Cannondale will support an all-new Cannondale Factory Race team in 2009. The team's roster includes superstars on the World Cup circuit, but also expands into the North American racing scene for a worldwide presence.
"An opportunity presented itself to combine the efforts of the best athletes racing on both sides of the Atlantic," said Rory Mason, director of sports marketing for Cannondale. "It really gives us a voice at a wide variety of races, from local fat tire festivals to UCI podiums."
The new team will field an impressive roster of riders. In Europe, World Cup veterans Roel Paulissen, Martin Gujan, and Marco Aurelio Fontana lead the team. In America, CFR is merging with the former SoBe-Cannondale team, which means that racing legends like Gunnar Shogren and Matthew Lee, along with several dozen more riders, will round out the roster, racing in regional events.
Changes in the existing team structures made the merger possible after SoBe notified Cannondale earlier this month that it would not continue as a Cannondale team sponsor.
"We've had an excellent working relationship with SoBe and enjoyed many successes after their return to the team this past year," said Matt Jewett, Inside Sales Director and Promotions Manager for Cannondale. "The upside is that all the best traditions of the team can live on. These riders have continuously been the best ambassadors for the sport of cycling and active lifestyles as a whole. Now they have a global platform on which to carry this 10-year heritage."
Most of the racing operations for Cannondale will remain largely unchanged, including the teams' other sponsors.