Ford, the #1 Selling Brand of SUVs, Trucks and Cars in America, announced last week the continuation and expansion of its professional womenís mountain bike team with the addition of two new riders to the core squad of "Team Ford Outfitters."
Melanie McQuaid of Victoria, British Columbia and Tiffany Kenny of Akron, Ohio will be joining the team to race elite road and mountain bike events across North America in 2003. In the teamís third year since inception, Ford Outfitters returning members include Lisa Matlock of Golden, Colorado, Rachel Massey, of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, and Jody Koch, managing rider, of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"The five women of the Ford Outfitters Race Team really represent the strengths of the Ford brand," said Jack Palazzolo, Director of Ford's Regional Marketing. "They are determined and seasoned pros who put everything into their racing, yet they still make the time to give back to the cycling community, and the sport in general, by being mentors and teachers to up and coming female cyclists. Their "go anywhere - do anything" attitude is what defines our SUVs and other great products."
McQuaid, 29, joins the team after two years racing the Xterra US Championship Triathlon Series, taking second place overall in 2002, winning the Xterra West Championships, and a silver medal at the 2000 World Championships. McQuaid, a full-time athlete, spends off-season hosting a television segment called "Get Out There" for CHUM Televisionís The New VI.
Kenny, 28, won the overall West Virginia State series in 2002 as well as 5th in the Sea Otter Mountain Bike Criterium and 24th overall in the NORBA National Series (NCS). Kenny, RN, MSN is a Womenís Health Practitioner and Clinical Information Systems Manager in the Obstetrics division of the Akron City Hospital Campus.
Matlock, 28, a two-time Collegiate Cyclocross All American, returns to the team with a resume including 13th overall in the 2002 NORBA National Series and solid top 15 results at national events including 2nd place at the Ironhorse Road Race. Matlock holds a Masters of Art and has a mural painting and faux finish business called Fresh Paint Murals.
Koch, 29, the 2002 Michigan Time Trial Champion, 2001 Michigan Cyclocross Champion and 2000 Michigan Criterium Champion, comes to the team after a season racing primarily road and cyclocross. Instrumental in the development of the team and now acting as Team Manager, Koch worked as an engineer for Ford before taking a leave of absence for 2003 to race full-time.
Massey, 30, won the 2002 AMBC Finals in Louisiana and took 3rd in AMBC North Carolina and 4th at AMBC Alabama. Massey is an algebra teacher at Okaloosa Walton Community College.
Racing is the top priority for the Ford Outfitters team in 2003, but ambassadorship and an active role in the community are equally important. Team athletes are chosen based on their ability to be positive role models as well as cycling ability. Team members have participated in speaking engagements, clinics, charity rides, trail maintenance and young athlete mentoring, and this community involvement continues to be a high priority for the team.
Team Ford Outfitters will begin the season with a training camp in Arizona combined with the NOVA Stage Race in late March, followed by Redlands Classic Road Stage Race in California, and the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. The team will be at all NORBA National Championship Series events, as well as Tour of the Gila, select AMBC events, World Cups, and select festivals and 24 hour races throughout the 2003 season.
Team Ford Outfitters also receives support from K2 bikes, Sundog eyewear, Gaerne shoes, 661 gloves, and Singletrack Solutions. Team members will be riding K2 Razorback SL mountain bike and K2 Mod 5.0 road bikes.
Be watching for an interview with new member Tiffany Kenny!