Adageo Energy Pro Cycling manager Josh Horowitz is a busy man in search of a second sponsor to bolster his Southern California-based UCI Continental team in 2010 while continuing to find ways to support the local US racing scene at the club level. The former amateur team was recently announced as one of the 11 Continental teams registered in the United States next year.
Co-founder of Adageo Energy, Clay Womack, joined forces with Horowitz's coaching company, Liquid Fitness, in 2008 to create the elite team Liquid Cycling. After a successful two seasons at the amateur level, Adageo Energy increased its funding to bring the team in line with its vision of joining the professional ranks.
"That was the thought all along, to develop something bigger," Horowitz said. "I coach Clay's three kids. We've known each other for a long time. There was a lot of excitement about the team in 2008. We decided to bring more riders in and do more races. It was really just a smooth progression."
Horowitz admitted the squad has left space on the jersey for an additional financial sponsor to support hiring additional riders and bringing the team to more events across the United States. Regardless, he assured that the team will run smoothly in its first season under UCI status.
"We've got the budget set, the contracts signed and I never promised the riders anything that I don't have," Horowitz said. "We have enough money to do a good program. We left it open to bring on a co-sponsor. That would enable us to hire a few more riders and we would like to expand the race schedule to do eastern races."
Not only does Horowitz manage the squad, he is also listed as a member of the 10-man roster. The team includes young Americans Eric Bennett, Bennet van der Genugten, Tim Farnham, Danny Finneran, Matt Landen, Alexi Martinez, Tommy Nelson along with Australian Cody Stevenson and Swiss rider Tobias Eggli.
"My main focus is to handle sponsor relations and communicate with them well," said Horowitz, who was inspired to start racing at the age of 13 after spectating at the USPRO Cycling Championships held in Philadelphia. "But, I still have a passion to race and that is a big reason why I'm doing this, so I can get the chance to actually do a race like Philly. I've been racing for 20 years but have never had a pro license. In 2011 I will step back from racing and make this my full-time job."
Horowitz has his feet planted firmly on the ground with regards to setting goals for the team's debut at the professional level. "If you only count a success of a team on a day you win a race, then there might be a whole lot of unsuccessful weekends. We want to be the team that people talk about even if we don't get a top 10. We want to make an impression by our teamwork and sportsmanship. My goal is to leave an impression that we have our stuff together."
The team's preliminary race calendar includes a mix of regional and national-level events, including the San Dimas and Redlands Classic stage races in March, the Ventura County Stage Race in May, the International Championship in Philadelphia in June, the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in July and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in August. He also expressed the value of keeping the Liquid Fitness/Adageo Energy Elite Team and the 400-member Liquid Cycling Club.
"It's just as important to our sponsors that we have a good presence on the local scene," Horowitz said. "We want to have the national presence but we also want to support those local races. The club will continue because I believe it is the core of US cycling. We will have category four, category three and masters plus we will expand the non-racing side of the club. It gives my sponsors an added value."
Financial sponsors include Adageo Energy, Wonderful Pistachio and equipment sponsors are Leopard Bikes, Selle Italia saddles and Smith Optics. Other support sponsors include Ultimate Sports Psychology, Liquid Fitness Coaching, Dr. Richard Hyman, Twinlab, Gordon Edelstein Krepack, Pactimo, American Classic, Exustar, Skins and PowerBar.
Adageo Energy Pro Cycling Team will come together for a preliminary training camp set to take place at the end of January in Southern California. They will follow up with a second training camp held in Los Vegas at the end of February that will coincide with the Callville Bay Classic.
"We want to open our camps up to the club, the sponsors and the public," Horowitz said. "It's a good way to introduce the community to the pro team. The Callville Bay Classic was the race that set the tone of the season for us this year because we won one of the stages and placed second overall. It has a special memory for us so we wanted to start the season there again next year."
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