Kenda Pro Cycling is offering a unique chance to get a spot on the UCI team via an internet competition. Kenda partnered with Strava, an online GPS-based cycling software company, to select a rider for a 2011 contract.
“This is a real spot on our team,” said team owner and founder Chad Thompson. “If you are an elite or pro rider, you will get a one-year contract on our 2011 UCI continental team. If you are not eligible to be a pro, you will still get a spot as a development rider and get all of the same equipment, coaching, support and mentoring that all of our athletes get. And, it is all yours to keep after the year is up.”
For a $70 registration fee — Kenda says proceeds go to charity — any rider can put his or her name in the hat by uploading their ride data to Strava.com from a GPS device, such as a Garmin or GPS-enabled smart phone.
Each month, Kenda management will sort through the online data to pick out the top three people in a variety of categories — climbing, time trialing, most improved, etc.— and then Carmichael Training Systems will evaluate those riders’ files.
At the end of the competition, the winner will be picked by a panel, which includes Kenda director Frankie Andreu, Kenda team managers and a randomly selected cyclist. The winner will be announced November 14, the day before UCI contracts are due to USA Cycling.
“This is such a cool idea and concept,” Andreu said. “We do not have to sift through contracts, take a million phone calls or hunt for riders good enough to be here. The data from Strava will tell us who we take.”