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Phil Gaimon heads up new Jukebox Cycling team for 2022

Phil Gaimon will be part of six-rider Jukebox Cycling in 2022
Phil Gaimon will be part of six-rider Jukebox Cycling in 2022 (Image credit: Peter Griffin)

Former WorldTour pro Phil Gaimon will join the new Jukebox Cycling team, which will provide opportunities for a small squad of six riders to participate in gravel, road, cyclo-cross and “experiment with different ways to embrace cycling for a sense of community”.

The squad announced an eclectic co-ed roster, with 12-year-old Xander Graham of Tour of Britain fame, cyclo-cross racer Ruby West and three gravel riders focused on the Life Time Grand Prix – Dylan Johnson, Alexey Vermeulen and Adam Roberge

Jukebox Cycling team has listed their roster and event programme on their official website where Gaimon is scheduled to ride for the team at his Phil's Cookie Fondo on October 30 in Malibu.

"We want our athletes to all be different. We want to empower our riders to push the envelope with what’s possible in cycling,” said team founder Loredo Rucchin, who is CEO of jukeboxprint.com, a global printing company based in Canada.

"Our athletes aren’t constrained to a single discipline, and that’s what makes them unique.” 

In a press release, the team said it would support riders in adventures across multiple disciplines throughout the year, and will also host a series of Zwift rides and online webinars. 

Gaimon last raced on the WorldTour level with Cannondale Pro Cycling in 2016, having spent most of his career at the Continental level. In his five years of retirement from the pro peloton, Gaimon has made his mark by founding the Phil’s Cookie Fondo bike ride, writing three books, starting a podcast and targeting Strava KOMs on some of the world’s toughest climbs. 

Vermeulen is another former WorldTour rider who was part of LottoNL-Jumbo for two seasons. Now 26, the Colorado native has turned to gravel and mountain bike racing, taking second place in the Chequamegon MTB Festival in Wisconsin this past year. That race is now one of the six events in the Life Time Grand Prix, for which Vermeulen was selected as one of 60 elite riders to compete for the combined $250,000 prize purse.

"I really like that the team embraces all different goals and disciplines, and it’s so open to developing these goals outside of just racing really fast,” said Vermeulen. "When I left the road, part of my goal was to establish more community, and I’ve been able to do that, and now I can in a bigger way. 

“This isn't like it is a team but in the sense of the word a traditional word of team. It doesn't exist like that. We all have some different sponsors. We all have different events we’ll go to. But we will be at some events together, and we all get to experience cycling in the way that best fits us, which for me means blending racing with creating communities.”

Joining him in the Life Time series will be Roberge and Johnson. Roberge raced on the road for the past six years on the Continental level, but turned to gravel in 2021 where he won the Belgian Waffle Ride Tripel Crown series and the inaugural Big Sugar Gravel. Johnson has a background in mountain bike ultra-endurance racing, and this past year on the gravel scene he was third overall in the BWR Tripel Crown and won the men’s pro division of the Southeast Gravel Series.

West is the only woman on the team, so far. The 22-year-old Canadian cyclo-cross rider who finished second in her first elite women’s cyclo-cross event at the Pan-American Championships.

"It’s been a dream come true to work with such a supportive, excited staff of people at Jukebox who love cycling as much as I do, with other riders who are doing amazing things in the sport. It’s exciting to be part of a group of people who really genuinely love cycling,” said West, who aspires to complete her cyclo-cross season and mix in road, track and mountain biking.

Completing the roster is the almost-teenager Graham, the reigning Scottish cyclo-cross champion, who grabbed attention while riding his bike on a footpath alongside a breakaway of five in the final uphill kilometres of stage 7 of the Tour of Britain. As Graham slowed his pace, Pascal Eenkhoorn of Jumbo-Visma passed him a bidon. 

The next day for the final stage, Eenkhoorn presented Graham with a Jumbo-Visma jersey and musette, and invited him to join them on the pre-race podium to be presented to the crowd. It turned out that Graham had won the silver medal in the British U12 National Criterium Series in the morning and then rode his bike to see stage 7, which earned him television coverage and his special rewards. His racing plans with Jukebox Cycling were not mentioned by the team.

Jukebox Cycling planned to launch its web site and all media channels on January 1, 2022, and host a gravel-specific Facebook Live webinar on Thursday, January 13 at 7 p.m. ET with Vermeulen, Johnson and Roberge.

Jukebox Cycling 2022 roster

  • Ruby West
  • Dylan Jawnson
  • Alexey Vermeulen
  • Adam Roberge
  • Xander Graham
  • Phil Gaimon

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Jackie Tyson

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling for people of all abilities and ages. Tyson has been recognized for communications excellence with 10 Phoenix Awards, presented by the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp - and was recognized by a national media outlet as the first female depicted in a pro baseball card set (Ft. Myers Royals). She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times. Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in  Provence (France). Her favorite mountain bike rides are in Park City, Utah (USA).