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Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team Has Arrived
 
By Cathy Mehl
Date: 2/7/2006
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team Has Arrived
 

TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A. AND UNITED PRO CYCLING TEAM FORM EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE AMERICA’S PREMIER PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM

  • Prominent signings include 2005 USPRO Road Champion Chris Wherry; 2005 U.S. Time Trial Champion Chris Baldwin; former U.S. Olympian Tony Cruz; Pan Am Games Champion Ivan Dominguez and four-time Argentinean National Champion Juan Jose Haedo
  • Official 2006 Team Roster Announced

Photo copyright Redstone Pictures

NEW YORK, NY, February 7, 2006 - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., (NYSE: TM) and United Pro Cycling Team, LLC, today announced an exclusive partnership to launch the premier U.S. based professional cycling team, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (TUC). The announcement made today in New York City, was attended by dignitaries including team Owner Sean Tucker, Team Directors Frankie Andreu and Harm Jansen, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Senior Planner for Corporate Marketing Jennifer Savary and New York City Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba.

“We are pleased to welcome the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team to New York City,” said Commissioner Podziba. “New York City has a storied tradition within the sport of cycling dating back to the original Madison Square Garden, which was home to numerous indoor cycling races as well as the City’s first six-day race in 1891. I wish the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team the best of luck in their inaugural season and in Bike New York’s 2006 Five Borough Bike Tour.”

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is comprised of former Olympians, World and National champions from seven different countries including 2005 USPRO Road Champion Chris Wherry; 2005 U.S. Time Trial Champion Chris Baldwin; former U.S. Olympian Tony Cruz; Pan Am Games Champion Ivan Dominguez; Serbian National Champion Ivan Stevic, and four-time Argentinean National Champion Juan Jose Haedo. The team will compete domestically in the U.S. during its inaugural 2006 season and will make its official racing debut on February 19th at the Amgen Tour of California.

“We are proud to enter into a multi-year deal with Toyota to build a world-class cycling organization,” said Sean Tucker, Team Owner. “We’ve assembled one of the best teams in North America with talented athletes, and experienced management. Together we are poised to make history, build champions and impact the landscape of cycling in the U.S.”

In addition to being the team’s Title Sponsor, Toyota will be the exclusive truck and car sponsor of TUC. The leading automaker will also provide marketing, advertising and promotional support. The multi-year deal marks Toyota’s first-ever sponsorship of a domestic pro road cycling team and is the largest deal ever signed for a domestic team in North America.

“We’re very excited to support the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team because they bring so much passion to the sport,” said Jim Farley, Toyota’s Vice President of Marketing. “Cycling is about always moving forward and improving on everything you do. At Toyota we can absolutely relate to that and our new RAV4 is the perfect example. It’s completely re-designed and is bigger and more powerful for anyone who needs to haul their bike and gear. We think this partnership is an ideal way to showcase Toyota’s commitment to helping people pursue their goals for a healthy lifestyle."

TUC’s other sponsors include Bicycling Magazine, Cendant Hotel Group, United Bicycles, Easton Sports, Shimano, OS Performance Nutrition, Tifosi Optics, Champion System and SockGuy.

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling team will be jointly managed by Team Directors Frankie Andreu and Harm Jansen. Andreu, a 1999-2000 team captain of the U.S. Postal Service Team and Director of U.S. Racing in 2001-2002, brings over 18 years of riding and management experience to TUC. Andreu is the current American record holder for the most consecutive Tour de France finishes with nine (9). He is also a cycling commentator for the Outdoor Life Network. Harm Jansen is a former USPRO Champion and Dutch National Champion with well over 100 career victories. Jansen raced full-time for 17 years, racing on the professional circuit in the U.S. for last 8 years of his career. He has also coached cyclists for the past 10 years, including several of the top professionals in the U.S. Both Andreu and Jansen will handle day-to-day team operations, racing schedules and will manage the team on the road.

The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team roster includes 17 pro cyclists fresh from their first training camp together held last week in Thousand Oaks, CA:

Chris Wherry (U.S.) – Formerly of Health Net-Maxxis

Tony Cruz (U.S.). – Formerly of Discovery Channel

Chris Baldwin (U.S.) – Formerly of Navigators Insurance

Bobby Lea (U.S.) – Formerly of Team Northwestern Mortgage

Ivan Dominguez (Cuba) – Formerly of Health Net-Maxxis

Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina) – Formerly of Colavita / Sutter Home

Ivan Stevic (Serbia) – Formerly of Aerospace Engineering

Justin England (U.S.) – Formerly of Health Net-Maxxis

Heath Blackgrove (New Zealand) – Formerly of Beveren, Belgium

Jose Manuel Garcia (Mexico) – Formerly of Maxxis-MSC

Mariano Friedick (U.S.) – Formerly of Jelly Belly-Pool Gel

Stefano Barberi (U.S.) – Formerly of TIAA CREF

Sterling Magnell (U.S.) – Formerly of Team Monex

Derek Wilkerson (U.S.) – Formerly of Colavita / Sutter Home

Josh Thornton (U.S.) – Formerly of Neptune / Fuji

Sean Sullivan (Tasmania) – Formerly of Team Barloworld, South Africa

Chris Stockburger (USA) – Formerly of USA National Team

The team’s North American racing schedule, beginning with the inaugural Amgen Tour of California will include the Pro Cycling Tour (the premier professional cycling series in the U.S.), and the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), featuring over 70 races in 2006. The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is sanctioned by USA CYCLING, the national governing body of professional cycling and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the International governing body of professional cycling.

United-Pro Cycling Team was founded by Tucker in 2005, a lifelong entrepreneur and former professional cyclist. Merging his passion for cycling with business acumen, Tucker partnered with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. to create the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, developing a fan membership and sponsor-based business model for the sport in the process. The new model marks a monumental change for the industry. It’s structured in a manner similar to the fan-inclusive models of NASCAR and Formula 1 where each team is its own individual brand, supported by a strong corporate partner. Fans of the sport have the added opportunity to develop a long-term relationship and support the team by subscribing for membership.

Fans choosing to subscribe will have their choice of membership participation and can elect to receive e-mailed newsletters with team race results, rider interviews and photos, exclusive team merchandise discounts, special offers from team sponsors, and other privileges. Additionally, a percentage of all paid memberships will help fund the 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 offers various levels of membership through its website, www.toyota-united.com, including:

Affinity Membership – FREE

Monthly e-mail newsletter

Automatic entry into monthly drawings

Discount to eight Cendant Hotel brands

Advantage Membership - $25 Annually

All of the above, plus:

Exclusive team water bottle

Three-month subscription to Bicycling Magazine

5% off all purchases from the team store (excluding bikes)

Access to select exclusive content and events on team website

Preferred Membership - $50 Annually

All of the above, plus:

Exclusive team baseball cap

Six-month subscription to Bicycling Magazine

Access to additional levels of content on the team website including team insider news and rider journals

Premier Membership - $100 Annually

All of the above, plus:

Exclusive team signature sunglasses

1-year subscription to Bicycling Magazine

Participation in exclusive live chats with Andreu, Jansen and TUC team members

About Toyota: 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, LLC 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. and United Cycling Foundation, Inc. a charitable foundation established to raise awareness and funds for American causes including homelessness and the environment.

 
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