The Yahoo! Cycling Team was officially announced today in California and boasts a 12-rider squad that is ready to take on the heavy hitters of US domestic team racing. The team will debut at the Napa Valley Cherry and Apple Pie Criteriums that will be staged on February 6 and 7.
Led by General Manager Kevin Klein, The Yahoo! Cycling mixes young talent and experienced older riders. "We have a bunch of really talented young riders that all have great cycling careers ahead of them." The team is a partnership between Yahoo! and Ikeman Cycling, LLC.
"We're excited to launch this team in a community that is as enthusiastic about cycling as we are," said Klein. "Both our young riders and experienced cyclists are eager to get our season under way and establish ourselves as a dominant elite team."
When asked who will be the key rider on the team, Klein replied, "We have a mix of strong lead guys that can all get the job done. We won't play the same cards over and over. Other teams will need to pay attention to understand how we roll."
"When we go into the races, we plan to win, always win," said Klein.
One key rider in the team includes Evan Huffman, a current junior national champion and an Under 23 national team member. The squad's Adam Switters and Philip Mooney are team time trial national champions, and Ryan Parnes is the 2009 Californian State Criterium Champ.
Two-time Olympian Dirk Copeland is another notable member of the Yahoo! Team. He currently works for Yahoo! as a manager, a role in which he assists in a variety of projects for the development of Yahoo! "I am very excited to be part of this team and hope to contribute to the program's development by offering leadership, from the bike, during the races," said Copeland.
The team's training camp will be held in San Luis Obispo, on January 29-31, and its racing season will begin the following weekend in Northern California.
Based in Northern California, the team plans to race the majority of its season on the West Coast as well as a portion of the National Racing Calendar (NRC). Dependent upon its success in the US circuit in 2010, the team plans to move on to Continental Status in 2011.
With the creation of the team, Yahoo! plans to cultivate its cycling offerings for both its audience, online and offline, and its own internal cycling team, the Yahoo! Amateur Cycling Team.
"We're especially eager about the formation of this team with Ikeman Cycling because not only are there a number of cycling enthusiasts among our audience, but also a large number within our own Yahoo! ranks," said Barbara O'Connor, Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing at Yahoo!. "The team provides us with an opportunity to create a touchpoint with our audience both on and off the web and also to connect with and engage the passionate community of cycling enthusiasts."
2010 Yahoo! Cycling Team
Visit the team's website at cyclingteam.yahoo.com.