Health Net/Maxxis Reloading for 2006

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

The top men's team of the National Racing Calendar the past two years announced its roster for the 2006 season, and with quite a few changes . Like the Yankees in baseball, Health Net/Maxxis faces the success paradox - producing winning riders who rightfully demand top dollar the following year. For the team that won both USPRO jerseys, that top dollar skyrocketed, and both bearers of the stars and stripes jersey have left for new opportunities. This left Jeff Corbett with the crucial task of retaining the riders he could and signing new talent, all the while keeping within a budget.

Well Corbett is at it again, and has put together another strong roster that should challenge in any of the major North American races in 2006. Returning to the team are a host of strong, veteran riders, including sprinters Gord Fraser and Greg Henderson. 2005 NRC champion Scott Moninger also returns to defend his title, with Mike Sayers alongside him.

The new signings to the team should produce a well-rounded attack. Tim Johnson comes from Jittery Joe's as a general classification contender, while a trio of Navigators Insurance riders, Nathan O'Neill, Kirk O'Bee and Jeff Louder, will help in a variety of roles. Australian Karl Menzies is cashing in on his breakthrough season in 2005 with the Advantage Benefits/Endeavour team, bringing with him the young Garrett Peltonen. European neo-pro Alberto Tibero comes across the pond from the Swiss LPR continental team, after getting a taste of U.S. racing in the 2005 Tour de Georgia.

Gord Fraser, Canada
Kyle Gritters, USA
Greg Henderson, New Zealand
Tim Johnson, USA
Mike Jones, USA
Roman Kilun, USA
Jeff Louder, USA
Karl Menzies, Australia
Scott Moninger, USA
Kirk O’Bee, USA
Nathan O’Neill, Australia
Doug Ollerenshaw, USA
Garrett Peltonen, USA
Mike Sayers, USA
Alberto Tibero, Switzerland

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