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On Thursday, the newly-formed National Cycling League announced the leadership team and rider rosters for its two new co-ed professional cycling teams – the Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights.
The two new squads will be directed by Canadian Olympian Svein Tuft and former United Healthcare director Sebastian Alexandre.
Headlining the Denver Disruptors are Paris-Nice Champion Sergio Henao and two-time Canadian Olympian and World Champion Leah Kirchmann.
The squad of eight men and eight woman also includes South African national champion Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, who joins the team from UCI WorldTour squad Lotto-Soudal. Sergei Tvetcov is an eight-time Romanian national champion. Iro Milaki is the current road race national champion for Greece.
Americans Hayley Bates, Ava Hachman, Elizabeth “Izzy” Harden, Erica Zaveta, Noah Granigan, and Riley Sheehan will also race for the Denver Disrupters.
“The Denver Disruptors’ greatest advantage is that we have a healthy mix of experienced riders with incredible international palmares blended with a powerful younger generation that will be able to learn from their extensive knowledge,” said Tuft, a 13-time Canadian national champion. “We also will be focusing on the culture of the group. I’ve seen many times over my career that a team that rides for one another is far more powerful than a group of big individual names.”
The Miami Nights squad will rely on the experience of longtime pros Johnny Clarke, Frank Travieso, and Olympians Daniely Garcia (Venezuela ’08, ‘12) and Paola Munoz Grandon (Chile ’04, ’12, ‘16).
Americans Andrea Buttine, Andrea Cyr, Taylor Kuyk White, Brittany Parffrey, Evan Bausbacher, and Kent Ross will race for the Miami Nights.
The Miami Nights boasts a roster of high-speed track and criterium specialists. Austrian Verena Eberhardt is a 20x Track National Champion and one of the top criterium racers in the U.S. Venezuelan Clever Martinez notched five wins and 30 top-five finishes for the Miami Blazers in 2022, and Mexican Alfredo Rodriguez finished second overall in the 2022 Saint Francis Tulsa Tough.
“The NCL will take criterium races to the next level,” said Miami Nights director Alexandre. “The riders will compete in a different style, bringing some of the style of track racing into the streets, where everyone can see and be a part of it.”
The Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights will compete in in the NCL’s inaugural four-race crit series in Miami, Atlanta, Denver, and Washington D.C. Those events will feature a competition format where men and women compete on the same team and on the same course.
Fans will have unprecedented access to rider biometrics and in-race data through the NCL’s proprietary technology platform. Races will feature 10 teams competing for a $1 million prize purse across a series of four criterium-style races
“I am excited to return to American racing to compete in this new and innovative series,” Kirchmann said. “The NCL will have a positive impact by engaging new fans into professional cycling, while also showing there is value in elevating all competitors equally.
In addition to the NCL races, the Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights will compete in a full racing season, including road races and stage races.
“The Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights are the start of a revolution in American professional cycling,” said Reed McCalvin, VP of teams and athletes. “There is so much untapped cycling talent out there and we’ve rewritten the team model to showcase top-level pros and provide a pathway to success for our development riders.
“We’re excited that our vision for professional sports – the first gender equal and gender integrated professional sports team concept – combines both men’s and women’s racing and creates opportunity for teams in the United States to grow.”
Leah Kirchmann, Canada
Hayley Bates, USA
Ava Hachman, USA
Elizabeth “Izzy” Harden, USA
Iro Milaki, Greece
Nerea Nuno Iglesias, Spain
Valentina Scanolara, Italy
Erica Zaveta, USA
Sergio Henao, Colombia
Juan Estaban Arango Carvajal, Colombia
Ulises Alfredo Castillo, Mexico
Noah Granigan, USA
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, South Africa
Oskar Nisu, Estonia
Riley Sheehan, USA
Sergei Tvetcov, Romania
Jeidy Pradera Bernal ,Cuba
Andrea Buttine, USA
Andrea Cyr, USA
Verena Eberhardt, Austria
Daniely Garcia, Venezuela
Taylor Kuyk White, USA
Paola Munoz Grandon, Chile
Brittany Parffrey, USA
Evan Bausbacher, USA
Johnny Clarke, Australia
Andzs Flaksis, Latvia
Bryan Gómez, Colombia
Clever Martinez, Venezuela
Alfredo Rodriguez, Mexico
Kent Ross, USA
Frank Trevieso, Cuba/USA