New Durango-based U-25 Team Launched

Aim of squad is to promote the success of Durango-based riders.

Colors of the new U-25 MTB out of Durango, Colorado.
Colors of the new U-25 MTB out of Durango, Colorado.

A new Durango, Colorado-based under-25 mountain bike team will contest the 2011 racing season.

The five-rider team ranges in ages from17 to 24 and will be called — get ready to take a deep breath — Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Devo Sweet Elite presented by Spine Colorado/Durango Orthopedics and Fort  Lewis College. The team will compete at local and regional races including the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. In addition, the team will compete at the USA Cycling’s mountain bike national championships in Sun Valley, Idaho in July.

The aim of the team is to promote the success of Durango-based riders coming out of Durango Devo, a local youth cycling program; Fort Lewis College; and outstanding local talent who need additional support to continue to be successful at the upper levels of competition, according to a release.

In 2010 Durango Devo riders won eight titles at the mountaing bike nationals in Sol Vista, Colorado. Fort Lewis College recently was crowned national collegiate mountain bike champions for 2010.

The 2011 team roster includes:

Tad Elliott – 2008 and 2010 U23 Mountain Bike National Champion

Teal Stetson-Lee – 2009 Collegiate Cyclocross National Champion

Colton Andersen – 2010 Fort Lewis College Nationals Team Member

Howard Grotts – 2010 Cat 1 17-18 Mountain Bike National Champion and 2010 Division II Collegiate Mountain Bike Short Track and Cross Country Champion

Alicia Rose Pastore – 2010 Cat 1 17-18 Mountain Bike National Champion

Joey Thompson – Team Coach. Fort Lewis College Graduate and  former athlete

Chris Wherry – Team Manager. Former US Pro Road National Champion and owner of the Hub Training Center

The group forming the team includes Ned Overend, Sarah Tescher, Matt Shriver, Chris Wherry, Joey Thompson and Chad Cheeney — all accomplished cycling athletes at a national level and sponsor and structure coordination from John Glover (Mountain Bike Specialists) and Gaige Sippy (Iron Horse Bicycle Classic).

The team will be riding Specialized S-Works 29-inch wheeled bicycles, with additional equipment and service support provided by Mountain Bike Specialists in Durango. Riders will be provided specific coaching and training programs, as well as race and travel support. The Team will meet two times a week to practice as a team with their coach.