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Fast Freddie Rodriguez to join development squad

Perhaps the most under-reported casualty of the Rock Racing implosion is back for the 2011 season. Three-time U.S. national road champion “Fast” Freddie Rodriguez will join Team Specialized Racing in 2011 as a board member, mentor and rider.

Rodriguez will contribute to the team’s development focus this season.

“Fast” Freddie Rodriguez palmàres

Three-time U.S. professional road champion
Stage 9 win, 2004 Giro d’Italia
Stage wins: Tours of Georgia, Luxembourg, Langkawi and Switzerland
2nd, 2002 Milan-San Remo and Ghent-Wevelgem
2nd overall, 2003 Tour de Georgia
1st overall, 1996 International Cycling Classic
Vuelta a España, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France finisher

“Giving back to the sport and contributing to the development of our next generation of riders has long been a goal, and why I formed the Fast Freddie Foundation,” he said. “However, instead of cheering from the sidelines, joining Team Specialized was a unique opportunity to be out on the road alongside some of the nation’s leading juniors where the action takes place, teaching them about racing and how to conduct themselves as young men.”

The Fast Freddie Foundation is a five-year-old non-profit that supports junior riders. The organization has worked with the Specialized program since its inception.

Team Specialized Racing, the 2010 USA Cycling development club of the year, combines masters riders, many of them former professionals, with a roster of 14-18 year old up-and-coming racers. Rodriguez will join former U.S. Postal Service rider Dylan Casey and world masters champion Larry Nolan and others in working closely with the juniors.

“Team Specialized is focused on junior development and was created with an accomplished squad of cyclists, who serve as mentors to their younger teammates,” said team founder Wyatt Weisel. “To have someone of Freddie’s talent, success and passion join Team Specialized is not only testament to all that we have accomplished to date, but more importantly speaks to the ambitious goals we have set for the program.”

Team Specialized will kick off its 2011 campaign at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race February 11-13 in central Arizona.

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