Michael Creed, former director of International Cycling Union (UCI) pro team Smartstop, has been appointed as head coach of the US Paralympics Cycling team ahead of Rio 2016, it has been announced.
Creed, a former cyclist with 25 titles at junior and elite level to his name, will be tasked with maintaining the team’s number one ranking as the Paralympic Games in the Brazilian city loom large on the horizon.
His first job will be to prepare the side for the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy in March of next year, before he is expected to lead the team at the Games in Rio.
“I can’t describe how excited and happy I am to take on this role,” the 34-year-old said.
“I’m excited to learn as much as I can and hopefully give back as much knowledge as I gain.
“I want to thank the United States Olympic Committee and Ian Lawless for their faith, and I hope to pay it back tenfold.”
Creed raced in Europe for several professional teams including Saeco, US Postal, Prime Alliance and Discovery and was forced to retire due to injuries in 2013.
He helped guide Smartstop to the USA Pro Road Race National title and the UCI America’s Tour crown, which cemented his status as one of the most well-respected directors in the sport.
“Mike is well known for his achievements as an athlete and for his more recent success directing athletes in the domestic pro cycling peloton,” Ian Lawless, high performance director at US Paralympics Cycling, said.
“He brings with him a unique combination of talents, which is exactly what our programme needs.
“It will be exciting to see what he can accomplish with his fresh perspective and passion for cycling.
“We are looking forward to seeing our current and future athletes benefit from his expertise.”
The United States finished second on the cycling medal table behind the hosts at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a haul of 17 medals including six golds, five silvers and six bronzes.
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September 2015: Deloitte and US Paralympics unveil classification guide ahead of Rio 2016
July 2014: United States names Para-cycling squad packed full of gold medallists for World Championships
January 2014: Six world champions among ten-strong US Para-cycling squad for 2014
September 2013: America top medal table on final day of action at UCI Para-Cycling World Championships