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Carney team director at Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada

The Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team has announced the signing of Jonas Carney, a US Olympian and 25-time US national champion, as its team director for the 2006 season. Carney, who retired from racing in 2004 after 15 seasons as a professional cyclist, commented, "After a year away from racing, the chance to join Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada was the right opportunity at the right time."

Carney has won eight national titles as a junior and 17 as an elite rider, including two USPRO Criterium Championships. In this next phase of his career, Carney's responsibilities will include developing Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada's race schedule, managing the team on the road, and executing its race day strategy.

Having been a member of some of domestic cycling's legendary teams, Carney, 34, hopes to apply his experience to the young Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada squad. "I'm looking forward to challenging our riders to race like a team, and collectively exceed their potential," Carney said. "I've been on teams that have raced that way and I know that this team has what it takes."

"The great advantage of Jonas as a team director is that he has competed not just against almost all of the current crop of riders, but also against the other directors," the team's Operations Manager Kurt Stockton added. "Jonas is an important piece of the puzzle for us and he'll help in the development of all our riders, especially our young sprinters." Carney unexpectedly arrived at the team's "Beer Camp" at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico, California, this week, where he was welcomed by team members.

"We were quite surprised and excited to see Jonas Carney at our Beer Camp," said Ben Jacques-Maynes. "He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we're looking forward to his leadership to help us win more races."

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