Team Chipotle, the Continental development squad that acts as the feeder team to Garmin-Cervelo, has announced that collegiate national champions Adam Leibovitz and Alister Ratcliff will be joining the team in 2012.
Leibovitz, who started riding when he was just four years old, has won multiple collegiate national championships while at Marian University, including the pursuit and kilo titles on the track in 2010, as well as criterium and team time trial championships on the road in 2011. Additionally, he was first in the 2009 Ster van Zuid Limburg prologue.
For his part, Ratcliff won the 2011 D1 collegiate road national championship as a part of the Fort Lewis College team and is a former junior national representative in triathlon. The two were both excited to get on board with the Chipotle team, which they hope will give them the platform to follow in the footsteps of riders like Tom Danielson and Andrew Talansky in the future.
"I'm extremely honored and excited to be part of such a prestigious team and development program, said Leibovitz. "I can't wait to take my racing level up next year."
"It’s a dream come true," echoed Ratcliff. "I’m very excited to be a part of a program that has helped so many other riders make it to the top of the pro ranks."
Chann McRae, team director of the Chipotle squad, welcomed the arrival of Leibovitz and Ratcliff who he rates as among the best prospects coming out of the United States.
"These guys are the reigning collegiate national champions, winning titles in the road race, criterium, and team time trial," said McRae. "Adam and Alister have been awarded contracts with the team for the standard of excellence they set for themselves."
Slipstream Sports founder Jonathan Vaughters added that the two Americans were synonymous with the team’s objectives to develop and nurture up-and-coming riders and help them perform on the world’s top stage.
"When I started this organization, my dream was to foster an environment where young riders could flourish," said Vaughters. "It gives me great pride to continue that mission and to welcome Adam and Alister to Team Chipotle. They are great riders and great examples of the future of the sport."
A full 2012 Team Chipotle roster will be released later this year.