Rally Cycling announces its first major signing for 2018 today in American Robin Carpenter. The Philadelphia native burst onto the pro circuit in 2014 with a solo victory on stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge and has never looked back, developing into one of the top young talents in North America. Carpenter signs a two-year contract with the team.
The 25 year old has spent the last five seasons racing for Holowesko-Citadel, where he won a stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the overall title at the Tour of Alberta in 2016.
“I’m always trying to push myself as a rider and never settling for a result,” said Carpenter. “Rally is one of the most professionally run programs in America, and their two year commitment to me was a huge draw. I had some great years on Holowesko-Citadel and I am thankful for their support. Right now I am looking forward to this next step in my career.”
This season, Carpenter has won in a multitude of ways. At the Joe Martin Stage Race in April, he dropped his breakaway companions in the pouring rain to claim the final stage and the overall title. In May, he almost single-handedly wore the field down in the UCI ranked Winston-Salem Classic before separating himself from his breakaway companions on the final hill. At the Cascade Cycling Classic in July, he finished inside the top ten on all five stages en route to claiming another impressive general classification victory.
“When Robin shows up to a race you immediately have to account for him in your race strategy,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “He’s that dynamic. Signing him was at the top of our list as we thought about the areas of our program that we wanted to strengthen.”
Carpenter considers himself a true all-around type of rider whose strengths extend beyond any one discipline of cycling. He has had success in time trials, breakaways and small sprint finishes and can be a serious general classification threat at any major stage race.
“The road season gets longer every year,” said Carney. “We used to start racing in March and now we are planning a Europe trip for the beginning of February. This extended season gives riders like Robin the time to find their place within the team and plenty of opportunity to start big races and aim for success.”
Carpenter joins a deep and diverse program which includes some of North America’s top veteran riders to learn from, including road captain Danny Pate, who returns for his third season with the team.
“Having riders like team captain Danny Pate to learn from will be invaluable,” said Carpenter. “Good positioning, tactics and instincts on the road are vital when racing in Europe. The racing rewards aggressiveness and keeps you on your toes. In the U.S. the roads are bigger and you have more time to make a decision while in Europe it is the opposite.”
With their eyes on Europe and a planned step up to the Professional Continental ranks, having a deep and versatile roster, bolstered by the signing of Carpenter, will place the team in its strongest position ever to start a new season.