The Focus Factory Mountain Bike Racing team, a partnership between Focus Bikes and Top Race Team, launched its ninth season of racing on Monday with 12 athletes including new arrival Timothy Jones, a former African road pro.
The semi-professional team, based in Tuscany, had been known as the Top Race Team. For 2010, the squad will consist of five elite athletes and seven master athletes. It will compete primarily in national events.
When the agreement between the manufacturer and the team was signed, Giorgio Garofoli, CEO of Focus Italy, explained the team's objectives. "We are confident that the collaboration will be long and fruitful for both, with the hope of bringing the brand Focus onto the podium at numerous events. The collaboration ... will be a real test for our bicycles."
The team is operating under a two-year agreement, with an option for a third year. Stefano Gonzi will manage the squad.
Colombians Mario Alberto Rojas Rojas and Julian Alfonso Becerra Medina will be among the elite team's riders. Italian Alessia Ghezzo is the only woman on the team, and former road pro Manuele Spadi will be facing his second season on the mountain bike. He started racing off-road for Team Focus Italy in May of 2009.
Another former roadie, Timothy Jones of Zimbabwe, will make the switch for mountain biking after 10 years on pavement. Amateur master athletes round out the team's roster.
The Focus Factory MTB Team will concentrate on point-to-point style and marathon races in Germany and Austria while in Italy, it will follow the national circuit and compete in races in the Coppa Toscana races in Tuscany.
2010 Focus Factory Mountain Bike Racing Team
Mario Alberto Rojas Rojas (Colombia)
Julian Alfonso Becerra Medina (Colombia)
Timothy David Jones (Zimbabwe)
Manuele Spadi (Italy)
Alessia Ghezzo (Italy)
Milo Burzi (Master 1)
Tronconi Simone (Master 1)
Francesco Scardaoni (Master 1)
Carlin Riccardo (Master 1)
Stefano Ciprian (Master 2)
Nicola Morozzi (Master 3)
Gianluca Galardini (Master 4)