m excited for the Tour du Gévaudan, a climbing heavy two-day stage race at the end of the race block. It’s a great final test after the one-day races leading in.”
The team will start in Austria with the International Raiffeisen Grand Prix on September 10. The event was first held in 1996 and is a traditional one-day race held in the southeastern village of Judendorf-Straßengel. From there, the team will travel south to Italy for the Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze on September 13, the 99° Coppa Bernocchi - 42° GP BPM a day later, before ending the Italian leg of the trip with the Memorial Marco Pantani. The race honors the late Tour de France and Giro d’Italia champion with a route starting in Cesenatico, Pantani's hometown and ending near his birthplace, Cesena.
Colin Joyce returns to Europe aiming for some late season wins
The team will finish with the Tour du Gévaudan Languedoc-Roussillon in France, September 23 – 24. Racing through the iconic mountains of Southern France, it is considered one of the hardest two-day stage races in Europe. First run in 1974, legendary French riders Pascal Hervé, Jérôme Coppel and 2014 third place Tour de France finisher Thibaut Pinot have taken the top step of the podium.
“With the 2017 North American season winding down, we want to start building for next year,” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “We had an incredible year, but a lot of our riders need more European experience to take the next steps in their careers. It’s important that we invest in our young athletes so that they are more prepared for big races back home while developing the skills they will need to race full time in Europe someday."
Soladay Signs Off in Doylestown
With half the team in Europe, the rest of Rally Cycling heads to Pennsylvania for the historic Doylestown Criterium, September 10. Flying the orange banner for the team will be the sprinting core; Brad Huff, Shane Kline, Pierrick Naud and Tom Soladay. The race will have special meaning for Soladay as he lines up as a professional for the last time. After nine years as a pro, Soladay announced his retirement last month. The Bethesda, Maryland native turned professional in 2009 with the Mountain Khakis team, before spending a year with Team Type 1. Soladay signed for Rally Cycling, then Kelly Benefit Strategies–OptumHealth, in 2011 and has remained a valuable member of the organization. The team will miss his dedication, hard work, and team spirit.
“It has been an incredible decade,” said Soladay. “I'm fortunate to have been able to travel the world and race my bike alongside so many great people. I have had many wonderful experiences because of my time in the peloton. Over the past seven years, this team has become family and I will miss them. I’m excited about the future, to experience life out of the saddle and spend more time with my wife.”
Good Luck Tom.
Rally Cycling European Fall Campaign
Raiffeisen Grand Prix | September 10
Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze | September 13
99° Coppa Bernocchi - 42° GP BPM | September 14
Memorial Marco Pantani | September 16
Tour du Gévaudan Languedoc-Roussillon | September 23 - 24
Rally Cycling European Fall Roster
Adam de Vos
Rally Cycling for Doylestown