Team Cystic Fibrosis (Team CF) is returning in 2011 with some fresh faces on the mountain bike circuit and with a new title sponsor, Specialized. Founded by Dr. James M. Wilson, a physician, scientist and avid cyclist, the team will again spin the wheels toward achieving far-reaching goals.
2010 was a banner year for the small, but elite Team CF, which focused heavily on the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Series (NUE) and other endurance events.
Last year, the squad's Harlan Price, Cheryl Sornson and Christian Tanguy won many individual NUE events and each placed second overall in their respective professional categories of singlespeed, open women's and open men's. Additionally, Sornson took first place in the Michaux Endurance Series. Selene Yeager won the open women's category of the Trans-Sylvania Epic; she also won the Mid-Atlantic Super Series endurance series. Tanguy dominated the Michigan cross country scene, taking first in seven races.
"Our elite cyclists had outstanding success in 2010 in many different disciplines," said Team Director Jim Wilson. "Their results helped raise the visibility of the Team and awareness of our mission which is to encourage physical fitness through cycling in those living with CF and to raise awareness of this disease and money to support CF research."
All the familiar faces will be returning in 2011, along with newcomers Chris Beck, Brandon Draugelis and Carolyn Popovic. This group will focus on national and international marathon, cross country and stage races.
Price, Sornson, Tanguy and Beck will strive to win national championships in the NUE series in their respective categories. Yeager will focus on stage races including the 2011 Cape Epic in South Africa in a duo category with Sornson, the Trans-Sylvania Epic, and the Breck Epic. Sornson, Tanguy and Beck will also test their abilities in stage racing with Beck competing in the Trans-Sylvania Epic, Tanguy competing in the Breck Epic and Sornson competing in the Pisgah Stage Race.
Draugelis and Popovic will compete in the US Pro XCT series with the goal of qualifying for the World Cup events in Canada and the USA.
On the cyclo-cross side, Popovic will join Nikki Theimann and Kristin Gavin who collectively will compete in 25 races next year in the USA. In 2010, Theimann and Gavin finished the season ranked 40th and 56th in the world and 13th and 23rd in the USA, respectively.
New year, new bike
Specialized replaces Trek as the team's bike sponsor for 2011.
"Joining with Team CF gives us a great opportunity to not only achieve great race results, but also reach out to a broader community of committed cyclists," said Ian Dewar, Specialized Partnership Manager of the new sponsorship.
"Team CF will offer us a strong East Coast mountain bike presence, and increase our commitment to working with programs that care about more than just professional race results. The commitment of Team CF to raising awareness and money to support CF research is commendable and we are proud to be of assistance."
Grassroots racing support
The other objective of Team CF in its inaugural year was to establish a national team of cyclists with CF and their family, friends and caregivers. This aspect of the team, which currently comprises 100 cyclists from 25 states including 20 living with CF, will be organized into regional teams in anticipation of substantial growth in 2011.
Team CF will sponsor a number of competitive events such as a Super D series in Pennsylvania and is partnering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to conduct a nationwide program of cycling benefits rides called "Cycle for Life" to raise money for CF research.
"CF remains an incurable disease although tremendous progress is being made towards the development of more effective treatments," said Wilson. "With the support of the cycling community and our generous sponsors including the exciting collaboration with Specialized, Team CF aggressively will advance its mission to improve the health of those living with CF."
The team is also partnered with or sponsored by Chris Eatough Coaching, Verge Sport, SRAM, Brandywine Cyclery, Hill-Rom, and Infinit Nutrition.