SRAM Announces Formation of SRAM / Troy Lee Designs Mountain Bike Team
“For years we’d been talking about starting our own in-house team but extra resources and athlete opportunities never seemed to coincide,” says John Dawson, SRAM Mountain Bike Sports Marketing Manager. “Then it all just came together at Ft. William last season, hanging in the pit with longtime friend Craig Glaspell from Troy Lee Designs. We got all fired up on caffeine and started brainstorming the idea of creating a program that was free from outside influence. The foundation being each athlete would have total freedom to race any frame they felt was the fastest and we would take care of the rest. Now that it’s a reality, I can’t be more stoked to announce the coolest team on the mountain bike race scene—SRAM / Troy Lee Designs Racing.”
The all-American squad currently consists of downhillers Walker and Luca Shaw, and cross-country racer Russell Finsterwald. Hendersonville, North Carolina-based Walker Shaw was the 2013 U.S. Junior National Downhill Champion. As a first-year pro, Walker will campaign a carefully selected schedule that will include national and World Cup downhill events and enduros. Younger brother Luca starts the 2014 UCI Junior World Cup Downhill series ranked 3rd. Russell Finsterwald, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was the 2012 U23 U.S. National XC Champion and is a former U23 Pan Am Champion. Finsterwald will concentrate on a national and UCI World Cup cross-country schedule.
Beyond being the program’s co-sponsor, and clothing and design partner, Troy Lee Designs’ rich racing heritage and dedication to athlete development played a key role in SRAM’s decision to create the new team. Its TLD / Lucas Oil / Honda Supercross team, in fact, provided a model on which to pattern the program.
“Ever since I heard the idea of a global SRAM development team from John Dawson, I knew we had to be involved,” says Craig ‘Stikman’ Glaspell, Troy Lee Designs Global Bicycle Marketing Manager. “Our brand is seeing a lot of growth in mountain-bike riding currently, but as most people know, our roots lie heavily in racing. When it came around to becoming a reality, Troy was adamant about being involved and doing whatever it takes to be a design partner for the team. Troy knows what it takes to be a team owner, as TLD is the only protection and apparel company to have an in-house Supercross team, so he embraces SRAM’s dedication to racing and product development from his own experiences.”
“Really excited to be a part of this race team, not just because I think they are doing the right thing by giving back to the race community and young ripper kids, but we have also become good friends with all of the SRAM people over the last couple years," commented Troy Lee. "We’ve learned a lot from SRAM and I hope we can share our race team management ideas with them too. I am just glad they wanted to work with us and I pretty much jumped at the chance to be a team partner with this great group of people.”
At all events, SRAM / TLD Racing’s athletes will operate out of the SRAM tech area. Race reports and athlete information can be found at sram.com.
About Troy Lee Designs
For over 30 years, Troy Lee has been customizing helmets "For The World's Fastest Racers." TLD's relentless commitment to creating products that exceed the cutting edge of style, design and quality, has earned them the reputation as an innovator in many different fields of racing. Troy Lee Designs has since expanded into a full force operation, offering a complete line of helmets, apparel and premium protection for off-road motorcycling and bicycling, sportswear and accessories, and operating the TLD / Lucas Oil / Honda supercross and motocross team. Based in Corona, California, Troy Lee Designs has a global network of distributors. For more information visit www.troyleedesigns.com.
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