By Bryan JewVeloNews Senior Writer
The domestic men’s road scene got another boost on Tuesday with theannouncement of a new UCI division III squad, the Boulder-based PrimeAlliance Cycling Team. On paper, the squad looks like it will be a bigplayer in the U.S. races. The roster includes Jame and Jonas Carney,Colby Pearce, John Walrod, Danny Pate, Michael Creed and Kirk Willett,who will also manage the team. In addition, NORBA national championSteve Larsen will race selected road events for Prime Alliance.
The brainchild of Prime Alliance CEO Tom Irvine, the team did not decideto seek UCI status until December. After a fall season of securingriders and sponsors, Irvine, team director Ian Birlem and Willettdecided to take the next step. “It finally reached the point that Kirkdecided we had to go division III,” explained Birlem.
Despite things coming together at a late date, Willett was visiblyexcited about the roster that he has to work with. “It’s strong. You seeteams that came together in August, September, October, November … wematch up really well with them,” Willett said. “To get people of thatability, on one team, when you’re doing that stuff in December, I’mamazed.”
Prime Alliance benefited greatly from the break-up of Team Shaklee, withformer Shaklee riders Jonas and Jame Carney, Pearce and Walrod formingthe core of the new team. The addition of Pate and Creed was anothersource of excitement within the camp.
The squad will focus primarily on the U.S. National Racing Calendar. Itstitle sponsor, Prime Alliance, is “a world-class service provider to theplastics industry with product design, engineering services, anddistribution of thermoplastic resins and compounds,” according to theteam’s press release.
VeloNews Interactive will have an interview with Willett, Birlem andIrvine later this week.
PRIME ALLIANCE CYCLING TEAM
Ryan Allison; Rusty Beall; Jame Carney; Jonas Carney; Michael Creed;Steve Larsen; Danny Pate; Colby Pearce; Michael Sherer; John Walrod;Kirk Willett.