Road: Bontrager Pro Cycling Team kicks off 2013 season


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  • World’s best development squad aims to conquer North America’s toughest races

(Waterloo, WI) - After a 2012 season that saw the Bontrager Pro Cycling Team prove they can compete with the best in the world at the Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge, the young, talent-rich team kicked off its 2013 campaign at the Hullabaloo in Waterloo II, an exhibition trainer drag race held in a boxing ring at Bontrager’s world headquarters. Former junior World Champion Jasper Stuyven (BEL) kept the title belt in the team’s possession for the second year in a row by out-powering the fastest members of the Bontrager development team.

With a roster bursting with the world’s most promising cyclists, Stuyven is just one of the team’s many budding talents to keep an eye on this season. He was a consistent presence in the blazing sprint finishes at last year's Tour of California, crossing handlebars with the fastest sprinters on the planet. James Oram (NZL) stormed to New Zealand’s U23 National Championship earlier this month, catching all but three of the senior athletes in his breakaway for gold. Houston native, Lawson Craddock (USA), who blasted to a win on the infamous Gila Monster climb at the 2012 Tour of the Gila, is a dangerous all-rounder with huge potential for a continued American presence in the pro peloton.

The results of the team since its inception in 2009 vouch for the team's presence in the spotlight, including 10 stage race overall wins, 27 stage victories, four world championship titles, and 15 national championships. The Bontrager Pro Cycling Team has clearly earned its place in the Pro ranks, consistently defying the expectations of a U23 development team. Team Director Axel Merckx’s eye for talent and mind for mentorship are a potent combination that has proven time and again to guide his program to success at the highest domestic ranks.

“Between Axel’s leadership and the best equipment support in the industry, the athletes have everything they need to find success,” said Trek’s Director of Athlete Marketing, Simon Thompson. “The results that they’ve turned in are impressive but what has come as a huge surprise is the number of pro tour athletes the team has been churning out year after year.”

Started as a U23 development program to nurture the next generation of great cyclists, the Bontrager Pro Cycling Team has flourished under the sage guidance of retired professional Axel Merckx. With a roster of alumni that includes the likes of George Bennett (Radioshack Leopard Trek), Sam Bewley (Orica-Green Edge), Jesse Sergent (Radioshack Leopard Trek), Ben King (Radioshack Leopard Trek), Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Taylor Phinney (BMC Pro Cycling), and recent Pro Tour transfers Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell of Team Sky, the Bontrager Pro Cycling team has become a program that teaches riders how to compete with the best in the world by competing against them.