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Toyota/United Pro - 2007 Squad
By Staff
Date: 1/27/2007
Toyota/United Pro - 2007 Squad

Toyota/United Pro Cycling Team 2007
Iron Man Henk Vogels, Mark Scanlon, Caleb Manion and Burke Swindlehurst join the second year squad.

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team today announced its official second season line up featuring ten returning squad members and new names including: former professional Australian National Road Champion Henk Vogels; two-time professional Irish National Road Champion and former Junior World Road Champion Mark Scanlon; stage racing expert Burke Swindlehurst and the formidable Caleb Manion.

The 2007 Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (from L-R): Kirk Willett (Team Director), Heath Blackgrove, Justin England, Jose Manuel “Chepe” Garcia, Stefano Barberi, Sean Sullivan, Caleb Manion, Henk Vogels (Team Co-Captain), Chris Wherry (Team Co-Captain), Ivan Stevic, Bobby Lea, Mark Scanlon, Chris Baldwin, Burke Swindlehurst, Ivan Dominguez, Harm Jansen (Team Director) Photo c. Kathleen Poulos

Now headed by former U.S. National Road Champion Chris Wherry and lead out specialist Vogels, the team to watch in 2007 is well-poised for a repeat of its dynamic inaugural season. Identified from day one as the most dangerous team in the peloton after surprise wins in Stage One and Stage Four of the Amgen Tour of California, the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team earned the respect of its competitors in the field, ending season one with 55 first-place victories, podium placements in 94% of all races entered, plus 24 NRC wins to take the number two position on the NRC Team Rankings.

Returning Riders
Returning to the team are former U.S. National Time Trial Champion Chris Baldwin (USA), who comes off a storied 2006 season; former Florida State Criterium Champion Stefano Barberi (BRA); two-time New Zealand National Road and Time Trial Champion Heath Blackgrove (NZL); Pan Am Games Champion Ivan Dominguez (CUB); top mountain climber Justin England (USA); two-time Mexican National Champion Jose Manuel Garcia (MEX); Multi-National, Multi-NCCA National Champion Bobby Lea (USA); 2005 & 2006 Serbian National Champion Ivan Stevic (SCG); multi-European stage winner Sean Sullivan (AUS), and former USPRO Road Champion Chris Wherry (USA).

"We're in an extraordinary position," said Team Owner Sean Tucker. "I'm excited about the season ahead. Based on our team's performance last year we received interest from cyclists around the world. We were able to select four new members who best complemented our team and who bring a wealth of experience to the domestic scene. In addition, by aligning with Fuji Bicycles and Bontrager, we've improved our road bike. Plus, we’ve increased our offerings to the over 13,000 fan members. We're ready for 2007."

Kirk Willet Joins Harm Jansen
Also on board is Team Director Kirk Willett who joins Harm Jansen (former USPRO Criterium Champion and Dutch National Champion) to jointly manage the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team.
Willett, a former professional cyclist and well-known team director will handle team logistics, day-to-day operations, race strategy, and overall management of team personnel. Prior to Toyota-United, Willett worked 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 individual position on the NRC calendar. In 1999, as a leader of the Mercury Professional Cycling Team, Mr. Willett also served as Development Cycling Team Director/Manager.

"We've got a tight roster, and in Kirk an experienced and tactical genius," said Harm Jansen. "I think we're well positioned to take on the competition, our team is already riding well. Baldwin had an electric end of season showdown in the national time trials, and recently, Heath Blackgrove took second at the National New Zealand Road Championships. We’ve added some serious firepower and Pro Tour level experience with Mark Scanlon, Henk Vogels and climbing specialist Burke Swindlehurst, plus our wild card Caleb Manion. I think we'll definitely have an impact on the domestic racing circuit this year. “

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team’s North American racing schedule, will again begin with the Amgen Tour of California in 2007 and will include the Pro Cycling Tour (the premier professional cycling series in the U.S.), and the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), which features more than 70 races this year.

Sean Sullivan lead at the Toyota/United Pro Cycling Team’s training camp in Agoura Hills, California. Photo c. Kathleen Poulos

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is sanctioned by USACycling, the national governing body of professional cycling and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the International governing body of professional cycling.

2007 Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team:
· Chris Wherry (USA)– Former USPRO Road Champion
· Henk Vogels (AUS) – former professional Australian National Road Champion, USPRO Criterium Champion, USPRO Road Champion
· Chris Baldwin (USA) – Former USPRO Time Trial Champion
· Ivan Dominguez (CUB)– former Cuban National Champion, Pan Am Games Champion
· Mark Scanlon – (IRL) two-Time Irish National Road Champion, World Junior Road Champion
· Burke Swindlehurst –(USA) One of the country’s top stage racers
· Bobby Lea (USA) – Multi-National, Multi-NCCA National Champion
· Ivan Stevic (SCG) - twice Serbian National Champion
· Justin England (USA) – One of the sport’s top climbers
· Heath Blackgrove (NZL)– two-time New Zealand National Road and TT champion
· Jose Manuel Garcia (MEX) ) – two-time Mexican National Champion
· Caleb Manion (AUS) – Stage racing specialist
· Sean Sullivan (AUS) - Former Barloworld rider stage winner
· Stefano Barberi (BRA)– Former Florida State Criterium Champion
· Walker Ferguson – (USA) Former World Junior Mountain Bike Champion
· Ryan Miller –(USA) Former National Champion
· Nate Mitchell – (USA) Former Member Junior Worlds Team

Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive-powered lineup to serve as official team vehicles for 2007
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. returns as the team’s Title Sponsor, marking year two of Toyota’s first-ever sponsorship of a domestic pro road cycling team. Sharing the team’s passion for moving forward and dedication to making a difference in the environment and overall well-being and health, Toyota has aligned its entire suite of Hybrid Synergy Drive-powered vehicles with the team this year, including Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid. The leading automaker will also provide marketing, advertising and promotional support.

New Fuji-United Bicycle introduced as official team bike for 2007: Additional sponsors for 2007 include Bicycling Magazine, Bontrager, Champion System,, Shimano, SockGuy, Tifosi Optics, and United Bicycles."

Fan Membership: With over 13,000 cycling fans on board to support Toyota-United as part of the subscription-based membership program introduced in 2006; the team remains committed to providing its fans with exclusive access to its cyclists, as well as offering tips, newsletters, merchandise discounts, special offers from sponsors, and other privileges. Exciting new details about 2007 membership programs will shortly be available at the official Toyota-United Pro Cycling team website.
A percentage of all paid memberships will help fund Toyota United Pro Cycling Team’s designated Foundation, United Cycling Foundation, a non-profit wholly owned subsidiary of United Cycling, L.L.C. addressing homelessness and supporting environmental causes in the United States.

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team will be available for autograph signings throughout the season following major races in selected cities.

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 and design.

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, U.S.A., Inc.

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