Two stage wins in the Tour of Utah. An overall win at the Tour of Alberta. The only U.S.-based team that has won at least one stage in the largest North American stage races. First, third, fourth, and fifth places in the Reading 120. All culminating in a first-place finish in the UCI America Tour. And that was just 2016.
Holowesko|Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear has quickly grown to become one of the strongest Continental racing teams, and it didn’t come from staring at power meters and perfecting form.
“I want the best bike racers—not necessarily the fittest people out there,” says Thomas Craven, chief sports director.
Craven, along with founders George and Rich Hincapie, approach managing the team from a place of mentorship and camaraderie. As Craven says, “We teach them all those things that can’t be dialed in with a computer.”
So while some may raise eyebrows at the guys playing their guitars or tossing the football before a race, it’s what George—after coming off of a successful 19-year cycling career—always pictured for the team. In 2012, he and Rich joined forces with the BMC Racing team to form the Hincapie Sportswear Development team, aiming to mentor young cyclists into the Pro-Tour circuit. After joining the UCI Continental Tour, Mark Holowesko, chief executive officer of Holowesko Partners Ltd., became a title sponsor, and the team separated from BMC, changing names to Hincapie-Holowesko Partners. In 2016, Citadel investment management company joined as the second title sponsor.
With major wins behind them, as well as the support of solid sponsors and the Hincapie family, there’s nowhere to go but up for the guys of Holowesko|Citadel. But according to Craven, that’s not what matters, “Sure, it’ll be great if we win. But what really matters are the stories—that we make good stories to tell for years to come.”