Rally Cycling and sports management company Circuit Sport have finalized a new co-title partnership with UnitedHealthcare. The newly named Rally UHC Cycling will continue to operate as both a Pro Continental Men’s Team and UCI Women’s Team in 2019 and pursue invitations to the world’s top races.
“Our goal is to set a new high-water mark for American cycling around the globe with the intention of racing in the UCI WorldTour,” said Charles Aaron, Managing Director, Circuit Sport. “We are entering a time of significant change and growth for our program, and couldn’t be more ready for the opportunity.”
“We look forward to leveraging the combined reach and resources of Rally, UnitedHealthcare and the cycling team to spread our shared message of healthy living to the millions of people around the world who avidly follow cycling,” added Rhett Woods, Chief Creative Officer at Rally Health.
For Charles Aaron, the formation of Rally UHC Cycling is a testament to Circuit Sport’s approach to international sports marketing. The team has long-aspired to be “more than just a collection of logos on a jersey.” As Aaron explained, “Winning races is very important to us, but we also emphasize providing unique marketing opportunities for our partners that deliver real, measurable ROI.”
The team’s infrastructure is expanding in both the United States and in Europe. In October, Circuit Sport opened a new service course in Girona, Spain, and an expansion of overseas racing is underway along with a host of high-profile races under consideration for 2019.
“We’re serious about growing the team,” said Jonas Carney, Performance Manager at Rally UHC Cycling. “When we sit down with race organizers, we can show them that we have a plan for growth that matches our ambition.”
The team’s orange racing kit will remain largely unchanged for 2019. The new look incorporates UnitedHealthcare’s ‘UHC’ sporting mark and blue accents. The ‘winged’ team logo also remains intact, with an integration of the UnitedHealthcare brand.
“It was important that we maintain our brand’s unique look as our international profile grows and ‘Rally orange’ continues to develop a following,” said Sam Wiebe, Creative Director, Rally UHC Cycling. “We developed a simple, tasteful way to integrate the UnitedHealthcare brand into our livery, and we are proud of the final product.”
In recent years, the men’s team has achieved success around the globe. In 2017, it became the first Continental outfit in history to win a WorldTour race with two stage victories at the Amgen Tour of California. In February 2018, the team nearly won a stage of the Dubai Tour after a strong effort from one of America’s brightest young cycling talents, Brandon McNulty.
In March, Adam DeVos captured a stage win at Malaysia’s Tour of Langkawi. In the summer, Colin Joyce won a stage of the Arctic Race of Norway, finishing third overall. Robin Carpenter followed by winning King of the Mountains at Germany’s Deutschland Tour.
“We pursue high-profile races and have steadily performed better and better at them,” said Patrick McCarty, Performance Director, Rally UHC Cycling. “We make sure our athletes have the best support possible, and we try to place them in the races they dream about winning.”
The 2019 men’s roster retains the talent that delivered success last year while adding Gavin Mannion (2018 Colorado Classic overall champion), WorldTour veteran and Olympian Svein Tuft, and talented sprinters John Murphy and Pier-Andre Coté.
The women’s team, helmed by Olympian and former Circuit Sport athlete Zach Bell, is anchored by Olympic medallists Kirsti Lay, Alison Beveridge and Kelly Catlin. Sprinter Emma White, who racked up several national titles and stage wins in 2018, is joined by the Canadian trio of Sara Bergen (Canadian Criterium Champion), Katherine Maine (Canadian Road Champion) and Sara Poidevin (2017 Colorado Classic Champion).
The team’s long-time relationship with UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) will also expand with the new partnership. Since 2009, Circuit Sport teams have worked with UHCCF to raise more than US$100,000 for the organization, which provides grants to families for medical services that are not covered – or not fully covered – by their health insurance plan. As the team grows its international profile, it plans to share the charity’s unique mission around the globe.