Posted by Editor on 12/6/00
New North American Team
(courtesy John Alsedek)
LANCASTER, PA (December 6th, 2000)- The U.S. professional cycling ranks now officially have a new member, as the Noble House Professional Cycling Team was unveiled today. Sponsored by Noble House International, a financial brokerage firm that facilitates major monetary projects worldwide, the 15-rider squad is the centerpiece of a five-year, multi-million dollar cycling program that is aiming at a ride in the Tour de France in 2005 - and at revolutionizing the way professional teams are run along the way.
The Noble House Professional Cycling Team is the brainchild of Central Pennsylvania amateur racers Dennis Penny and Russell Blake, who approached Noble House Chairman & CEO Gary Coleman- a huge cycling fan- with the idea of starting their own pro formation, based in Lancaster, home of Noble House International. Coleman fell in love with the idea immediately, both because of his love of the sport and because he saw the natural synergy between professional cycling's worldwide popularity and Noble House's global interests. So he gave the 'green light' to Penny and Blake, who began building a team from the ground up- and in a way far different than the norm. With a yearly budget rivalling that of domestic powerhouses Mercury and Saturn, they could have very easily lured in a group of 'name' veterans who would have given them instant recognition. However, they decided to do things differently, says assistant manager Russell Blake: "Instead of chasing UCI points, we took the cream of the crop of U.S. amateurs, and built from there." That 'cream' included the likes of 2000 Nationals double silver medalist Shawn McCormack; '99 Espoirs National Time Trial Champion Aaron Olson; and Erik Saunders, an American expatriate who finished an excellent sixth in the prestigious French time trial, the Chrono des Herbiers. They then surrounded them with a young, but highly experienced, group of pros that could both relieve some of the pressure for the rookies to succeed immediately, and also contribute to the team's long-term goals- riders such as Festina stalwart Jonathan Hall, a former world duathlon champion; and Dominique Perras, a Canadian climbing ace who spent the 2000 season with the Swiss Phonak team. But all that young talent needed just the right person to lead the way on the road, to mentor the riders on this fledgling pro formation.....and that person was former U.S. Professional Champion Marty Jemison. It's a new role for the long-time U.S. Postal Service standout, but one that he eagerly embraces: "I look at this as a great opportunity to captain the team and use my experience to help mold these young riders."
And Jemison will receive plenty of help in that task, as the Noble House Professional Cycling Team has gone to great lengths to provide the sort of infrastructure that will afford the riders every chance to succeed. Penny and Blake are paying their charges salaries sufficient enough so that they won't have to worry about working during the off-season, are providing health insurance, and have hired a crack staff that even includes a team doctor. It's a good situation, according to team director Skip Spangenburg, himself a long-time pro who competed in 25 different countries: "We're providing a good environment for these guys to grow in. I've been in some of the worst cycling scenarios you could imagine, and understand just how important what we're doing is in helping the riders develop." That sentiment is echoed by neo-pro Jonathan Wirsing, who adds "it's really exciting- it's a totally new experience for all of us, and I really think it'll help us pull together as a team."
The team has set some very lofty goals for its inaugural season, including winning the First Union U.S. Professional Championship in Philadelphia, PA, and becoming the number one Division 3 team in the world. And the goals only get tougher from there: move from Division 3 to Division 2 in the international professional ranks in 2002, run a full European program in 2003, and qualify for the Tour de France by 2005. However, there is uniform optimism that they can succeed in achieving each and every one of them: "We have a strong team of all-rounders", opines Spangenburg, "a lot of different guys who should be in the mix in all the big races." Blake agrees, adding "This group of riders is suited to a very aggressive style of racing, one that's a lot of fun to watch. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people." And that's what they're most looking forward to; Dennis Penny speaks for all involved with the Noble House Professional Cycling Team when he says, "I'm looking forward to getting started!" The Noble House Professional Cycling Team's 2001 campaign will begin with a training camp in South Carolina at the end of January, with their first major race being the Redlands Classic, March 13th-18th.
