Rally’s spring European trip hints at bigger things to come

Andrew Hood (VeloNews) sat down with the team during their recent trip to Spain.

Team Rally’s European swing continues this weekend deep in the heart of rural France.

It’s on these narrow, twisting roads of France and Spain that the future of the newly elevated Professional Continental team is being forged. The long-running team’s roots remain North American, but it is reaching out to Europe more ambitiously than before.

It’s all part of a multi-year plan to elevate the team to the highest levels of the peloton.

“We’ve taken a big step up this year to the Professional Continental level,” said Rally sport director Pat McCarty. “This is a big investment for the future. For the sporting aspect, we’re still racing our bikes and trying to get a result. The North American calendar is still the priority right now, but Europe is becoming more important.”

Rally makes an important step this season in its decade-long history. Since its debut in 2008 under the Kelly Benefits Strategies banner, the team has grown steadily to become a major presence on the North American circuit. The arrival of new backers, anchored by the title sponsor Rally, the team was able to make the leap to the Pro Conti level for 2018.

The team’s raced in Europe before, but this year, it’s something different. The trip is longer, and one that eventually will have more permanence. The goals remain the same — gain more experience in Europe and prepare for the most important dates on the North American calendar — but this season there’s more to their ambitions.

Behind the scenes, McCarty and others on the management staff are building up the infrastructure. The team hopes to have a European service course up and running before the season is out.

“We’re really starting to build that infrastructure,” McCarty said. “It’s exciting. We have a lot of support from our sponsors, and they’re really excited about us.”


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