The future of mountain biking in the US is getting a boost with BMC Bicycles backing a new top level development cross country mountain bike team. The Swiss bike manufacturer announced its intention to support the US-based team after recently introducing its new European professional mountain bike team. The team will include five promising young mountain bike racers.
A core group of five racers will make up the team. On the men's side Stephen Ettinger of Cashmere, Washington, will be the senior rider, aged 22. Second year Under 23 riders Kerry Werner of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, and Jack Hinkens of Eden Prairie, Wisconsin, will join him. All three were standout athletes on US National Team trips in Europe last season as well as some of the strongest Under 23 riders on domestic soil.
Chloe Forsman of Tucson, Arizona, will anchor the women's side of the team and will bring a wealth of top level domestic and international race experience. Collegiate national cross country champion Erica Zaveta from Erwinna, Pennsylvania, will round out the team.
"We want to develop a sustainable program. Whoever rides/races on a BMC today should have the prospect, with the right performance, of becoming a professional with us and have the opportunity to step up to the BMC Mountain Bike Team in the next years," said Frank Schreiner, Head of Marketing
The team will add a marketing boost to BMC's renewed push toward significantly increasing US mountain bike sales. In addition to contesting all of the UCI sanctioned, USPro XCT events across the US and the North American World Cups, the team will be at the US National Championships and plans to compete in various regional events as well as schedule a number of dealer visits.
Team operations will be based out of Boulder, Colorado, where Ben Turner will manage the young group of riders while they travel the country. He will provide leadership and logistical support throughout the long season.
"I'm excited to work with such a great team of young and talented mountain bike racers. Having the opportunity to help BMC on such an important project is very motivating, and it's my hope that this team will help return the US to a dominant role on the international stage of mountain bike racing," said Turner.
Damian Shanks will join the team on the road as team mechanic.
The team will kick off its inaugural season next weekend at the opening round of the US Pro XCT in Bonelli Park, California, where the young riders will be looking to secure early leads in both the men's and women's overall Under 23 US Pro XCT series.
The team will race the all-new Teamelite TE01 Carbon Hardtail and the proven Fourstroke FS01 carbon full suspension bikes.
2011 BMC Development Mountain Bike Team
Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Washington)
Chloe Forsman (Tucson, Arizona)
Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Pennsylvania)
Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pennsylvania)