USA Pro Challenge: 16 teams to compete in Pro Challenge | SteamboatToday.com

USA Pro Challenge: 16 teams to compete in Pro Challenge

BMC Racing

— BMC team will be without one of its leaders in Colorado, defending USA Pro Challenge champ Tejay van Garderen, who opted to race in Spain's La Vuelta a Espana after he had to abandon a strong run in the Tour de France late in the race. It's still strong and deep.

What's with the name: BMC is a Swiss bicycle manufacturer.

Trek Factory Racing

Trek has riders from 14 different nations, everywhere from the United States (North Carolina's Matthew Busche) to Australia and Japan.


What's with the name: The pride of Wisconsin, Trek is a major U.S. bike company.

Tinkoff-Saxo

Russia's Tinkoff-Saxo brings plenty of Colorado riding experience. Team rider Peter Sagan won the last USA Pro Challenge stage in Steamboat in 2013, though he won't compete this year.

What's with the name: Tinkoff is a Russian bank and Saxo a Danish one.

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Cannondale-Garmin

Based in Boulder, these guys know a thing or two about Rocky Mountain riding, though a strong U.S. roster took a hit last week. Tom Danielson, second in last year's Pro Challenge, tested positive for synthetic testosterone.

What's with the name: Cannondale is a Connecticut-based bike company. Garmin is a GPS leader founded in Kansas.

Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk is stocked entirely with riders with diabetes.

What's with the name: Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical company.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team

The team got a fast start to the Tour of Utah last week when Kiel Reijnen won that race's opening stage.

What's with the name: United Healthcare is a U.S. health insurance provider.

Drapac Professional Cycling

An Australian-based team, Drapac was founded in 2004 by Michael Drapac.

What's with the name: Drapac runs a property investment and development company.

Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

The Spanish team races around the world, reemerging on the professional scene in 2010.

What's with the name: Caja Rural is a bank and Seguros RGA an insurance company.

Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

The U.S. based team is enjoying big results in the Tour of Utah when sprinter Eric Young and GC contender Michael Wood both won stages.

Steamboat cyclist Amy Charity rides for Optum's women's team.

What's with the name: Optum is a health care company. Kelly Benefit Strategies does workplace benefits.

Team SmartStop

An awesome performance from Jure Kocjan — one stage win and two other top four finishes — powered the team in Utah and put him in yellow for a day.

What's with the name: SmartStop is a self-storage company in the U.S. and Canada.

Hincapie Racing Team

Hincapie Racing has a strong roster of U.S. racers, including Robin Carpenter and Dion Smith, who both raced well in Utah.

What's with the name: George Hincapie a leading lieutenant for Lance Armstrong, racing on each of his seven (temporarily) winning Tour de France teams.

Jamis-Hagens Berman

The team won in Colorado in 2013 when Janier Acevedo (now with Cannondale-Garmin) won the Pro Challenge stage from Steamboat to Beaver Creek.

What's with the name: Jamis is a U.S. bike company. Hagens Berman is a Seattle law firm.

Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS

A two-time veteran of the USA Pro Challenge in Steamboat Springs, Jelly Belly is back for 2015.

What's with the name: Jelly Belly makes jelly beans. Maxxis is a Taiwanese tire company.

Axeon Cycling Team

Axeon prides itself on sending 18 riders on to pro tour contracts in the last seven years.

What's with the name: It's pronounced "action," believe it or not.

Team Budget Forklifts

Established in 2008, the team was led by Brendan Canty at the Tour of Utah.

What's with the name: Budget Forklifts is Australia's best taco truck. Just kidding. It rents and sells forklifts.


Team Cycling Academy

Israel's first professional cycling team, the squad is intent on proving it belongs in the Pro Challenge. It's partnered with Sagan.

What's with the name: The team hopes to offer a home for young cyclists from countries that lack major cycling programs.