Several high-profile athletes have confirmed they will line up April 13 in northern California for the one-day Growler event, which is a pro-level 139-mile race at Levi’s GranFondo. Lawrence Naesen, who retired last year after six years at the WorldTour level, added his name to the men’s start list while former road cyclist and Gravel Locos winner Emily Newsom joins a growing field for women.
A significant change in the prize purse has been made by organiser Levi Leipheimer, who told Cyclingnews “our prize list nearly tripled”, as it has moved from $20,000 to $55,000. The pay day will be divided equally among the top five men and top five women completing The Growler, a trek across wine country of Sonoma County that features rough roads and 13,500 feet of climbing .
“I think it’s going to generate a lot of excitement about road racing in the US. Our partners, once they saw our efforts and the interest that it has created, they were just very enthusiastic and everybody pitched in to make it that much bigger of a deal,” Leipheimer said about how the purse has exploded. Two of the main partners include the City of Windsor and Specialized.
Cullen Easter, Griffin Easter, Caleb Classen and Zach Gregg have been added to the men’s field to compete against WorldTour veterans turned off-road experts such as Peter Stetina, Lachlan Morton and Petr Vakoč. On the women’s side, Newsom joins Flávia Oliveira Parks in a battle that includes Sarah Sturm, Heather Jackson and Peta Mullens.
Utah’s Truman Glasgow added to Life Time Grand Prix
Truman Glasgow, a 23-year-old from the US, has been added to the Life Time Grand Prix roster for 2024, filling a spot which was vacated by Australian Tasman Nankervis.
This year would have been a second effort for Nankervis in the US for the Grand Prix, but was unable to commit for the extended travel when he was not able to secure financial sponsorships.
“The last few months I’ve been dealing with trying to find sponsors and basically nothing has come up,” Nankervis told Cyclingnews in mid-January. He planned to pursue new opportunities to race through the year, which started with a victory at the inaugural RADL GRVL in South Australia.
Glasgow had victories at the Park City Point 2 Point mountain bike race and high-elevation Wasatch All Road gravel race, both in Utah where he is based. He has experience in Life Time events, finishing 13th at Big Sugar Gravel and 26th in Leadville Trail 100 MTB.
USA Speed Week opens in April with new Greenville Cycling Classic
USA Speed Week returns an 18th edition with a collection of eight criteriums across Georgia and South Carolina over 11 days. Each race offers a stand-alone prize purse for elite men and women, which totals $86,000. Teams registered to take part in Speed Week and USA Crits, both operated by Swagger LLC, will qualify for a points-based ranking and additional prize purse of $76,800.
A new race in downtown Greenville, South Carolina on Thursday, April 25 launches Speed Week. The Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium follows on Friday night, then a pair of Georgia races, the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium on Saturday and Curiosity Lab Criterium on Sunday.
A midweek race takes place Tuesday, April 30, Spin the District: Union City, and the final trio of Georgia races cover the first weekend of May – Spin the District: Hapefille on Friday, LaGrange Cycling Classic on Saturday and Spin the District: College Park on Sunday.
Three of the Speed Week races double as USA Crits events – Spartanburg Crit, Athens Twilight and LaGrange Classic – with each of those providing $12,000 prize purses rather than the $10,000 Speed Week race event purse.
Last year that regional series was won by Leah Kirchmann (Denver Disruptors) and Evan McQuirk (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK). Teams and rosters for Speed Week will be confirmed closer to March.
Reign Storm Racing merger of Texas Roadhouse and ACG
Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team and American Cycling Group (ACG) today announced the formation of Reign Storm Racing for the 2024 racing season. The US duo of Michael Hernandez, the 2022 US amateur criterium champion, and Danny Summerhill, reigning US men’s Madison national champion, will lead the roster of 12 riders.
Of the two domestic US men’s teams, Texas Roadhouse Cycling has fielded teams for the past 20 years, directed by Curtis Tolson since 2003. He will continue in the role as team manager, with Thomas Craven moving from ACG in his role as director sportif.
“Cycling is a sport that requires massive energy and excellence to excel, and our partnership with Reign Storm will position the team to continue excelling in competition,” said Craven, who led Hincapie Racing for a decade and then co-founded ACG last year alongside Hernandez. “Through the support of our generous sponsors, our cyclists are equipped with the means to focus on competition and the team’s mission of advocating for more diversity within the sport.”
The team will ride BMC’s Teammachine SLR bikes for the 2024 season, which will begin at the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama on April 13, which begins the six-race USA Crits series. Other sponsors include VQ Labs, HGR Construction, Hincapie Sportswear, Thule, LUN Wheels, KASK Helmets, KOO Eyewear, Finish Line, Michelin and the National Cycling League (NCL).
Reign Storm Racing will also compete in the NCL Cup, continuing the invitation-only slot extended to Texas Roadhouse for 2024. Last year Texas Roadhouse was part of a co-ed partnership with Goldman Sachs ETFs Racing and the pairing finished third overall in the three-event race series.
Reign Storm Racing 2024 roster
- Fergus Arthur (USA)
- Aaron Beebe (USA)
- Zach Berend (USA)
- Jaime Castañeda (USA)
- Bryan Gomez (COL)
- Michael Hernandez (USA)
- Eli House (USA)
- Jordan Parra (COL)
- Kyle Perry (USA)
- Alfredo Rodriguez (MEX)
- Tim Smith (USA)
- Danny Summerhill (USA)
Cynisca Cycling begins 2024 with 16 riders
Cynisca Cycling returns to the Continental level for a second season, this year with a 16-rider roster, led by US gravel national champion and Pan-Am road race winner Lauren Stephens.
Stephens moved from the WorldTour level at EF Education-TIBCO-SVB to continue for a 12th year in the pro peloton, serving as the GC leader on the road for the young squad. The year began in February at Vuelta CV Feminas, where the former US Pro road race champion was 13th. Last year she excelled across multiple surfaces, riding to sixth overall at the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships, a silver medal at US Pro ITT and 18th at the UCI Road World Championships.
The roster also includes Chloe Patrick, the reigning U23 US national criterium champion. She is among a trio of 19-year-olds on the squad this season alongside compatriot Katherine Sarkisov and Canadian Mara Roldan. Climber Allison Mrugal was added to the roster from the Spanish-based Sopela squad, where she won a stage at Lea-Artibai Txallengea last year.
At the end of January the team unveiled their new kit, created by Pearl Izumi. The fresh look features orange sleeves with blue, white and black front and back panels, with a return of the swath of golden olive leaves across the front.
Cynisca Cycling 2024 roster
- Pauline Allin (FRA)
- Tess Edwards (USA)
- Emilie Fortin (CAN)
- Chloé Fourmigué (FRA)
- Ashley Frye (USA)
- Gabrielle Lehnert (USA)
- Fiona Mangan (ITA)
- Allison Mrugal (USA)
- Cara O’Neill (USA)
- Chloe Patrick (USA)
- Greta Richioud (FRA)
- Mara Roldan (USA)
- Katherine Sarkisov (USA)
- Nicole Steinmetz (USA)
- Lauren Stephens (USA)
- Claire Windsor (USA)