Kirk Willet Appointed D.S. Toyota/United Pro
Kirk Willet Pro retired pro rider and former manager of NRC Champion Prime
Alliance and Mercury team named team director.
Kirk Willett, a former professional cyclist and well-known team director, has
been appointed Team Director of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team. Willett will
join Harm Jansen on the frontlines to handle team logistics, day-to-day
operations, race strategy, and overall management of team personnel.
A seasoned professional, Willett is recognized on the racing circuit for his
tactical skills, logistical expertise and his ability to quickly discern the
advantage in the field, helping lead his teams to prominent wins.
“Kirk is a natural competitor,” said Team Owner Sean Tucker. “He brings
global experience, managerial and tactical skill, plus a core competence in
sports science to our team. His in-depth knowledge of the sport, his ability to
motivate and direct comprehensive racing operations make him a fantastic asset
to Toyota-United. We are pleased to have him on board.”
Kirk Willet and David Clinger at Prime Alliance Camp 2003
Photo c. www.dailypeloton.com
Prior to joining Toyota-United, Willett’s experience included a three-year
stint, from 2000 to 2003 as Team Director for the Prime Alliance Cycling Team.
There he managed high profile athletes, leading the team to over 100 wins and
the number one position on the NRC calendar. In 1999, as a leader of the Mercury
Professional Cycling Team, Mr. Willett also served as Development Cycling Team
Willett began his cycling career in 1984 at age 14, gradually moving up the
ranks to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials and joining the pro-cycling elite as
a member of the U. S. National team. His illustrious career includes racing in
the U.S. and in Europe as part of the Mercury Pro Cycling Team, the Comptel/Colorado
Cyclist Professional Cycling Team, and other elite teams. During his career,
Willett achieved over 100 national and international career victories, garnering
top 5 finishes and stage wins in key NRC races including the Tour de Toona, the
Cascade Cycling Classic, and the Redlands Classic. He also competed in UCI Pro
Tour events such as the Tour of Switzerland and garnered stage wins at the Tour
of Venezuela and Tour of El Salvador. He enjoyed yellow jersey wins at the
Visalia/Exeter Road Race, the Tour le Fleur Road Race, the Tour of Willamette
and the B.C. Commonwealth Invitational Road Race. Willett completed his
professional racing career in 2000.
Mr. Willett attended the University of Oregon from 2004-2006, graduating
summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science, and a
minor in Chemistry. He plans to merge his passions for cycling and science as a
physician, and will graduate from medical school in 2011.
About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.:
Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently
operates ten manufacturing plants including one under construction. There are
more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sell more
than 2 million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs over 32,000 in the U.S.
and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including
sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services
About United Pro Cycling Team, L.L.C.:
Based in Newport Beach, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Cycling,
L.L.C, United Pro Cycling Team is owned and operated by Sean Tucker. Comprised
of some of the top cycling talent in the country, it is positioned to be the
premier cycling team in America. In addition to its racing team, United Cycling,
L.L.C, wholly owns and operates United Bicycles, L.L.C. The team has also
designated the United Cycling Foundation, Inc. as its designated charity,
committed to raise awareness and funds for American causes including
homelessness and the environment.
Additional Toyota-United Sponsors: In
2007, The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is exclusively sponsored by, Bicycling
Magazine, Bontrager, Champion System, Fuji Bicycles, Shimano, SockGuy, Tifosi
Optics and United Bicycles, in addition to title sponsor Toyota Motor Sales,