February 1, 2006 – Gita Sporting Goods announced today that the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada cycling team will be racing on Eddy Merckx bicycles in 2006. This marks the return of Eddy Merckx bikes to US Professional peloton. Merckx’s bikes were last raced professionally in the US by the legendary Motorola team in the 1990s.
Speaking about the Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada program, Eddy himself said, “I’m very excited about having a top US team on our bikes again. We have been looking to develop a relationship with a US team for some time now but wanted to make sure it was a good team and a good organization. With Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada we have found the right partner.”
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Operations Manager, Kurt Stockton added, “Working with Eddy Merckx and Gita Sporting Goods, we have the opportunity to align our team with the greatest cyclist in history while giving our athletes the advantage of using the best equipment available. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation.”
Having taken delivery of their race bikes at the team’s training camp, which starts on February 5 in Sonoma, California, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada will debut the new machines at the Amgen Tour of California.
Team member Dan Schmatz commented, “I have been on a Merckx for about a month now and it’s the best transition to a new bike I have ever had. After the first ride, it felt like I had been on it for years.”
Pete Lopinto added, “The name Eddy Merckx is synonymous with winning, and we just want to continue that tradition.”
The team will be aboard Merckx’s Premium model, a full scandium aluminum bike made with a special edition Easton Flare tube set designed to Eddy’s specifications. Gita currently offers the Premium in standard and sloping geometry. A special Team Issue sloping model will be available in early spring.
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada’s Merckx frames will be equipped with SRAM’s new road component group, along with Mavic wheels, Easton bars, stems, and seatposts, fi’zi:k saddles and bar tape, Michelin tires, Cank Brothers pedals, CatEye computers, Specialized bottle cages, and FSA headsets.
Gita Sporting Goods, Ltd. is a privately held corporation based in Charlotte, NC. An importer and wholesaler of high quality equipment and soft goods it has serviced the U.S. bicycle industry for over 20 years. Gita currently represents the following brands: Giordana, Pinarello, Eddy Merckx, Pegoretti, Opera, Ergomo, Campagnolo, Cinelli, FSA, Deda Elementi, and Gommitalia.