Up and coming US team Inferno Racing has received a boost in the form of sponsorship from Masi Bicycles - and like so many such deals in cycling it's the result of a chance meeting in which the two parties happened to hit it off.
Masi brand manager Tim Jackson and Inferno Racing team manager Chad Thompson met at the Interbike show in Las Vegas in September. "I was impressed by the professionalism of Chad and the team rider he had with him during the show when they stopped in the booth between visits with potential sponsors," said Jackson. "We hit it off pretty quickly and the conversation turned from a sponsorship pitch from Chad to just talking about bikes and racing. That doesn't happen often when you are talking with a Pro or Elite level team."
The upshot was that Inferno Racing will be aboard Masi bikes in 2006. The team intends to become a UCI Continental squad in 2006 and plans to race National Racing Calendar (NRC) events and potentially events like the Tour of Georgia, the new Tour of California and the USPRO Championships, as well as all USCF elite national championship events.
The team has already signed most of its roster for 2006, with two under-23 riders still in negotiation, and a potential additional sponsor waiting in the wings.
Inferno Racing roster