Wisconsin, USA's Matt Kelly will return to professional cycling with Subaru-Gary Fisher. "I'm really glad to be back on a bike again, and I think that Subaru-Gary Fisher is the perfect fit for me," said Kelly. "They are really supportive of what I want to do. I know that I can race with the best, but it may take a little time. They're cool with that.
"My goals are pretty simple this year. I want to be a contender in the NORBA circuit and build towards the US National Championships in Mammoth."
Subaru-Gary Fisher team manager Jon Rourke said, "We are really excited to have Matt join the team. We see the fire in his eyes. He is excited to be on his bike and be racing. We are going to try to provide him with the environment and the tools for success. Most of all we want him to enjoy what he is doing because that is the character of our team."
Matt Kelly gained international attention in 1999 when he won the Junior Cyclocross World Championship. He quickly became one of cycling's brightest stars, earning a factory mountain bike contract when he was 18. However, he decided that he didn't want to put his youth on hold for the sequestered life of a career athlete, and travelled to Hawaii for a backpacking holiday. That led to a number of things non-cycling related, but eventually the bug came back to him when he returned to Colorado. He began racing in the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) this year, regaining fitness and form, and at the end of the season he was offered support from a cyclocross team.
Kelly showed that he was ready to race at the top level of the sport by winning a UCI cyclocross race and finishing fifth at a snowy US Gran Prix in Gloucester, MA. He also stayed in contact with the people at Gary Fisher, and a week before Christmas, he signed a one year contract to race for them.