Team SmartStop announced on Saturday that they have signed US elite road champion Emerson Oronte for the remainder of the 2015 season. The 25-year-old will add to the team’s depth ahead of the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships held on Memorial Day Monday.
"Team Smartstop has been on my radar for a few years now and I'm really excited to finally be part of the team," said Oronte, who joined the pro ranks with Jelly Belly in 2011 where he spent three seasons mainly racing in the top events on the North American circuit.
"What I find especially appealing about the program is that it does a really good job of investing in and growing their riders. Mike and the rest of the management clearly care about the success of their guys and don't view them simply as cogs in a machine."
Oronte has had a strong early season after winning the overall title at the San Dimas Stage Race in March. He also finished in the top 10 at National Racing Calendar (NRC) events Redlands Bicycle Classic and Tour of the Gila.
"Emerson has showed a big leap in physical ability this year and a real desire to race which is always a positive influence on the riders - a good energy," said director Mike Creed. "He’s turned himself into a really talented GC racer but he is also handy enough on the bike to help out when the stages doesn’t suit him."
Oronte will line up with his new outfit at the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships on Monday. He will also race at Winston-Salem and Philadelphia Cycling Classic, Tour de Beauce and Saguenay.
Team SmartStop has been invited to race at the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge, where Oronte is hoping to earn a start spots, and Tour of Alberta.
"My early goals with the team include getting to know the guys well and fitting in, team chemistry is something that often gets overlooked but I think it pretty critical. After that, I'd love to play a part in helping the team secure some results in some of the larger mid-season events like Nationals, Winston-Salem, Beauce, or Saguenay," Oronte said.
"My big goals include making the rosters for Utah and Colorado wherein I hope to again play a part in getting the team name at the top of the results sheet."