Gita Sporting Goods announced today that the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada cycling team will be racing on Eddy Merckx bicycles in 2006, marking the return of the brand to US Professional peloton. Merckx's bikes were last raced professionally in the US by the Motorola team in the 1990's.
Speaking about the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada programme, Merckx himself said, "I'm very excited about having a top US team on our bikes again. We have been looking to develop a relationship with a US team for some time now but wanted to make sure it was a good team and a good organisation. With Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada we have found the right partner."
The team will be aboard Merckx's Premium model, a full scandium aluminum bike made with a special edition Easton Flare tube set. Having taken delivery of their race bikes at the team's training camp, which starts on February 5 in Sonoma, California, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada will debut the new machines at the Amgen Tour of California. According to team member Dan Schmatz, "I've been on a Merckx for about a month now and it's the best transition to a new bike I have ever had. After the first ride, it felt like I had been on it for years."