Former US Pro criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati announced Tuesday the formation of a new professional cycling team in the US, the Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team.
The UCI Continental team, registered by Transcend Sports, a partnership between Colorado Premier Training and RAHA Sports Management, will compete in the US National Racing Calendar series and international races.
The team's press release stated that it is "currently in negotiation with three Pro Tour riders who will add great depth, experience and leadership to a new program".
"We'll confirm the three big guys soon. All I can say is that they're coming from the ProTour ranks," Bahati told Cyclingnews on Tuesday.
"I'm very excited to get this off the ground. It has been a dream of mine for the last ten years to start my own programme. To have it come to fruition after a lot of hard work and stress is very gratifying. It gives me a huge sense of pride," .
Bahati grew up in Compton, one of the toughest areas of Los Angeles, California. He rose out of the poverty and crime-ridden area through his career in cycling, but never turned his back on his roots. The new team will be devoted to helping underprivileged children rise above their circumstances.
"As a rider I know what the athletes want and I wanted to step out of the box so not only are they going to race their bikes, they're going to have a purpose other than winning. The riders are going to the communities where the races are being held and help those kids and give them some insight. They're going to let them know there's something bigger out there."
After racing the past few years with the Rock Racing team, Bahati said he does not have a racing contract for the upcoming season, not even with this nascent squad.
"I'm just on the management side of the team and ownership. That could be it for me. I was looking to ride next year and had a few conversations with some teams but it never worked out.
"I wanted to continue, however I'm happy with how my cycling career has gone. I'm happy to say I can stop and not regret a thing. Our budget is set so I won't be riding as part of this team."
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