2001 Noble House Professional Cycling Team Roster
*Marty Jemison (35 yrs old; Park City, UT)
*Jonathan Dechau (27 yrs old; Rushville, NY)
*Jonathan Hall (28 yrs old; New South Wales, Australia)
*Jon Hamblen (25 yrs old; Deerfield, NH)
*Alex Lavallee (24 yrs old; Sherbrooke, QC)
*Mark Light (32 yrs old; Lebanon, PA)
*Michael Luther (20 yrs old; Buffalo, NY)
*Shawn McCormack (24 yrs old; Plymouth, MA)
*Chris McGovern (27 yrs old; Holladay, UT)
*Glen Mitchell (28 yrs old; Hamilton, NZ)
*Aaron Olson (23 yrs old; Eugene, OR)
*Dominique Perras (26 yrs old; Montreal, QC)
*Erik Saunders (25 yrs old; Richmond, VA)
*Jed Schober (21 yrs old; Lititz, PA)
*Jonathan Wirsing (30 yrs old; Richmond, VA)
2001 Noble House Professional Cycling Team Sponsors
*Noble House International
*Butz Sign Corporation
*Lancaster Orthopedic Group
2001 Noble House Professional Cycling Team Staff
*Dennis Penny (Director of Operations/Team Manager)
*Russell Blake (Assistant Team Manager)
*Skip Spangenburg (Director Sportif)
*Dr. Drew Dahldreen, MD (Team Doctor)
*Howie Hartman (Marketing Director)
*Wesley Mendez (Chief Mechanic)
*Steve Hartman (Assistant Mechanic)
*third mechanic and team soigneurs TBA
2001 Noble House Elite Amateur Cycling Team
2001 Noble House Masters Cycling Team
New World Cup Downhill/Dual Squad
GRANADA, Spain 00/12/05 - 23 Degrees Sports Management is pleased to announce a significant addition to the international mountain bike Downhill and Dual racing scene.
Commencing in 2001, the Global Racing Mountain Bike Team, directed by Mr Martin Whiteley, will be making its philosophical and competitive presence felt at each round of the UCI World Cup, World and Continental Championships, and a large slice of the NORBA series in the United States of America.
In order to be consistent with the team's fundamental theme of world unity. Global Racing has recruited riders from every inhabited continent on the planet, The nine-rider team includes five top 20 UCI ranked names. Athletes with confirmed contracts for the 2001 season are, in alphabetical order:
Markolf Berchtold, 20, from Santa Catarina, Brazil
World ranking hit #20 in 2000 before injury halted progress. Best result 8th Bromont World Cup, 1999
Missy Giove, 28, from Durango, United States of America
Downhill World Champion 1990 (Junior) and 1994. World Cup champion 1996,97.
Mike Hannah, 17, from Babinda, Australia
Unknown who finished 2nd in the 2000 Downhill Junior World Championships. Former BMX racer
Naoki Idegawa, 20, from Japan
Formerly Japanese champion and medallist in the Asian Championships
Daisaku Kaneko, 24, from Japan
Injuries and mechanical problems kept him from gaining a world ranking in 2000, but a highly regarded rider in Japan
Sean McCarroll, 23, from Cairns, Australia
Nickname "The Bomber." A pro with four seasons' experience. 4th in the 2000 Dual World Championships
Greg Minnaar, 19, from Pietermaritzberg, Republic of South Africa
Nickname "Fresh Prince of Big Air." 8th overall in the 2000 World Cup. Scored two podium placings in World Cup races during 2000
César Rojo, 19, from Barcelona, Spain
Mechanical engineering student. 2nd in Junior European Championships 1999. Currently #20 in UCI Rankings.
Marielle Saner, 23, from Biel, Switzerland
Medallist Junior World Championships, 1994, 95; 2nd in 1997 World Championships
The team was conceived by Mr. Whiteley, the joint owner of 23 Degrees Sports Management, who after five years as Offroad Manager for the Union Cyclist Internationale is leaving to focus on this new enterprise. "The athletes that make up the Global Racing team represent a balanced mix of seasoned champions, exploding talent and potential stars," said Mr. Whiteley.
The team's full management and support staff includes: Director, Mr. Martin Whiteley; Manager, Mr. Ben Monroe; Head Soigneur, Mr. Jim Pizzano; Assistant Soigneur, Ms. Anne-Marie Ludekens; and mechanics, Mr. Patrick Griessen (Head Mechanic), Mr. Chris "Monkey" Vazquez, Mr. Mike van Zyl, and Mr. Adam Bonney. A full-time coach will soon be appointed.
As owners, 23 Degrees have opted not to fill the title sponsorship role in year one, which leaves the team free of obligation in deciding which equipment to use. "We select whichever bikes and components we consider best suit our needs, and these companies are contracted in the capacity of official suppliers," said Mr. Whiteley. The full equipment list will be released at a later date. The team will have its official launch at the Mercury Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California, on 23 March, 2001.
|Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top|