UnitedHealthcare to launch women’s team
Momentum Sports Group, the California-based firm behind the UnitedHealthcare UCI Pro Continental squad, will launch a new women’s team in 2014, it announced on Monday.
“We are excited about adding our women’s team in 2014,” UHC general manager Mike Tamayo said in a press release. “We have very high expectations for our women’s team, which will be built for excellence and to win. Momentum knows how to build a winning team. We plan on building the women’s program in the same manner we built our successful men’s program.”
Tamayo is the husband of Olympian and road professional Lauren Tamayo, who currently rides for Exergy Twenty16.
The new UnitedHealthcare-backed team will field a roster of 10-12 riders and will announce its staff and racing schedule later this year.
“We are enthusiastic about the launch of our women’s team,” said Momentum’s Thierry Attias. “This is the right time and the right thing to do to grow professional cycling in the right direction. We believe strongly in women’s pro cycling, and this addition is a great way to not only help grow women’s cycling, it is a strong complement to what we have with our men’s program.”
Another cycling backer in the UnitedHealth Group family of brands, Optum, launched a women’s team in 2012 to great success. The first-year squad, managed by Rachel Heal, won the National Racing Calendar and in May, took the U.S. road national title with Jade Wilcoxson.
“Adding a women’s program is very important to our sponsors, including UnitedHealthcare,” Attias said. “A large part of our focus is what our athletes do on and off the bike to inspire people to lead healthier lifestyles. The women we sign to this new team are all role models and will enhance ability to inspire, motivate and influence people to live healthy lifestyles.”
Rapha backs StarCrossed
Rapha has signed as the presenting sponsor for September’s StarCrossed cyclocross event in Redmond, Washington. The UCI Cat. 2 event will be a stop on Rapha’s new “Super Cross” series, which highlights ’cross events around the world, with stops in the U.K., Australia, and Japan.
“StarCrossed took a brief hiatus from the UCI calendar last year and we are pleased to open up the U.S. cyclocross race season in Seattle, with the support of Rapha,” Low Pressure Promotions co-founder Terry Buchanan said in a press release.
According to organizers, Jeremy Powers and Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus), and Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) have each confirmed for the first international race on the 2013-14 U.S. cyclocross calendar. The event will take place on September 14.
“I love StarCrossed as an event,” Powers said. “I’ve always loved the environment, the course layout, and the fans who pack the expo and cheer us on rain or shine. When the Tour of Alberta was put on my calendar, I knew that I was going to be West already and I really wanted to come back and do this race again. I can’t wait to put on a good show and look forward to seeing everyone out there.”
Breck Epic announces SRAM sponsorship
Organizers of the Breck Epic mountain bike stage race in Breckenridge, Colorado, have announced a new sponsorship deal with components manufacturer SRAM. The fifth edition of the race will take place August 11-16.
“Partnering with the Breck Epic is a great opportunity for SRAM here in Colorado,” SRAM mountain bike sports manager John Dawson said in a press release. “It’s an event that should be on the top of all mountain bikers’ bucket lists. We’re honored to support Epic athletes and to contribute to what we know will be the experience of a lifetime for each and every one of them.”
SRAM will provide technical support for racers before and during the six-stage race.
Race organizer Mike McCormack on Monday announced that a number of additional brands would partner with the event in 2013: WD-40 Bike, Thule, Twin Six, Ortlieb USA, Polar Bottle, and Chamois Butt’r.