Continental status for US based team
Team Exergy will return to the UCI Continental ranks next year with a new bike sponsor, a familiar roster and a renewed sense of purpose, team manager Remi McManus told Cyclingnews this week.
Next season will mark the fourth consecutive year that management company Escalera Racing and title sponsor Exergy Development Group have partnered to field a North American team, starting with an elite amateur squad in 2010.
McManus said Exergy will enter the season with a reduced roster compared to the previous season, when the team started things off with 16 riders, the Continental team maximum.
“It took away the opportunity to add a few riders, or in particularly riders that we had our eye on,” he said of the full roster. “We didn't
like that so much, so we're going to go into it a little smaller and add a few as we progress through the season. We lost a few riders, and
actually, at this point, we've only added one, but we'll probably be entering the season with a couple more.”
The team will release its official 2013 roster as the new season approaches, but McManus confirmed that three-time US road champion
Freddie Rodriguez would return for another season.
“Freddie will be back for the long term,” McManus said. “He's part of our long term success plan.”
Canadian criterium champion Ben Chaddock will also be back, as will many of the same faces the team fielded in 2012. “We're sticking with a lot of the riders that we have, so that didn't allow us too much opportunity to look at lot of older riders,” McManus said. “We've got
our eyes on a few young guy, and the guys that we have, most of them we've had for a number of years, so we've really invested a lot of
time and development in them.”
McManus said the team will also emphasize philanthropy work next year and will announce its support for a major social cause before the season begins.
“We've worked with a few non-profits throughout the seasons, and we're actually looking for one this season that will encompass the whole team off the bike as well as on the bike,” McManus said, adding that he believes the industry needs to step up in 2013 to combat the avalanche of negative press it has received as of late. “We want to get involved in the communities we travel to and try to help people outside of cycling as well. And if we can make an impact there, then hopefully those will be stories that carry over into the cycling world.”
Both Rodriguez and Chaddock have programs that reach beyond bike racing. The Fast Freddie Foundation helps juniors and espoirs who also have aspirations outside of cycling, encouraging them to finish college at the same time they pursue an athletic dream. Chaddock has a program called BIKES, which stands for Bicycle Inspired Kinetics in Elementary Schools.
“He was in Boise a couple of weeks ago, and we went to three different classrooms in one day and talked to kids about aiming toward their
dreams by meeting their individual goals on a daily basis,” McManus said. “He's already visited like 140 schools in the past three
The 2013 team will have its first get together when it meets in Boise, Idaho, next January to learn about the team sponsors' products and the
team philosophy, while also engaging in some team-building exercises. A February training camp in Ventura, California, will focus on riding, McManus said.