MotoGP star Spies launches team

Heath Blackgrove remains in yellow going into the final stage of the Tour of Southland.

Heath Blackgrove remains in yellow going into the final stage of the Tour of Southland. (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)

The 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Ben Spies, has launched the Elbowz Racing Elite Cycling Team, with the goal of being a professionally-run, high-profile team, that supports local children’s charities through outreach programs, awareness, and donations.

The team is comprised of young, emerging talent, mentored by experienced, seasoned veterans. Each rider was selected based upon their strength and personality to build what is one of the most promising teams to ever come out of Texas.

Elbowz Racing's 2011 schedule will focus primarily on the USA criterium schedule, select US National Racing Calendar and UCI events, in addition to regional races.

"We are very proud of our roster of riders and sponsors that we have secured for the 2011 season and beyond. With Ben's commitment to the sport, and the talent within the team, we're building something exciting for the future," said team manager Nick Kiernan.

Elbowz Racing has a two-tiered roster with a dedicated traveling squad and a smaller regional group, local to Spies' Texas home.

National roster: Heath Blackgrove (team captain), Andrew Gonzales, Christian Helmig, Tyler Jewell, Nick Kiernan (team manager), Joe Schmalz, Ben Spies (owner), Mat Stephens, Austin Stewart

Regional roster: Bret Crosby, Simon Essl, Randy Kienest, Michael Kincaid

Team captain Heath Blackgrove (pictured, above right) brings a wealth of international and domestic experience to the team. "I became interested in the Elbowz project after meeting with Spies and learning of his devotion to developing younger riders, and his dedication to owning a team that is rooted in teamwork," said Blackgrove.

Sponsors include motorcycle companies such as Alpinestars and Yamaha GYTR Parts plus Specialized Bicycle Components, Zipp Speed Weaponary and Monster Energy.

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