Team Exergy has finalized its 2012 roster well in advance of the November 5th UCI application deadline. The Boise, Idaho based Continental team will return the majority of the 2011 cast along with 5 new riders added to firm up the squad. The expansion coincides with title sponsor Exergy Development Groups growing involvement in the world of cycling and is designed to allow the second year outfit an opportunity to win North American stage races and properly contest the newly announced NCC schedule.
Director Sportif Tad Hamilton explains the thinking behind Team Exergys formula for 2012; “We feel that the division between the NCC and the NRC requires two distinct racing platoons. The success that Carlos Alzate and Ben Chaddock earned last year in criterium racing gives us great confidence that we can field a crit squad strong enough to challenge the NCC, however we dont want our best stage racers to have to ride support for our sprinters. The addition of several new sprinters will allow guys like Andres Diaz and Matt Cooke the liberty to completely focus on winning stage races.”
3 time U.S. Pro Champion Fast Freddie Rodriguez returns to captain the teams sophomore season. Rodriguez showed he still is one of Americas best racers during his return to professional competition last summer, finishing on the podium at Tour of Elk Grove and also on the final stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. In addition, his extensive experience and calm demeanor are invaluable for radio-free North American racing where tactical decisions often have to be made in the peloton without the benefit of immediate information from the Directors car.
The team returns 5 other riders from its inaugural year: Co-captain Kai Applequist, Sam Johnson, and Quinn Keogh, along with twins Conor and Kevin Mullervy. These 5 young men apprenticed as neo-pros in 2011, and their growth and improvement is essential to a successful second season. Applequist and Johnson will spend their year on the stage race crew, while Keogh and the Mullervy brothers will see mostly crit action.
New riders include Morgan Schmitt, Sergei Tvetkov, Zack Davies, Logan Loader, and Andres Alzate (Carlos younger brother). Schmitt and Tvetkov are deeply experienced racers, with Schmitt coming off 2 years racing for United HealthCare, including the latest season spent in Europe. Tvetkov is a former Moldovian national champion and may be the darkhorse of next years domestic peloton. Davies, who moves across to Team Exergy from V Australia, will work with neo-pros Loader and Alzate to assist the elder Alzate and Chaddock in their quest for criterium glory.
The 5 new additions follow Escalera Racings recipe of using selfless teamwork and aggressive riding to achieve success. Director Hamilton added, “There were some high-profile riders on the market this fall, but we feel strongly that our squad is already very sound. While bringing in a ringer might make the team more attractive for race invites, it doesnt guarantee that the team will be better. These roster changes show loyalty to returning riders, offer opportunity to talented new riders and make the team much deeper.”
General Manager of Escalera Racing, Remi McManus, commented on the roster changes, “We were delighted with the way our men raced in 2011, we just needed to add depth. The small roster left us short-staffed when races conflict, but now we have the manpower to attack every race on our schedule. Theres no doubt that the split squad schedule will test our organization, but it will also add many more opportunities for success. Add to that more opportunities to reach out to the people and communities we visit.”
Generous support of major North American events and the addition of the ladies Team Exergy/2012 squad has made it very clear that Exergy Development Group is making a long-term investment in the sport of cycling. “We are excited about the newest members of Team Exergy and are looking forward to next season. Exergy is committed to the advancement of professional cycling, and with the addition of the ladies’ Team Exergy/2012 the Exergy road racing family is now complete. Both teams make excellent ambassadors for cycling and for our company by helping us raise awareness about renewable energy, while giving back to communities and fans along the way, said James Carkulis, CEO of Exergy Development.