Slipstream Sports has announced that it will bolster its Chipotle Junior Development team and make it a year-round program for 14 to 18 years olds.
The development team has produced the likes of Peter Stetina in recent years and is designed to work as a feeder team to Team Chipotle, Slipstream's Continental squad, which in turn works as a feeder team for Garmin-Cervelo.
"The Pro and Continental teams give us great pride and show that our mission of ethical sport and bringing young talent to the forefront of pro cycling is working," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports. "We'll now be devoting even more effort and energy to our mission of developing the next generation of cycling champions."
Vaughters has also appointed Christian Williams as the team's director and he will give the young riders a full-time coach. With the US junior nationals just around the corner, Williams will be looking to help guide the 14-strong team (13 boys and one girl) to success.
"To me personally and to people who were involved in this project at the beginning, the development of young athletes is what gives us the greatest satisfaction. We want to give life to the dreams these kids have, and the skills they have, and help them on their path to the pro level," Williams said.
The Chipolte programme will also test the riders and how they handle a racing environment on and off the bike, with two European trips - 10 weeks in total - planned for the 2012 season.
The riders will compete in junior races as well as Category 1 and 2 races. The goal is to give riders the experience of the high-level races that they will likely be doing in the future.
"Looking ahead to next year, will have spring and fall trips to Europe. We'll return to L'Abitibi and Rimouski and hit some of the major races on the calendar as it fits school schedules. We also make the effort to get together in non-race settings, following the model Jonathan has created for Slipstream, because getting this many talented riders together means they need to get to know each other both on and off the bike," said Williams.
Full Chipotle Junior Development Team Roster
Knop is one of the two "older" riders on the team - at 18 years old, he hails from Monument, Colorado, and was a member of the winning team at Tour L'Abitibi in 2010.
Cormac and Liam Dunn
The Dunn brothers are the youngest riders on the team - at 14 years old, they have been a feature in Colorado races in their age category all season.
Parks, now 15, was the time trial national champion the 13-to-14-year-old category. He's a Cat. 2 rider from Dallas, Texas, who has attended the USAC National Talent ID Camp.
Smith is 17 years old and hails from Oklahoma. He was recently upgraded to Cat. 2 race status.
At just 16, Daniel has traveled to Europe three times this year with the USAC national team. He was third in the time trial at Junior Nationals (15-16) in 2010 and recently won the Hugo Road Race in Colorado.
Brown hails from Virginia and at 17 years old has been upgraded to Cat. 2 race status.
Miller is a 15-year-old, multi-time medalist on the road and on the track. He's a Cat. 2 racer from Fort Worth, Texas, who has already achieved several top 10 placements during a spring race trip this year.
Schilling was recently upgraded to Cat. 2 at 16 years old. He is a former criterium national champion who has attended USAC's National Talent ID camp and raced in Beligum with the USAC 15-16 year-old team. From St. Louis, Missouri, Schilling's victories include the Fayetteville Stage Race, the Snake Alley Criterium and Tour of Herman Omnium.
At the moment, Rathbun is the only female on the junior team. She is 15 years old and already a multi-time national medalist on the road and in cyclo-cross. She hails from Monument, Colorado.
Dessau is 15 years old. From Slipstream headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, he recently won the Superior Morgul Classic. He is a two-time national champion with 18 podium finishes to-date in cyclo-cross, track and road cycling.
At 6'2", Williams is just 15 years old. He has achieved over 10 national podium placements. He is from Texas and has attended the National Talent ID camp with USA Cycling.
Rathbun is one of the two "older" riders on the team - at 18, he hails from Monument, Colorado and was a member of the winning team at Tour L'Abitibi in 2010.
A Boulder native, Gould is 16 years old and stands at 6'3". He's achieved multiple top-10 placements in junior road and track national championships.