In a bold move upward for 2007, Team TIAA-CREF not only becomes Team Slipstream presented by Chipotle, but moves up a big notch into the UCI's professional continental category. The team's unique cross-Atlantic schedule consists of racing the USACycling professional tour, the European Continental Tour and hopefully a few ProTour wildcard starts. This schedule will prove challenging but rewarding for both riders and sponsors.
"We are happy to be growing - and growing at a rate that will put us on our objective of riding the Tour de France by 2009," director sportif Jonathan Vaughters announced.
"Team TIAA-CREF hasn't disappeared, their sponsorship has moved to our junior development team," he continued. "However, the professional team, Slipstream presented by Chipotle, is no longer in any way, shape or form a development team. We are still a young team, but now we will race to win, not learn."
Slipstream-Chipotle has added a few young and talented riders but without losing its deep roots as an American team. ProTour signings, such as Patrick McCarty (Phonak) and Kilian Patour (Crédit Agricole), bring experience, and young talents such as U23 Paris-Tours winner Huub Duyn (Rabobank) and Aussie Ben Johnson (Agritubel) bring enthusiasm. Returning star riders include current USPRO criterium champion, Brad Huff, U23 road race and criterium champion, Craig Lewis, and 2001 U23 TT world champion, Danny Pate.
"Pate will be one of the biggest surprises of 2007." states Vaughters, "He was right on the cusp of truly breaking through in 2006, I have no doubt he will have a few rides that leave people awestruck in 2007."
For the next season the team has reached an agreement to ride on Felt carbon frames. The team is reportedly working on a "unique and yet to be revealed" paint scheme.
Roster: Huub Duyn, Kilian Patour, Pat McCarty, Benny Johnson, Danny Pate, Brad Huff, Craig Lewis, Ian MacGregor, Tyler Butterfield, Blake Caldwell, Steve Cozza, Michael Creed, Jason Donald, Timmy Duggan, Lucas Euser, Michael Friedman, Will Frishkorn, Alex Howes, Michael Lange, Francois Parisien, Tom Peterson, Peter Stetina and Taylor Tolleson.
Staff: Doug Ellis (chairman, Slipstream Sports), Jonathan Vaughters (director sportif/General Manager), Johnny Weltz (director sportif), Elizabeth Seliga, CPA, MBA (chief financial officer), Prentice Steffen, MD (team physician/medical director) and Allen Lim, PhD (team physiologist)