Fiordifrutta, an Italian producer of organic jams and honeys, has announced the roster of the number one ranked US amateur cycling team. The team has spent the last five years near the top of the National Racing Calendar points classification and has graduated nine riders to the professional ranks in the last few years. The New England-based squad racked up thirty-four wins in 2007, racing a full road and cyclocross season.
In late February, the team will start its season with a training camp, including a tour of Rigoni USA which provides the title sponsorship for the sixth straight year through its Fiordifrutta brand. "Fiordifrutta is pleased to have a long-term relationship with such a fast group of racers who are great ambassadors for my product," said Rigoni USA's Claudio Mucci. The team is also pleased to have performance testing support from Incline Training in Massachusetts which is run by PhD physiologist and former Webcor director Jay Gump. The team's schedule for 2008 includes NRC and National Championship events as well as regional races on the East coast.
The squad has always focused on the development of younger riders, and continues as the nation's premier program to help riders step up to the next level of cycling. Team riders who have moved onto careers in professional cycling include: Jonathan Page (Colavita/Sutter Home, Sunweb/Projob), Mike Jones (Healthnet), Shawn Milne (Navigators, Healthnet), Justin Spinelli (Saeco, Navigators), Dan Timmerman (Kodak/Sierra Nevada), Mike Cody (Jelly Belly), Matt Svatek (Sportsbook.com), Mike Dietrich (Kodak/Sierra Nevada), and Phil Wong (Jittery Joes). Team riders who have ridden for the US National Team in Europe include: Oliver Stiler-Cote, Shawn Milne, Darby Thomas, Robbie Dapice, Donny Lopez, Matt White, and Johannes Huseby. Team members have held more than thirteen National Championship titles.
The team in 2008 is a close group of sixteen riders, consisting of twelve returning veterans and four new additions. The veterans are highlighted by team leaders Matt White and Josh Dillon. Last year, these two riders were often together on the results board, with fifth and seventh place finishes in the elite national road race, and fifth and sixth place spots respectively in the elite national time trial. White is also a cyclocross superstar on the national circuit with multiple UCI race wins in the last two years.
Fiordifrutta also supports some of the nation's top U23 riders including Todd Nordblom (third at U23 road nationals, second at collegiate road nations) and Toby Marzot (first at collegiate road nationals, two time US world team member for cyclocross). Jamey Driscoll was second at U23 cyclocross nationals and has won the Crank Brothers US Cyclocross Grand Prix for U23 the last two years. Another strong U23 rider is Hayden Brooks from Australia, who just finished 13th in his national time trial championships.
Other returning veterans include Cory Burns (eighth at elite time trial nationals) and Josh Lipka (two time New England junior time trial champion). Experience and leadership on the road come from Chris Rozdilsky, Johs Huseby, and Will Riffelmacher.
New riders include Phil Gaimon (seventh at Univest and 12th at elite road nationals), Alister Ratcliff (second in the Green Mountain Stage Race's road race), sprinter Eric Schildge, and New England up-and-comer Steve Weller.
Curt Davis and Chris Peck continue managing the squad and have been involved with this same team since 1995 as it has eventually evolved to promote the Fiordifrutta brand.
The 2008 Fiordifrutta team roster is:
Hayden Brooks, Cory Burns, Josh Dillon, Jamie Driscoll, Phil Gaimon, Johannes Huseby, Josh Lipka, Toby Marzot, Todd Nordblom, Alister Ratcliff, Chris Rozdilsky, Eric Schildge, Steve Weller, Matt White, Will Riffelmacher, Curt Davis (rider-manager), Chris Peck (manager).