Kenda, X-Fusion, and Titus combined to take over title sponsorship of the women's mountain biking team formerly sponsored by Ford Motor Company. Managed by Quick Release Racing, this team will compete at all of the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) events, the Sea Otter Classic, the US National Championships, collegiate nationals, and several marathon and ultra-distance events in 2007 including La Ruta de los Conquistadores.
Melanie Meyers, who capped her first season in the elite ranks as the third ranked U23 rider in the US, re-signed for a second year. She also took two podium places at collegiate nationals in cross country and short track events.
Joining the team for 2007 are first-year professional Sarah Barber and Zephanie Blasi. Barber had a breakout year in 2006, finishing eleventh in her first elite national cross country race. Blasi has competed in both endurance and gravity events, but will focus on cross-country and super D events for 2007.
Heather Holmes rode with the squad as an expert in 2006 during which she captured the expert cross country and short track national titles. She moves into the pro ranks. Timari Prius rounds out the roster with her emphasis on ultra-endurance and marathon events.
In addition to competing, the women will serve as cycling ambassadors across the US. They will focus on school and community programs aimed at getting more girls involved in sports and cycling by partnering with local advocacy and junior racing programs.
"This Team is the culmination of many years of sponsoring women athletes," said Jim Wannamaker, Marketing Director for Kenda USA. "Bringing several of the women athletes that Kenda has sponsored individually under one umbrella will really showcase the team aspect of this sport."
Alex Wheeler, US Marketing Manager for X-Fusion, had similar sentiments. "The team is a great addition to the broad support our company invests in US mountain bike competition." The women will ride Titus bikes to help market their women's geometry line of bicycles.