Planet Bike Announces Jonathan Page Sponsorship, UCI Race
Madison Wisconsin, March 21, 2008 For immediate release
Planet Bike, a Madison Wis. based bicycle accessory maker who donates 25% of profits to bicycle advocacy, announced it’s roster today for its Cyclocross Team for 2008/2009. In only its second year of sponsoring a Cross team, Planet Bike stunned the cyclocross world by announcing they signed the top UCI rated American Cyclocrosser and 2007 Worlds Silver medalist Jonathan Page.
Company President and founder Bob Downs had this to say about the announcement, “We are very proud, honored and excited that Jonathan has chosen to represent Planet Bike for the upcoming 2008/2009 Cyclocross campaign. Jonathan’s story is inspiring from his gutsy ride for 2nd place in the 2007 US Nationals after his shoulder injury to make the Worlds team, to his near storybook ending ride to challenge for the 2008 World Championships in Hooglede-Gits Belgium. It is fitting that an American company be the title sponsor for the American who has come closest to capturing the one remaining major World Elite Men’s Cycling title that has eluded U.S. riders. JP’s sacrifice, determination and heart are representative of our company in the way we do business and we feel it is a very good fit both personally and professionally. Now if we could only sign his daughter Emma and son Milo to contracts, we would be set for a long time!” Downs joked, referring to Jonathans children with his wife and former U.S. National Road Champion Cori (Book) Page.
Page will race primarily in Europe in his pursuit of a World Championship, but he will represent Planet Bike stateside at US Nationals, Vegas Cross, the Tailwinds Race in Michigan and at a new UCI event in Madison, Wis. that will bear Pages name, the “Madcross presents, Jonathan Page’s Planet Bike Cup” the weekend of Sept 27-28. “We hope to make this one of the premier Cyclocross events in the U.S. over the coming years and Jonathan’s star power and presence will help make it just that” stated Downs regarding the new race.
In addition to Page, Planet Bike also announced two other Elite riders who will team up to give Planet Bike one of the strongest Cross teams anywhere. Planet Bike rider Tristan Schouten will again be in team colors for 2008/2009 after finishing a resurgent 8th at U.S. Nationals last year after being ill for most of the early 2008 season. “Tristan has represented the U.S. at Worlds and is on the verge of being one of the top Elite riders in the U.S. He rides with a lot of heart and does not leave anything out on the course. He is also an outstanding young man and very popular amongst the other riders on the circuit, we are proud to have him again on the Planet Bike team.” stated Downs.
In addition to Wisconsite Schouten, Planet Bike has inked up and comer and local Madisonian Marko LaLonde, who won the 2007 U.S. National Cyclocross Single Speed title by beating a stacked field, including former World Champ Travis Brown. “Marko has an impressive resume and tremendous potential as a former collegiate distance runner. He has a big motor and his results have all come on a single speed, mostly against Elite riders on geared bikes. He’s going to ride a geared bike for us this year and we expect big things from him, once he learns how to shift gears” Downs quipped about the dyed in the wool single speeder. “He’s also in the mould of Schouten and Page in that he works hard, rides hard and is modest and a genuine nice guy off the bike. We are very proud to have such an outstanding group of guys riding for us.”
When asked how the team sponsorship fits into the companies philosophy of bike advocacy, Downs stated,” Planet Bike is well known amongst the bike shops and people who commute and use their bikes for practical purposes, both through our 25% of profits donated to bike advocacy ($650,000 donated through 2008) and our great cyclist designed products that help make it easy to ride your bike anytime. Where we do not have much exposure is in the enthusiast and race market, even though our products work great for those cyclists too. Cyclocross enthusiasts are generally diehards who, like us, love to ride bikes and we feel Cross is going to be, if it is not becoming already, the next big thing in the world of bike racing. It is a good fit for our company and we hope the exposure will lead to more sales and thus more donations to bike advocacy.
Planet Bike has been title sponsor of the Wisconsin State Cyclocross series for two years and the feedback has been nothing short of phenomenal for us, so we decided to expand that to the National and now with JP, the World stage.” In addition to the Elite team, Planet Bike is also adding 2007 17-18 Junior girls U.S. National Champion Anna Young and bringing back their first National Champion, 2007 Masters 55+ rider Diane Ostenso.Ridley Bicycles will be the bike sponsor and the Elite team will be riding the new 2009 Ridley X-Night in Planet Bike colors. “Ridley is in a class by themselves when it comes to Cross bikes and they have the Rainbow jerseys hanging on their walls to prove it.” noted Downs. Other sponsors will be announced at the official Team Announcement in Madison the second weekend of April.