Following a successful 2011 season Kenda-5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder is taking it up a notch for 2012.
While retaining its core of proven talent and up-and-coming young riders, the team has added WorldTour experience, domestic GC power, more young talent and a U.S. national champion to its roster, according to managing company Inferno Racing LLC.
Returning riders include Shawn Milne, Chad Hartley, Athens Twilight Criterium winner Luca Damiani, GC rider Phil Gaimon, sprinter Isaac Howe and 2010 Tour of America’s Dairyland winner Jim Stemper. Bobby Sweeting will be back on board to try his hand at full-time professional racing.
Newcomers include 2008 U.S. pro criterium champion John Murphy (BMC Cycling Team); Paul Mach, Bissell’s longtime GC threat and time trial specialist; newly crowned U.S. elite national road champion, Max Korus (BikeReg.com); and GC contenders Nathan English (Yahoo Cycling Team) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell).
“We had a great year, despite the many challenges of a pro team,” says founder and general manager Chad Thompson. “But these guys and this program are amazing.”
The team has blossomed from its criterium-racing roots to become a stage-race threat, says Thompson.
“We found ourselves as a true GC contender this year and now aim to solidify our role as such and assure we go to all of the major U.S. races, but the Amgen Tour of California above any other is our goal,” he said.
Kenda-5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling for 2012
Returning: Robert Sweeting, Chad Hartley, Greggory Brandt, Isaac Howe, Jim Stemper, Luca Damiani, Patrick Lemieux, PhilipGaimon, Roman Kilun, Shawn Milne.
New: Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Curtis Winsor (Neo-Pro), John Murphy (BMC), Max Korus (Neo-Pro), Nathan English, Paul Mach (Bissell), Stephen Housley (Neo-Pro).