Velogal's Blog

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Received this press release from the Toyota-United Team this morning. They are certainly kicking some butt on the USA racing scene. I like to think of the team as The Little Engine Who Could (Toyota engine, of course). With Frankie Andreu and Harm Jensen as the DS duo, they’ve got two of the best head honchos in the biz.

After closing out the month of May with an unprecedented 15 victories, the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team heads to cycling’s fabled Philly Week looking to continue its winning momentum against an international peloton at the Commerce Bank Triple Crown in Pennsylvania. The 3-race series kicks off with the Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic on June 4th, followed by the Reading Classic on June 8th and the historic Philadelphia International Championship on June 11th.

Toyota-United will field its A-list squad, including current USPRO Champion and defending Philadelphia Champion, Chris Wherry, who is back in fighting form after battling illness for much of the season. “I’m definitely looking forward to Philly,” says Wherry. “I would love to defend, but the number one goal is a Toyota-United victory no matter who gets the win.”

Rounding out TUT’s Philly Week roster are Co-Captain Tony Cruz, former New Zealand National Champion Heath Blackgrove, Pan Am Games Champion Ivan Dominguez, top U.S. climber Justin England, former Mexican National Champion Jose Manuel “Chepe” Garcia, multiple European stage winner Sean Sullivan, Serbian National Champion Ivan Stevic, and four-time Argentinean National Champion and dual stage winner at the 2006 Amgen Tour of California, Juan Jose “J.J.” Haedo.

Heading into another marquee event, Team Directors Frankie Andreu and Harm Jansen believe the team is well-positioned to contend for all three Triple Crown races. “Every race is unique and favors different types of riders,” says Andreu. “We have the right guys to be able to do well in all three.”

Since 1992, the three-race series that became known as “Philly Week” has been the flagship event of American road racing. Previously, a race in Lancaster, PA, and another in Trenton, NJ, led up to the grand 156-mile circuit race in Philadelphia that determined each season’s USPRO Champion. This year, however, the Philadelphia International Championship has lost its USPRO designation and the Trenton, NJ, race has been replaced by the Reading Classic. The official 2006 USPRO Champion will now be determined at a new course in Greenville, SC.

Despite these changes, the new Commerce Bank Triple Crown presents a golden opportunity for the 23 competing professional teams as all three races will have the prestigious sanctioning of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The UCI sanctioned race will allow teams to amass valuable international ranking points.

Andreu agrees that the event still holds a lot of clout for domestic and international teams. “Philly Week is still one of the largest racing events in the U. S. and even without a National Championship designation, there are still a lot of bragging rights and valuable UCI points up for grabs,” he says. “We want to do as well as we can and continue to show that we are the dominant team here in America.”

The Toyota-United team is not far off, currently holding the number two spot in USA Cycling’s domestic rankings -- ahead of Discovery Channel and Phonak, two of the world’s premier Pro teams.

2006 NRC - Men's Team Standings as of May 23rd, 2006


Took the photo of JJ Haedo giving the look to someone from the Podium at the end of Stage 1 of the 2006 Amgen Tour of California.


  • That's a wonderful photo, my compliments to the photographer ;-)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:13 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home