August 30, 2012

Optum Pro Cycling CX Team

Big news today! I signed with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits for the cross season. It has been an exciting couple of months leading up to this announcement as it all came together with them. Optum Pro Cycling is one of the countries top domestic road teams and when they called saying they wanted to start a cyclocross program I jumped at the chance to be part of it. For me, this is the first time I have actually signed, and will be riding for a professional team in my career.  

They even had some nice things to say about me and I am really hoping I can live up to the level of support I am going to get.

"Headlining the team for the men will be Tristan Schouten of Plymouth, WI. Schouten is a regular in the top five on the US Grand Prix cyclocross circuit and has previously represented the US at the World Championships and Pan-Am Games. He brings 16 years of experience to the team and has his sights set on a podium at the US National Championship this season, taking place for the second consecutive year in Madison, his home state’s capitol city.

"We are very pleased to bring Tristan to the Optum p/b KBS family,” said Wohlberg. “He clearly has the pedigree to bring home results and will be a fine ambassador for all of our partners at some of America’s premier ‘cross races.”

This really changes a lot for me in  almost everything on how I prepare for a season and relieves so much stress and work. For instance, my home training bike arrived last week fully built and ready to go. For the rest of the season it means my two race bikes will travel the country in the back of a trailer while I fly in and out with a carry-on. Full team support with mechanics when I show up means no more boxing and un-boxing bikes the night before and the days heading home. No more getting home Monday and having to head to work with my bikes still in the boxes dirty from racing. No more standing in the back of a van in the rain trying to change wheels after pre-riding Basically, it's going to eliminate 90% of the "work" of racing cross and let me put that energy in the race itself, not into logistics. It's going to be so out of the norm and what I am used to  I hope I don't get slower from getting soft! I just need to maintain the same attitude I always have and I'll still need to uphold the "working man" status, that hasn't changed.

2012/2013 Optum p/b KBS Cyclocross Calendar:
Sept 16: Nittany Lion Cross – Breinigsville, PASet 22, 23: The Planet Bike Cup USGP – Sun Prairie, WISept 26: The Gateway Cross Cup – St. Louis, MOSept 29, 30: NEPCX – Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MAOctober 6-7: NEPCX – Providence Cyclo-cross Festival – Providence, RIOct 13,14: The Fort Collins Cup USGP – Ft. Collins, COOct 20,21: Spooky Cross – Irvine, CAOct 27,28: Boulder Cup – Boulder, CONov 2,3,4: Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival – Cincinnati, OHNov 10,11: The Derby City Cup USGP – Louisville, KYNov 16, 17, 18: The Jingle Cross Rock, Iowa City, IADec 8,9: The Deschutes Brewery Cup USGP – Bend, ORJan 5,6: Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution – Bloomingdale, ILJan 12, 13: American National Championships – Madison, WI

I'm also happy because of the equipment and sponsors I will have. It's always hard to leave the friends and sponsors of previous years, but it's great starting new relationships and in the lucky cases - they remain year after year.We will be on Orbea bikes with Sram components and HED wheels. It's great that we are also sponsored as a team by my personal sponsors Lazer Helmets  along with Clif Bar. In fact, I just got a huge box to start cross season from Clif Bar and they are just as excited to hear the news as I am. Nothing like the UPS man stopping by the house for 3 days straight with sponsor pruduct.

Here is the official press release:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice work T. You deserve it!