Team Exergy confirmed its upgrade from an Elite team to a UCI Continental team for the 2011 season. It is one of three new US-based outfits, including Wonderful Pistachio and RealCyclist.com, that have expressed an interest in turning professional for the upcoming season.
"We were a first year amateur team last year and were going to be UCI but the Exergy Development Group didn't come on until later in the year, December, so it was too late to file for UCI," said press officer and racer Remi McManus. "The decision was made to run the best possible Elite team with the commitments that had already been made to the riders and supporting sponsors last year. But, it was always the plan to make the natural progression to UCI status."
Exergy Development Group is dedicated to sustainable economic development in the United States, according to McManus. Its main focus is the responsible implementation of strategies minimizing impact on resources. It implements this strategy by successfully merging free market principles with environmental, societal, and community values.
"They find the land and develop contracts with land owners to develop wind parks," McManus said. "One of our themes is to try to be as green as possible. Cycling is a consumable sport so one of our things will be to provide recycling bins at our trailer and try to use recyclable bottles and things like that."
The Boise-based Continental team is managed by Escalera Racing LLC and will focus on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) in 2011. Its 11-man roster includes returning riders McManus, Andres Diaz, Chris Hong and Kai Applequist.
New riders include Eric Barlevev (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis), Matt Cooke (Mountain Khakis f/b Jittery Joes), Sam Johnson (Hagens Berman), Erik Slack (Under 23 US National Team), Carlos Alzate, Ben Chaddock (Rubicon-Orbea) and Quinn Keogh (Rubicon-Orbea).
The outfit secured a two-year sponsorship with Felt Bicycles and will unite for a sponsor education camp in late January in Boise, Idaho followed by a training camp in February in Ventura, California.
USA Cycling names preliminary list of nine men's Continental and three women's professional teams
As of October 20, USA Cycling published a list of teams that have declared an intent to register as a US-based Continental team. Returning teams include Kelly Benefit Strategies, Jelly Belly p/b Kenda, Kenda-Geargrinder, Bissell and the Under 23 Trek Livestrong.
New outfits and title sponsors listed include Team Exergy, Wonderful Pistachio and RealCyclist.com. Also on the list was the Elite team Ride Clean, which has decided not to file its UCI Continental application with USA Cycling.
"Due to unforeseen problems with our sponsors, the Ride Clean team has decided not to file with USA Cycling for Continental status in 2011," said Marty Ryerson representing the Ride Clean team.
Noticeably absent from the list is Jamis-Sutter Home, however the team's Directeur Sportif Sebastian Alexandre has assured that the appropriate UCI documents and contracts will be submitted to USA Cycling‘s auditor's office before the November 5 deadline.
There are three women's teams that have expressed an interest in maintaining is status with the UCI that includes Team TIBCO, HTC-Columbia and Safi Pasta-Zara, formerly registered in Italy.