Chain Reaction Cycles has made its move into pro road team sponsorship, announcing that it will be a title sponsor of the An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly team in 2013. The Irish-sponsored, Belgian-registered team is a UCI Continental outfit and races all over the world.
CRC's primary aim in getting on board is to promote Vitus Bikes - a brand which it revived three years ago. It's an obvious partnership as team co-sponsor Sean Kelly made Vitus famous in the 1980s and is now involved in their promotion.
Chain Reaction isn't new to the world of pro sponsorship as it has sponsored the CRC/Nukeproof downhill mountain bike team for the past five years. "We began our professional downhill programme back in 2008, and ever since then we've had ambitions to continue our mountain bike success on the road," marketing manager Damien Duggan told BikeRadar. "Sean Kelly joined Vitus as brand ambassador shortly after we took on the brand, and with his input we've created a very popular range of entry-level and race ready bikes."
The riders will race on the Vitus Vitesse road frame, as used in the Sean Kelly LTD Edition, and Chrono time trial machine with components supplied by FSA, Vision, Continental and Prologo. More details of the bikes will be available after the team launch in February.
Team roster: Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin, Sean Downey, Jack Wilson, Mark McNally, Kieran Frend, Glenn O'Shea, Aaron Gate, Shane Archbold, Niko Eeckhout, Wout Franssen, Pieter Ghyllebert, Niels Wytinck, Alphonse Vermote, Steven Van Vooren, Laurent Vanden Bak, Nicolas Vereecken.