Former ProTour rider keeps it local
Floyd Landis will compete for the Bahati Foundation in 2010 after the team announced its recent signing of the 34-year-old and US National Cyclocross Team rider Josh Berry.
Landis will serve two roles - as rider and ambassador for the Bahati Foundation, with the organisation aiming to 'support inner-city youth and garnering positive attention through his [Landis'] success on the bike'.
The move comes after Landis had made moves to join Rock Racing in an attempt to return to European racing given that Michael Ball's outfit received a Professional Continental licence. He only competed in the team's uniform once however, at the Tour of the Bahamas.
When it was recently revealed that Rock Racing wouldn't operate as a professional team in 2010, Landis made the switch to the team established by Bahati, another former Rock Racing rider who found himself without a place in the professional ranks thanks to downsizing conducted before the 2009 season.
Bahati's project has gained momentum as the NRC season approaches, in stark contrast to Ball's faltering efforts at continuing his team; Landis is a key signing for the squad with a benevolent mission.
Landis, meanwhile, was recently embroiled in new controversy involving his 2006 Tour de France performance and subsequent suspension for doping. This latest news could be seen as an encouraging step away from troubled times.
"Cycling has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn't otherwise have had, and I look forward to helping provide the same opportunities for less fortunate kids," said Landis.
He'll join the likes of former Toyota-United Pro and Fuji-Servetto rider Hilton Clarke, Jason Donald (ex-Garmin-Slipstream), plus experienced Australians Nathan O'Neill and Matt Rice.
The team's General Manager, Steve Owens, is optimistic about the signing from both the competitive and social perspectives. "We're confident in Floyd's commitment to being a powerful ambassador for the Bahati Foundation and supporting the team in winning marquee events like the Tour of California," he said.