The National Cycling League took their first steps toward 2024 with a ‘complete restructure’ of its league-owned teams, terminating contracts for all 32 riders across two squads – Denver Disruptors and Miami Nights – and then renewing contracts for a small selection of 10 riders with a revised salary cap to provide gender parity.
From the 2023 roster, the Miami Nights re-signed US duo Andrea Cyr and Brittany Parffrey along with Chilean Paola Muñoz, Daniely Garcia of Venezuela, Jeydy Praderas of Cuba, Australian Jonathan Clarke and Colombian Clever Martinez. Muñoz and Cyr finished 1-2, respectively, in the American Criterium Cup individual standings this season, while Martinez was fifth overall among men.
The Denver Disruptors will return with Riley Sheehan and Noah Granigan of the USA as well as Ulises Alfredo Castillo of Mexico. Graningan led the team with his versatility, winning a stage at Redlands Bicycle Classic, scoring podiums at Saint Francis Tulsa Tough and a top 15 finish at USA Cycling Gravel Nationals.
The most notable name missing was Canadian Olympian Leah Kirchmann, who was part of the Denver Disruptors explosive women’s squad. NCL CEO Andrea Paganelli confirmed to Cyclingnews that Kirchmann was offered a contract to return next season, but she declined the offer to look for a more lucrative deal elsewhere.
“So we had to completely restructure how we are building teams and rosters. So we sat down for a few weeks to figure out what would fit best and we’ve decreased the number of riders on each of our teams. Also, adding more teams, we had to look at a full reset across the organization from our staff, teams and structure of the company,” Paganelli told Cyclingnews on Wednesday.
“It’s unfortunate, but we thought it was in our best interest of the company. Salaries were ended immediately [for riders]. Our goal is to help them find their next home. They are great participants in the 2023 season with us.”
The Miami Nights and Denver Disruptors, which finished as the top two teams in the inaugural NCL Cup series of three league-owned races, will have rosters cut in half for the 2024 season, down from 16 riders per team to eight per team. An expansion team in Atlanta was announced on Monday to join the NCL-owned fleet for 2024.
“Following a tremendously successful event at Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, we want to continue to invest in the Atlanta community, one of the country’s great cycling metropolitan areas. We will…