Coming off a stellar season that culminated in the prestigious 2007 USA CRITS Individual and Team Championship, the Toshiba-Santo Professional Cycling Team presented by Herbalife returns in 2008 with an enhanced program featuring new riders and a host of dynamic new partnerships.
New to this year’s edition of this UCI Continental squad are:
• Carlos Eduardo Alzate, Pan Am Pursuit Champion
• Claudio Arone, 2007 winner of Uruguay’s 500 Miles of the North
• John Durango, former Pan Am Games Madison and Team Pursuit Champion
• Mark Hekman, 2007 Athens Twilight Criterium Champion
• Tommy Nankervis, 1 Best Young Rider jersey at the 2007 Tour De Georgia
• John Fredy Parra, multiple Vuelta Columbia stage winner; Univest and Tour of Missouri podiums
• Andrew Talansky, 2006 Florida State Road/Criterium Junior Champion
• Daniel Vaillancourt, 8th overall Tour of Virginia
Returning team members include 2007 USA CRITS Champion Frank Travieso and U-23 Criterium National Champion Keith Norris along with Winston David, Yosvany Falcon, Alex Hagman, Eric Keim, Predrag Prokic, Robert Sweeting, and Scottie Weiss.
The team will be under the road direction of Gus Carrillo, a seasoned international director, who in the past has worked with Colavita, Health Net and Slipstream programs.
For 2008 the Toshiba-Santo team will be flying the recognizable red colors of Toshiba, one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers and business solutions providers. The newest team sponsor is Santo Miami Beach, one of the hottest restaurants and ultralounges on Miami Beach. The team also enters a new relationship with global fitness and wellness giant, Herbalife which will provide its products to the team and will serve as its presenting sponsor.
The squad is proud to continue their close association with Louis Garneau, the largest producer of custom cycling and triathlon apparel in North America. “Everything for the Athlete” is the company’s mantra and the team will not only be outfitted with the company’s Sonix 6.4 Carbon bicycles for this season, helmets, shoes, and clothing, but they will also be paramount to Garneau’s “Share The Road” program, which strives to promote proper cycling etiquette as well as children’s safety initiatives.
Toshiba-Santo managing director Ravi Rajcoomar is optimistic about these strategic partnerships the team has aligned for the new year: “Our focus is to be one of the best teams in the Western Hemisphere and provide a strong marketing value to our partners while delivering the best athletic achievements possible. We have increased our commitment through staffing, infrastructure, diverse marketing programs, and the addition of key riders to the roster that bolster our philosophy identifying talent early and of growing from within. We are very excited to be working with our marketing partners and welcoming a few new ones into our racing family. We applaud each of our partners who are deeply committed to our program and to the sport. We are also very excited about our new team members each of whom brings a unique skill set to support our dynamic group of returning talent. We look forward to racing.”
The team, which will begin its season this month by returning to defend Frank Travieso’s overall title at this year’s Tour of the Bahamas, will then gather in the Georgia Mountains in Dahlonegha for a week-long training camp in the daunting, hilly terrain of North Georgia from the 4th through the 11th of February. The team will set up their base camp and will be hosted by Josh and Leigh Saint at Hiker Hostel, which is located on the famous six-gap route.
Toshiba-Santo presented by Herbalife for 2008
Carlos Eduardo Alzate, 25
Claudio Arone, 28
Winston David, 20
John Durango, 29
Yosvany Falcon, 27
Alex Hagman, 24
Mark Hekman, 29
Eric Keim, 27
Tommy Nankervis, 25
Keith Norris, 22
John Fredy Parra, 34
Predrag Prokic, 25
Robert Sweeting, 19
Andrew Talansky, 20
Frank Travieso, 27
Daniel Vaillancourt, 26
Scottie Weiss, 36
Sport director: Gustavo Carrillo