The National Cycling League announces its first teams, stacked with internationally known talent

Denver and Miami team to be led by the likes of Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, Leah Kirchmann, Sergio Henao, Johnny Clarke and Frank Travieso

Sergio Henao announces retirement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The National Cycling League today announced its first two professional teams, the Miami Nights and Denver Disruptors, and their star-studded rosters.

Launching in 2023, the National Cycling League (NCL) is a championship-style race series consisting of closed-course criterium races in major cities across the country with virtual races alongside them.

Similar to North American professional ball sports, each host city will be home to at least one co-ed team. While the men and women will compete in separate events, they’ll be equally compensated and everyone will earn points toward earning a slice of the $1 million prize purse.  

In addition to the NCL races, the NCL teams will compete in a full racing season, including road races and stage races. All 32 NCL athletes will receive annual salaries in addition to racing for a share of the $1 Million prize purse and prize money from races throughout the season. 

“We will field two, co-ed city-based teams,  bringing together world-class domestic and international racing talent; the goal is for our teams  to instantly become the top teams in U.S. pro racing next year,” the League’s founder and CEO, Paris Wallace, said in a statement

Introducing: Denver Disruptors

NCL's Denver Disruptors jersey

(Image credit: NCL)

The 16-riders Denver Disruptor team will be made up of eight men and eight women, led by Colombian Paris-Nice Champion Sergio Henao and two-time Canadian Olympian and World Champion Leah Kirchmann. 

The team’s Head Coach will be Olympian Svein Tuft, a 13-time Canadian National Championships and finisher of 11 Grand Tours.

“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. 

“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.”

In addition to Kirchmann and Henao, veteran riders include South African National Champion, Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, who's joining the team from UCI World Tour squad Lotto-Soudal. Sergei Tvetcov is an 8-time Romanian National Champion and finished 2nd Overall in the Colorado Classic stage race in 2017 and 2018. Iro Milaki is the current Road Race National Champion for Greece.

“I am excited to return to American racing to compete in this new and innovative series," said Kirchmann in the media statement. 

"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." 

Roster

Leah Kirchmann - Canada

Hayley Bates  - USA

Ava Hachman - USA

Elizabeth “Izzie” 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

Introducing: Miami Nights

NCL's Miami Nights jersey

(Image credit: NCL)

The Miami Nights roster is led by longtime Continental and domestic pros Johnny Clarke, Frank Travieso and latin American Olympians Daniely Garcia and Paola Munoz Grandon. 

The team will be coached by Sebastian Alexandre, who previously served as sporting director of the United Healthcare and Jamis teams.

 The Miami Nights is stacked with track and criterium specialists including Austrian Verena Eberhardt, a 20-time Track National Champion; Dr. Andrea Cyr, a sports medicine professional who's also one of the top criterium racers in the U.S.; and former MiamiBlazers rider Clever Martinez who earned 5 wins and 30 top-5 finishes in the 2022 season.

Roster

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

Also read:

- NBA All-Star Bradley Beal and NFL pros pump $7.5m into the new US cycling league

- The newly formed National Cycling League: a gimmick or the future of American bike racing?

- The National Cycling League announces a $1 Million dollar prize purse

- Inaugural US National Cycling League could see fans virtually racing the pros in 2023

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.