By VeloNews Interactive
Santa Cruz Bicycles and DSD have announced the formation of the Santa Cruz Syndicate team, which will compete on the 2004 mountain-bike racing circuit. Comprised of top athletes in gravity racing, street, urban, free ride and ultra-marathon, Santa Cruz Syndicate is not the typical factory racing effort.
One of the details that sets Santa Cruz Syndicate apart from standard teams is that all riders are allowed to sign individual sponsors for personal items, such as clothing, goggles, helmets and shoes. Riders with individual clothing sponsors will be flying them in Syndicate colors, and have all Syndicate sponsors on their jerseys. The equipment package will be provided by Santa Cruz Syndicate, and will be identical for all riders.
Headlining the team is 2003 World Cup downhill champion Nathan Rennie. He’ll be joined by Kirt Voreis and juniors Cameron Zink and Henry O’Donnell on the gravity side, while Mark Hendershot will be the team’s long distance cross-country specialist.
Downhiller Johnny Waddel will be sitting out the 2004 season because of head injuries he suffered at the Mont-Ste-Anne World Cup, but the Australian will travel with the team as an assistant.
DSD (Derin Stockton Design), a Temecula, California-based company, will handle all organizational operations for Santa Cruz Syndicate. DSD operated the ITS/Santa Cruz team in 2003.
Stockton said the new format is “a reflection of how our sponsors want to spend their marketing dollars and what they need in return to commit sponsorship. Allowing members to sign certain personal sponsors is the best of both worlds for us. With our athletes being able to retain personal sponsors, and thus their identities in the sport, it increases our overall exposure and lets our athletes keep sponsor relationships they have built over the years, which is good for everybody involved.”