Posted by Editor on 01/7/14
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, one of North America's top-ranked UCI continental pro cycling teams, will partner in 2014 with Diamondback Bicycles, one of North America's most well-known and respected cycling brands. Unique in professional cycling, the Optum Team consists of one professional men's and one professional women's squad.
Both Optum teams in 2014 will race all the major pro cycling races in the U.S. and Canada on Diamondback's Podium Equipe, the brand's top-tier racing machine.
"Diamondback has made a significant commitment to our program and is working very closely with our staff and athletes to deliver the most competitive racing machines available," said Men's Performance Director Jonas Carney. "Diamondback's willingness to support us, and to collaborate in the areas that will help our riders get the most out of their racing, will be a major asset in 2014."
Women's Performance Manager Kevin Field said the fact that Diamondback's designers are integrating directly with the team speaks to its commitment to road cycling.
"Knowing that our riders' feedback is going directly into new designs, prototypes and frame improvements makes us feel very confident in the bikes and vested in the relationship," Field said. "It's a true partnership."
Optum Pro Cycling is gearing up for the 2014 season, and recently announced its new men's and women's team rosters for the coming year. On the roster, there are six impressive national championship titleholders. [See Daily News - Optum Adds Canadian Content for 2014, Optum Announces 2014 Womens Squad and Optum Announces 2014 Mens Roster]
"Our partnership with Optum speaks as much to Diamondback's investment in road cycling as it does to our belief in the health and happiness that cycling brings to people," said Diamondback VP of Sales and Marketing Phil Howe. "Optum is passionate about bringing the values of ‘human-powered health' to the masses and Diamondback wants to support that message through top-level racing and the inspiration that these riders can bring to all levels of riders, new and old."
In 2013, the Optum men's team finished the season as the number one–ranked team in the USA National Racing Calendar (NRC). It was the number two–ranked team (number one continental team) in the UCI America Tour, and rider Ryan Anderson was ranked number three in the UCI America Tour individual standings.
In its inaugural season as a women's UCI team, the women Optum racers captured the first ever USPRO Road National Championships with rider Jade Wilcoxson taking the title. The team finished second in the NRC and qualified for the World Team Time Trial Championships, where it finished eighth.
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