Rock Racing has bolstered its ranks for 2009 with the signings of European specialists Baden Cooke, Francisco Mancebo and José Enrique Gutiérrez, as well as top domestic talents Ivan Dominguez, Glen Chadwick and Chris Baldwin. Columbian Santiago Botero will not return for 2009, racing closer to home since the birth of his daughter.
Rock Racing owner Michael Ball also announced the re-signing of United States of America National Champions Tyler Hamilton (Road), Rahsaan Bahati (Criterium) and Justin Williams (Under 23 Criterium). Oscar Sevilla, Fred Rodriguez and Victor Hugo Peña will all return to the squad for another season.
"We have assembled a world class team and acquired a mix of tremendous talent and experience," said Ball. "We have the strength, depth and tenacity to compete in any race around the globe."
Rock Racing's line-up for its third season includes riders from eight different countries who have won stages at all three of cycling's Grand Tours – the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España – as well as multiple national championships.
"Last year was a year of redemption," Ball said. "Given the opportunity to ride, we proved we were able to win. In 2009, we will continue our winning tradition, and from a branding and fan perspective, be the number one team in the world."
In 2008, Rock Racing scored 45 victories and 106 podium finishes. In the final two months of the season, the team came away with five medals at the 2008 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships and Sevilla became the first non-Colombian in 48 years to win the RCN Classic.
Among those not returning to Rock Racing for 2009 is Botero, who represented Colombia at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The 2002 world time trial champion decided to race closer to home following the birth of his daughter earlier this year. Controversial criterium racer Kayle Leogrande was also left off the roster.
Rock Racing's 2009 roster: Rahsaan Bahati, Chris Baldwin, Alex Boyd, Austin Carroll, Glen Chadwick, Baden Cooke, Michael Creed, Freddy Cruz, Ivan Dominguez, Danny Finneran, Jose Manuel "Chepe" Garcia, Cesar Grajales, José Enrique Gutiérrez, Tyler Hamilton, Sergio Hernandez, Sterling Magnell, Francisco Mancebo, Caleb Manion, Ian Moir, Víctor Hugo Peña, Fred Rodriguez, Oscar Sevilla, David Taner, David Vitoria and Justin Williams.