US-based Continental team Jamis-Sutter Home recently announced a portion of its 2012 roster and noticeably absent was its time trial specialist Tom Zirbel. The 32-year-old American confirmed having signed a contractual agreement with a new outfit, which will fulfill his goal of competing in a combination of US and European events.
"Everyone knows that Tom's dream is to race in Europe so if his new team takes him there, I am happy for him," said Jamis-Sutter Home directeur sportif Sebastian Alexandre. "Tom is a great athlete and a great person and I wish him only the best. Jamis-Sutter Home has always been a strong team, but with Tom we became a complete team. Having Tom on our squad helped us to challenge every stage race. The combination of Tom and Luis Amaran was very good for us."
When contacted by Cyclingnews, Zirbel said he will be joining a US-registered team and will announce the details at a later date. "I'm really excited about my team for next year, but I know that racing for Jamis-Sutter Home in 2012 would have been a great experience as well. I was feeling very fortunate to have such great options for next year.
"The decision to leave Jamis-Sutter Home for 2012 was a tough one," he said. "I had a lot of fun this year and I was so grateful to be added to the roster in May. The guys really made me feel welcome and by the end of the year, they felt like old friends. Jamis-Sutter Home has a "blue collar" vibe to it which I enjoyed. The guys work really hard to achieve great results but without any egos or entitlement. And we laughed a lot along the way!"
Despite the loss of Zirbel, the team recently announced that it re-signed many of the riders that delivered the team to the top ranking in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) in 2011, including Luis Amaran, who won the overall title in 2010. Other returning riders include Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo, Tyler Wren, Fernando Antogna, Jamey Driscoll, John Simes and Eric Schildge. The team also signed sprinter Kyle Wamsley and Peter Van Dijk for 2012.
"Since I took over the Jamis-Sutter Home team in 2008, we have always been one of the best in the US and a real threat everywhere we raced," Alexandre said. "I have a lot of faith in my riders and have no doubt that 2012 will be another great season for us. With the addition of Kyle and Peter, we have a well-balanced team. They will give us good results at the hilly races and in one-day events."
Jamis-Sutter Home aims to continue as one of the strongest teams racing in the US next season. Two top goals are to return to the UCI 2.HC Amgen Tour of California and to win the UCI 1.HC TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships. "We will target every race that we enter," Alexandre said. "Jamis-Sutter Home has a great group of riders and a very balanced roster."
Jamis Bicycles and Sutter Home Winery will continue as title sponsors of the Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling in 2012 and the team will announce additional supporting sponsors at a later date.