January 31, 2009 – Breakout the helmets and spandex, February is finally here. This month plays host to more than one professional competition in the United States. The one the cycling world is getting amped up for is the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, and the guys on the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team will be facing off with new talent and familiar faces at this year’s race.
The Jelly Belly Team begins its official training camp February 2 in San Marcos, Calif., where sponsors are invited to meet the staff and riders. And although individual riders have been training and racing since they returned from China in November, this will really be their chance to build team tactics and strategies for the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, February 14 through 22.
Last week, the team and staff met in San Marcos to ring in the 2009 season. Here the new members of the team were introduced, Matt Crane, Phil Gaimon, Johnny Clarke and Will Routley; including new addition to the essential staff, Team Mechanic John Sessa. Returning Jelly Belly riders include Nick Reistad, Keil Riejnen, Bernard van Ulden, Brad Huff, Jeremy Powers, Bryce Mead and Matty Rice. At this earlier media camp, the riders were able to quiz GT Bicycles representative Robert about their new monocoque frames and try out their new fi’zi:k saddles on the California hills.
Sponsoring the 2009 Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team are Jelly Belly Candy Company, Aramark, GT Bicycles, fi’zi:k, Speedplay, Park Tool, Kinetic, Arundel, Hutchinson tires, Gatorade, Lexus, Champion Systems, Ritchey, Rudy Project and Inno Racks. Joining the ranks is first-year sponsor SRAM. Two SRAM representatives were able to attend the earlier media camp and answer some questions about the team’s new wheels.
Eight riders will be participating in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California; returning riders Nick Reistad, Keil Reijnen, Bernard van Ulden, Brad Huff and new members Will Routley, Matt Crane, Phil Gaimon and Johnny Clarke.
Continue to check the Web site for team updates and coverage. And remember, if you have questions for the riders, we’d love to hear them. Just post a comment on the Web site at www.jellybellycycling.com.