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Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Beefs up 2008 Roster
By Staff
Date: 9/25/2007
Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Beefs up 2008 Roster

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Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Beefs up 2008 Roster
Alex Candelario, Andrew Bajadali Join Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast. Jonas Carney Carney Signs Two of Season’s Biggest Stars to 08 Roster; Reunites with old Prime Alliance Team Mate.

A Prime Alliance
Jonas Carney 2002 Photo c. Scott Schaffrick
It’s been three years since Jonas Carney called Alex Candelario teammate, but that is set to change at the start of next season. When the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast pro cycling team regroups for its sophomore season, the two will be back together with Carney, now performance director, calling the shots. Candelario will be joined in his move to Carney’s squad by current Jelly Belly teammate Andrew Bajadali.

“Candelario and Bajadali were natural choices to join our team,” says Carney. “Not just because they’re proven race winners, but because of their character. I know both of these guys, and they will fit seamlessly with our current athletes. They’re dedicated, professional and put it all on the road. That’s the only kind of athlete we want on our team in 2008.”

Carney and Candelario raced together, riding for Prime Alliance on the 2002 and 2003 teams, before moving over to Jelly Belly together in 2004 for Carney’s last season racing.

Stage 5 Tour of Missouri Andrew Badjadali (Jelly Belly) in the decisive break alongside Danny Pate (Slipstream-Chipotle) and Sergey Lagutin (Navigators Insurance) Photo © Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

Candelario and Bajadali are expected to add serious sprinting and climbing power to the team’s already strong lineup that achieved success with a win at the USPRO Criterium Championships, an overall win at the Univest Grand Prix and nine podiums in the last two months. Bajadali won the 2007 Redlands Classic, plus the Tri-Peaks Challenge two years in a row (2006 and 22007). He finished sixth in the USPRO Road Race in 2006 and this year is currently ranked ninth on the National Racing Calendar. Candelario has finished top five in no less than three stages of the Tour of California. He has also won the Tour de Nez overall plus stages of that race, the Redlands Classic, Cascade, and Superweek.

Candelario leads a break in stage 5 of Joe Martin Stage race.
 Photo © Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

“People have said the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team has had the most successful opening season of any team they can remember,” notes Carney. “But I’m more concerned about building on what our guys have worked hard at all year. We’ve come together as a team and had some high profile wins. Now it’s time to make the mark we know this team is capable of. Alex and Andrew are going to be a big part of that.”

The rest of the 2008 team roster is being finalized and will be announced soon, but Candelario and Bajadali it is anticipated, will join many of the 2007 Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast lineup returning for a second year.

“We’ve had a phenomenal first year,” says John Kelly, title sponsor and president Kelly Benefit Strategies. “Our athletes have pulled together and pushed themselves to the line time and again. And 29 out of 30 of our fellow sponsors are returning with the team next season. In this business that’s an incredible testament both to what’s been accomplished and what’s still to come.”

“I’m super excited to be part of the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team,” adds Alex Candelario. “Jonas has put together a great team this year. We’re going to have an even better one in 2008 and win a lot of races.”

The Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast pro cycling team is managed out of Minneapolis by Circuit Global Sport Management.

Alex Candelario
Other Career Highlights:
(2003) 2nd Stage #4 Pomona Valley Stage Race
(2002) 5th U-23 National Road Race Championship
(2001) 3rd Wendy’s International
(2001) 3rd Stage #3 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
(1999) 1st National Collegiate Road Race Championships
1st Stage #1 Tour de Nez
1st Overall Tour de Nez
3rd Stage #2 Tour de Nez
3rd Stage #1 Joe Martin Stage Race
3rd Stage #4 Tour of the Gila
4th USPRO Criterium Championship
4th Stage #1 Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai
4th Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix
4th CSC Invitational
4th Stage #9 Tour of Qinghai
5th Stage #6 Tour of Qinghai
6th Indio Grand Prix
7th Stage #3 Tour of the Gila
7th Stage #2 Redlands Bicycle Classic
7th Sea Otter Cycling Classic Circuit Race
8th Stage #6 Amgen Tour of California
9th Commerce Bank International Championship
9th U.S. Open Cycling Championships
11th Stage #5 Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai
12th Stage #3b Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai
12th Stage #3 Tour of Elk Grove
12th Stage #4 Amgen Tour of California
14th Stage #7 Amgen Tour of California
15th Stage #2 Amgen Tour of California

Stage 5 winner, and overall at Tri-Peaks Challenge: Andrew Bajadali (Jelly Belly) finishes on the steep climbs of Mt Nebo State Park. Photo © Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

Andy 'Baj' Bajadali
Other Career Highlights:

(2005) KOM Mt. Hood Stage Race
(2005) KOM Tour of Utah
(2004) 9th Olympic Trials Road Race
1st Stage #5 Tri-Peaks Challenge
1st Overall Tri-Peaks Challenge
1st Sea Otter Cycling Classic Road Race
1st Overall Redlands Bicycle Classic
3rd Stage #3 Joe Martin Stage Race
4th Stage #1 Redlands Bicycle Classic
5th Stage #1 Tri-Peaks Challenge
6th Stage #2 Tri-Peaks Challenge
7th Stage #2 Tour of the Gila
9th Stage #3 Joe Martin Stage Race
9th Sea Otter Cycling Classic Circuit Race
9th Overall Tour of the Gila
9th Overall Joe Martin Stage Race
13th Overall Nature Valley Grand Prix
15th Commerce Bank Reading Classic

About Kelly Benefit Strategies is a group insurance broker and consultant that specialize in healthcare, and is a division of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc, headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland. KBS serves thousands of employers ranging in size from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and is committed to bringing its customers affordable group benefits through innovative benefit design, management, and administration.

About Medifast: Medifast (NYSE: MED) is the leading easy-to-use, clinically proven meal replacement program. Medifast has been recommended by thousands of physicians and used by over one million customers. Its programs have been proven effective through studies by researchers from major university teaching hospitals. The company sells its products and programs direct to consumer via the web and national call centers as well as through its national network of physicians and clinics, and Take Shape for Life program. Medifast was incorporated in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.
About Circuit Global Sports Management ( Minneapolis-based CGSM facilitates strategic alliances between corporate partners and professional cycling initiatives. Previous high-profile clients include Cadillac, Red Bull, Panasonic, DKNY, Dollar Rent a Car, Jeep, Timberland, and the State of Minnesota.

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