Australian Sid Taberlay and Canadian Max Plaxton will anchor the Sho-Air / Specialized team for the 2010 seaon. Both will be assisted by new signing Tad Elliot and returning endurance racer Manny Prado.
"Sid Taberlay and Max Plaxton will be our two main players, and they will focus on the US Pro XCT and the Triple Crown series," said Sho-Air Specialized team spokesperson Ty Kady to Cyclingnews. Last year Taberlay finished ranked number two in the US Pro XCT, winning the Bump & Grind round en route. Plaxton was third overall in the US Pro XCT and won the Sand Creek International Classic round.
Taberlay is fresh off an Australian short track national championship win this weekend in Adelaide where he won his first-ever career short track national title though he has previously won the cross country national title three times.
Costa Rican Manny Prado will continue to race for the team, but instead of concentrating on the US national series, he will focus on west coast cross country events and international endurance races. "Prado is hoping to defend his La Ruta stage race win and may also hit the Breck Epic or BC Bike Race," said Kady. "He excels at longer stage races and will be our top tier endurance athlete."
Team newbie Elliot, an under 23 American racer, joins as more of a development rider. "He can learn from Sid and Max while having the benefits of a better support crew," said Kady. "From what I hear from Ned Overend, Tad's got phenomenal genetic attributes, is a great kid and is as humble as can be. He may be the next Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Todd Wells or Adam Craig."
The 21-year-old Elliot, who is based in Durango, Colorado, is fast not only on wheels, but also on skis. He won the 2008 Under 23 cross country championships, but had to sit out the 2009 mountain bike nationals with a broken scapula. Earlier this month, he finished second in the 15km freestyle US Cross Country Skiing National Championships and was selected to travel to Germany to represent the US at the cross country skiing World Championships.
Ben Bostrom will continue to race part-time for the Sho-Air team as he juggles his other sporting obligations. "He's racing six or seven months of the year for Yamaha, but he won the master's class in his first La Ruta race appearance last fall," said Kady. "He'll surface every now and then in mountain biking." The partnership works well for Bostrom, who is also sponsored by Specialized's Motor Sports division.
The Sho-Air Specialized team has no women on its roster for 2010. "We're still leaving the door open, not for 2010, but for 2011 and beyond to bring on a female rider. We feel that Sho-Air and Specialized could really benefit from having a woman on the team. We weren't able to fit it in in 2010."
Look for the team at US Pro XCT races, Triple Crown races, national championships, continental championships, assorted mountain bike stage races and select World Cups.
2010 Team Sho-Air / Specialized