Along with two new junior development programs set to launch in 2011, the Whole Athlete squad will build on a successful 2010 season.
Based in Marin County, Whole Athlete is partnering again with Specialized for the 2011 junior and U23 development team. With five riders focused on the Pro XCT national cross-country series, 13 grassroots mountain bike racers, and a four-member U23 road team, Whole Athlete/Specialized will contest a range of events from the Sea Otter Classic to the Cascade Classic Stage Race, said team director Dario Fredrick.
Fredrick said the squad will return to the mountain bike nationals where in 2010 riders earned five championship titles.
“Specialized recognizes the challenges facing young riders who are progressing from the local to national stage and we are committed to their long-term future in the sport,” said Ian Dewar, Specialized USA partnership manager.
Meanwhile, the Whole Athlete riders won’t be the only ones rolling to starting lines in 2011. Swiss bike company BMC has launched a U.S.-based U23 team and a Durango, Colorado-based U25 squad will also contest races in North America.
As for Whole Athlete, the 2011 squad is a blend of talent including National Champions Kate Courtney and Keegan Swenson (Junior 15-16 MTB XC), Will Curtis and Zach Valdez (2010 California State and SoCal High School MTB Champions) and 2010 World Championship Team members Tony Smith and Sofia Hamilton.
The team is directed by Whole Athlete founder Fredrick (two-time MTB 40-44 National Champion), while the junior girls are led by Abbie Durkee (current MTB 35-39 National Champion) and the U23 Road squad by Whole Athlete Associate Coach Peter Nicholson.
Fredrick said the team will ride the S-Works Epic and S-Works Stumpjumper hardtail 29er as well as S-Works shoes, S-Works helmets, gloves and tires.
The Whole Athlete Cycling Team is funded by donations to the Velo Development Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.