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Tour of Georgia - Toyota/United Pro Team Profile
By Staff
Date: 4/18/2006
Tour of Georgia - Toyota/United Pro Team Profile

Tour of Georgia - Toyota/United Pro Team Profile
"We're Ready to Ride" Tony Cruz and Chris Baldwin lead the agressive Toyota/United Pro Squad.

After an explosive two months on the domestic cycling scene, including two stage wins at the Amgen Tour of California, the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team heads south for the 2006 Ford Tour de Georgia.

"TUT" as they are sometimes called, brings a "Hit Squad" of riders to the Georgia race, with Juan Jose Haedo ready to match sprints for the second time this year with the Euro squads and the best of the Domestic scene in North America. Haedo is just one blade in the "Swiss Army" knife of Frankie Andreu's squad for line honors, with the "Cuban Missle" Ivan Dominguez a field sprinter as capable of leading out a team mate in a sprint as charging to the line on his own behalf. Chances are you won't find many bookies that will give you odds on TUT and their chances to rocket one of their sprinters to stage wins.

J.J. Haedo in Santa Rosa Tour of California photo c. Mark Adkison

Tony Cruz is no stranger to stage races having ridden with the USPostal team in support of Lance Armstrong; and should be a contender with solid support from Blackgrove, England, Sullivan and Friedick.

Chris Baldwin 2nd in Redlands photo c.

If time trials are your cup of tea keep an eye on Blackgrove and Baldwin to make a move to the front of the pack to fight for podium honors, Baldwin as co-leader could seal his leadership in a well timed and fortuitous day against the clock.

The domestic team, will bring an A-list squad to the race, including Co-Captain Tony Cruz, U.S. Time Trial Champion Chris Baldwin, former New Zealand National Champion Heath Blackgrove, Pan Am Games Champion Ivan Dominguez, established climber and Tour de Georgia veteran Justin England, former Multi US National Champion Mariano Friedick, noted Australian racer Sean Sullivan, and National Argentinean Champion and two-time Amgen Tour of California stage winner, Juan Jose “J.J.” Haedo.

Toyota/United Pro
82 CRUZ, Antonio TUT USA
84 HAEDO, Juan Jose TUT ARG

Coached by Team Directors Frankie Andreu and Harm Jansen, Toyota-United is rapidly earning a reputation as a fierce and skillful competitor in the field. Powered by an incredible group of cyclists, the team has continued to exhibit its depth, speed, strategy and ability to win races since launching in early February as one of the most anticipated teams in domestic cycling history.

“It’s been a great season to date for Toyota-United,” said Team Owner Sean Tucker. “The Ford Tour de Georgia is a world-class event and one of the highlights on the National Racing Calendar. We’re excited to compete against these top cyclists over the course of the race.”

While Team Director Harm Jansen anticipates a challenging ride he is confident Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team will go the distance by combining great team work and determination to make an impact at this year’s event.
“We’ve gotten some races under our belt since the Amgen Tour of California,” said Jansen.
J.J., Chris, Heath, Mariano, Tony and the rest of the team have had fantastic races. We are becoming more aggressive and we’ve built our confidence. We’re ready to ride.”

Frankie Andreu: The team is in fighting form.
“From the beginning of the year we’ve targeted the Ford Tour de Georgia as one of our main goals,” said Andreu. “We plan to be active in this race to ensure the results we want --wins early in the flat stages and strength in the mountains. We’re aggressive, our strategy is strong, now we’re just going to race hard and have some fun.”

Toyota-United will engage fans at the finish line of each race by offering team gear, memberships, special meet and greet sessions and autograph signings at the Toyota/United Pro motor coach. Cycling enthusiasts should look for the Toyota-United motor coach at the start and finish lines daily.

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