The Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home Men's Pro Cycling Team has signed Viktor Rapinski for the 2006 season. Rapinski will be reunited with his former Saturn Cycling mentors Frank McCormack, now director of the Colavita/Sutter team, and his brother Mark McCormack, the former US Pro Champion who led the Colavita squad to numerous victories this season.
"We're thrilled that Viktor will be returning to the U.S. to race in the Colavita colours," said Frank McCormack. "My brother Mark and I have been working with Viktor for several years. He's developed into a formidable competitor in every aspect of cycling."
A native of Belarus, the 24-year old Rapinski made his debut on the U.S. pro circuit in 2002 as a member of the Saturn Cycling Team, followed by a season with Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, and most recently with Team Phonak. His achievements include winning the overall title in the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, the Tour of Somerville, Mt. Holly-Smithville International Grand Prix, and the Four Bridges of Elgin Road Race. Last year, he took first place in the Sprint Competition at the GP Cycliste de Beauce and Tour of Qinghai Lake, where he also won the first, fourth, and final stages of the race.
The core of the squad will be returning next year and Rapinski, McCormack says, "complements the team's chemistry perfectly." McCormack expects to announce an additional signing and the complete roster in the coming weeks.