December 2/12 17:13 pm - 2013 Jet Fuel / Norco Team Introduction
Posted by Editoress on 12/2/12
On Saturday evening (December 1st) at the Jet Fuel coffee bar on Parliament Street in downtown Toronto, one of Ontario's (and, indeed Canada's) longest running sponsored road teams was introduced for next season. The introduction was a casual affair - almost a keg party - but it drew widely from the cycling scene, with pro Ryan Roth and national coach Denise Kelly both in attendance, as well as former Jet Fuel riders Matt Hansen and Peter Morse.
Jet Fuel has proven to be a launching pad for a number of Canadian men, including national road champion Roth, who started his career at Jet Fuel, and who will be joining the Pro Continental UCI team Champion System for 2013. (See our interview with Roth)
Another former Jet Fuel rider is Andrew Randell, a national road champion who rode for both Symmetrics and SpiderTech p/b C10 before retiring. Randell has decided to give back to cycling by taking on the management of the Jet Fuel squad, which has brought on the new title sponsor Norco Bicycles for next season.
Randell is intending for Jet fuel to be a development squad, offering young riders the chance to learn what it takes to make the move to the pro ranks. One of his hopes is that, if SpiderTech returns in 2014 as planned, Jet Fuel can be a source of Canadian talent. (See our interview with Randell)
The 2013 Jet Fuel Coffee / Norco Bicycles team (left to right: team sponsor Johnny Engler,Yuri Hyrcaj, Brandon Etzl, Chris Freeland, Lucas Bent, Jeff Schiller, Anton Varabei, Travis Samuel, director Andrew Randell, missing: Pablo Cruz and Luis Zamudio)
The team for 2013 consists of nine riders, six of whom are 25 and under, and seven of whom are Canadian. The two oldest riders, who will act as mentors to the younger members are Ontario's Jeff Schiller (30) and Chris Freeland (35). Anton Varabei (27) is the only other rider over 25.
The rest of the team is James Lucas Bent (22, Ontario), Pablo Cruz (20, Honduras), Junior provincial road champion and nationals silver medalist Brandon Etzl (18, Ontario), Yuri Hrycaj (23, Ontario), Travis Samuel (18, Ontario), and Luis Zamudio (25, California). (See our interviews with Schiller and Etzl)
The team will begin its season in March, in California, at races such as San Dimas, Murrietta and Redlands before returning to Ontario for the start of the season at Good Friday. May and June will see them race in Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. northeast, before heading to Quebec for Lachine and Road Nationals in July, and out to BC Superweek. The rest of the season will have the team at races in Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. northeast.
Randell will not be racing or travelling with the team on longer road trips, preferring to coordinate from his home base in Toronto after years of living on the road.
See our interviews from the Team Launch.
Gallery of images