Riding high after two successful introductory seasons, Team CF is returning in 2012 for its third year as one of the top elite teams on the domestic endurance and cyclo-cross circuits. The American team will keep its elite riders from last year plus will add a few more to its growing roster.
Last year, the elite mountain bike squad focused on the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series as well as other select 100-mile events and off-road stage races and came away as a dominant force, putting at least one argyle-clad Team CF rider on the podium at nearly every race it attended.
Former NUE champion Cheryl Sornson and Selene Yeager teamed up and scored an impressive eighth place in the overall GC at the Cape Epic stage race in Africa. Domestically, Sornson won three 100-mile races and took second overall in the NUE series as well as repeated her 2010 overall championship placing in the Michaux Endurance Series. Along with a pair of MASS endurance series race wins, Yeager placed second overall at both the Trans-Sylvania Epic and Breck Epic stage races, with individual stage wins at both.
Chris Beck and Brandon Draugelis scored numerous first place and podium spots throughout the region with top fives at NUE series races as well. Carolyn Popovic raced the Windham World Cup cross country in New York against an international field of the best female riders in the sport, and she also earned a 12th overall placing in the US PRO XCT national series. Cyclo-cross specialist Nikki Thiemann caught enough podium places in mountain bike racing to successfully upgrade to pro status for this season.
On the 'cross side, Thiemann won two UCI-ranked races and got second at two while finishing out the season with a 21st in the elite class at nationals and a third in Masters 30-34 (with Popovic right behind her). Yeager is the new master's class Pennsylvania State Champion and she also won the PACX elite series title. Not only did Kristin Gavin score a top 10 at the UCI-ranked Nittany Cross and a third overall in the Mid-Atlantic cyclo-cross series, she's also the newly crowned Pennsylvania elite state champion.
Not messing with success and with the same heaping handfuls of lofty goals, the entire elite team is returning in 2012 along with two new additions: current singlespeed national champion Cary Smith from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and 2009 and 2011 MASS series elite champion Kathleen Harding from Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
Team CF has targeted the NUE Series, Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race and the MASS series as major 2012 objectives for podium placings as well as overall titles. Popovic will also chase international ranking points at a majority of US PRO XCTs as well as possibly two World Cup cross country events in Mt. Saint Anne, Canada and Windham, New York. Newcomer Smith will be contesting west coast NUE series events in addition to the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
On the 'cross side, the team will focus primarily on the MAC and PACX series with Thiemann chasing UCI points at the USGP of Cyclo-cross series as well as at XMAS cross in Belgium, plus the US National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2013.
Team CF had a successful year in promoting the health and well being of those living with CF through several venues. The team partnered with the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) to help raise over $2 million for CF research through a national series of cycling benefits called Cycle for Life. The Team has recruited over 100 cyclists across the country including many who are living with CF to help raise money and awareness for CF. It hopes to increase the size of this diverse group of recreational and competitive cyclists in 2012. Interested cyclists may visit teamcf.org/joining-team-cf-in-2012/.
The team will continue to race onboard Specialized bikes.
2012 Team CF