January 4/12 12:13 pm - Specialized Expands Cycling Support in Canada
Posted by Editoress on 01/4/12
Specialized is pleased to announce an expanded approach to supporting cycling in Canada. In a multi-level approach Specialized will be increasing its support for grassroots events in Canada, while also extending its existing partnership with EMD Serono and furthering its support of two Canadian XC / CX racers: Evan McNeely (U23) and Neal Kindree.
To expand its support for grassroots cycling in Canada, Specialized is pleased to announce a new partnership with Chico Racing (www.chicoracing.com), in support of the 15th Anniversary of the Summer Solstice 24 hour race.
“I can’t imagine a better bike for 24 hour racing than a Specialized Epic 29er. It rolls faster, handles better and rides smoother ... see for yourself by taking a Specialized out for a lap at our 24 Hours of Summer Solstice. 24 hour participants will take a lap on a Specialized 29er seeing a faster time with state of the art mountain bike technology,” says Adam Ruppel, of Chico Racing.
Specialized has also deepened its support of Pulse Racing (www.pulseracing.ca), in support of the Summer and Fall Epic 8 hour races in Ontario. We are pleased to continue our support of the SingleTrack Challenge.
“We are very excited to have Specialized as an event partner. The “Test the Best” demos and awesome Specialized prizes make the events more fun for everyone,” says Glenn Meeuwisse, of Pulse Racing Inc.
Specialized believes that providing support for grassroots events helps provide more places to ride. In this spirit, Specialized is also pleased to announce support of Joyride 150 in Markham, Ontario (www.joyride150.com). Joyride 150 is an innovative park for riders of all ages and abilities, with the focus on skill progression and fun!
“Joyride 150 is excited to have Specialized as a sponsor. Specialized, with its wide range of bikes from BMX to MTB to road, can fully service all of our clientele,” says Mark Summers, of Joyride 150.
To ensure support outside of Ontario, Specialized is also proud to announce new support for another race series in the interior of British Columbia - The Dirty Feet Trail Series (www.dirtyfeet.ca). Look for more announcements of event sponsorships as January progresses.
“Having been part of the Canadian cycling industry for more than 20 years, we are delighted to be able to continue our support of grassroots cycling in Canada. With Dirty Feet, Chico and Pulse Racing, we are providing support for grassroots events in Canada, and with Joyride 150 we are helping to provide year-round access for kids of all ages who love to ride,” says Larry Koury, Managing Director of Specialized Canada.
Specialized is also proud to announce the formation of a new MTB race team, in partnership with EMD Serono.
"We are very proud to renew our commitment to Canadian cycling in 2012. Since partnering with Specialized in 2009, our program has focused on the development of young riders. Evan has been an outstanding ambassador for EMD Serono, and we feel Neal can help us successfully expand our program in Western Canada. We will continue to ride in the select MS Bike Tours to raise much needed funds for people living with Multiple Sclerosis, and promote healthy living through our flagship Multibionta brand, the only multi-vitamin with a combination of vitamins and minerals plus probiotics," says Stephen Riby, Strategic Stakeholder Relations Manager for EMD Serono.
The team roster for 2012 consists of two racers: Evan McNeely, from Kingston, Ontario, is current U23 Canadian Cyclo-Cross Champion. This year Evan will be focusing his race schedule on Canadian Nationals (XC and CX) as well as select World Cups. "I’m really looking forward to being part of the Specialized family in 2012. Everything's shaping up for another great year."
Neal Kindree, from Squamish, British Columbia, has been Canada Cup Overall Champion, Canadian U23 XC Champion twice, and came fourth at the 2011 Canadian XC Nationals. Kindree also won multiple stages of the 2011 BC Bike Race, and was the silver medalist at this year's TR3. After taking a few years to recover from a knee injury, Kindree is back on the race scene and will be focusing on Canadian XC events and select Pro XCT races in the USA.
"I'm honoured to have been selected for the Specialized/EMD Serono race team. The people and the products backing this program are confidence inspiring and we are all working hard for a great cause: MS Research. I was fortunate to have great sponsors in the past but, looking ahead, I had always hoped that one day, I would pilot a Specialized. Evan and I are lucky to be a part of this new program and we are both committed to doing our best."
“When this opportunity to deepen our support for two promising Canadian racers came up this fall, we were pleased to be able to step up to the plate,” says Koury. “Canada has real XC and CX race talent, and Specialized has some of the best race bikes in the industry. We are fortunate to be in a position to support these riders. Evan and Neal will also bring important feedback to our engineers and developers as well, ensuring we continue the virtuous cycle of feedback to produce the best bikes and equipment in the industry.”
Note: The Specialized/EMD Serono factory team will follow the format of the U.S. squad, which includes riders such as Lea Davison and Todd Wells. McNeely and Kindree will receive full factory team support at eastern Canada Cups and World Cup events.