The Momentum Sports Group announced today that its title sponsor, UnitedHealthcare, has signed on for another three years giving the team a secure future through 2014.
The team earned the support through two years of working closely with the insurance giant to extol the benefits of a healthy lifestyle across the country.
"Partnering with Momentum Sports Group provides us with a number of opportunities that go well beyond promoting the benefits of exercise and cycling," said Jeff Alter, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. "When not racing, this team is engaging communities and their youth in educational discussions and activities that will develop healthy habits early in a person's development."
The team made more than 30 appearances at local hospitals, schools and community events in 2011. The team also helps raise money for the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation, a nonprofit public charity that provides medical grants to children in need.
One of the places the team visited was the North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center in Minneapolis prior to the Nature Valley Grand Prix race last June. The team was granted special dispensation by the UCI to compete in the national level event because of its importance to the title sponsor.
"This was the second year in a row that members of the UnitedHealthcare pro cycling team visited our Y, and our kids really enjoyed learning from nationally competitive cyclists how cycling, eating the right foods, staying active and setting goals helped them in becoming professional athletes. These visits also exposed the kids to the possibility of a career in pro cycling," said Alicia D. Johnson, program executive of North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center.
The riders themselves enjoy serving as ambassadors for the company and its mission.
"We love racing under the UnitedHealthcare banner and traveling around the country talking about the health benefits of exercise and proper nutrition," said sprinter Jake Keough. "Winning races is very important to our team, but just as important for us is having a positive impact on the lives of young people."
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will continue to focus a large part of its season in the USA, taking on the National Criterium Calendar, which is open to Pro Continental teams, along with the domestic UCI events such as the Amgen Tour of California in addition to its European schedule.