The US based bike manufacturer Specialized entered the Red Hook Criterium (RHC) scene in 2016 under the name Allez-Allez Specialized. With Colin Strickland and Aldo Ino Ilesic they had a magical season with 3 individual RHC wins, the overal General Classification, the Team General Classification, and several other podium spots. Last year, Colin Strickland decided to start his own team, Intelligentsia Racing. Another change for the Specialized team was that Rocket-Espresso became the co-title sponsor. The results in 2017 weren’t bad with Stefan Schäfer winning Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.10 but other big victories didn’t come. Nevertheless, Alec Briggs’ 3rd place in Red Hook Criterium London No.3 was very special due to the circumstances it was achieved in. In 2017, the team also had their first female rider competing in Red Hook Crits. Carla Nafria achieved a very decent 4th place overall.
For 2018, Specialized/Rocket-Espresso just confirmed that the team name stays the same and also that Eamon Lucas, Stefan Schäfer, Alec Briggs, and Carla Nafria renewed their contracts and will be part of the Specialized/Rocket-Espresso team in 2018. At the moment it is unclear if the team is looking to add new riders to their team. However, with only 1 woman signed and 3 male riders, is seems logical that Chris Riekert will be keeping his eyes open for interesting riders. The only rider that did not renew, Aldo Ino Ilesic, is leaving the team to become a rider/manager at Bahumer Racing.