Will the money last until June 1st?


crit PRO

www.cyclingnews.com just ran this $5k dreamer piece.......

New US team snags Abercrombie & Fitch, Masi
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

An elite team in the midwest, with designs on making the jump to UCI
Continental team status either this season or next, has landed two key
sponsorships that will help make their plans possible. Major clothing
retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has agreed to be the title sponsor of the
Abercrombie & Fitch presented by Inferno Racing team. This agreement
will span next season with possibilities for renewal beyond.

Inferno director Chad Thompson says this will be the start of a new
level for the elite team as it transitions into a pro squad. "This
year's team is brand new but is spawned off of the elite team. We
became a 501 (c) 3 and incorporated in Ohio." The Ohio connection is
key to the sponsor, as Abercrombie & Fitch is headquartered outside

"We knocked on everybody's door, and Abercrombie & Fitch's Leslee Herro
who is a cyclist, was interested in hearing what we had to say. We had
all this sponsorship and commitments but no money. And within two days
we had an answer. They are also really into our charity aspects with
the Peloton Project. So they are sponsoring us through their
philanthropy department."

Another major sponsor of the team is Masi, who is returning to major
team sponsorship after a short stint with the Diet Rite women's team a
few years ago. Masi Brand Manager Tim Jackson says that restarting his
sponsorship program with a new team as a benefit for both. "For Masi,
it's an excellent opportunity to get back in the door for sponsorships.
We are just now developing a TT frame, so we can't physically support a
Pro Tour team yet. They've got a couple of guys who are good TT riders
on the team, so I'll get some valuable feedback from that."

When asked about the risk of sponsoring a new team, when many do not
get off the ground in their first year, Jackson responded saying, "I
don't see it as a risk. With Abercrombie & Fitch signing on, they have
the money. Chad is hoping to grow the program and keep it rolling. He
sees this as a pedestal to launch an even bigger program. With AF on
the team, they'll generate press no matter what. If they end up at
Georgia, they are going to be like the other small teams like Jittery
Joe's and act as the giant killer. "

Regardless of the level the team competes at this coming season,
Thompson knows that the performance of the team, both on and off the
bike, will be key in flourishing the partnership. "Bringing a cool,
mainstream sponsor means we have to prove ourselves. Not just through
winning, because we are going to win, but also through our charities
and through our communication."

2006 Abercrombie & Fitch p/b Inferno roster
David "Shawn" Adams - OH
Andrew "Andy" Applegate ­ NC (Multiple National Championship Titles)
Jim Baldesare (2002 US men's National Elite Criterium Champion) - OH
Ryan Gamm - OH
Jeremy Grimm (20005 Ohio state Criterium Champion) - OH
Jered Gruber - GA
Rich Harper (2005 Georgia Cup Champion) - NC
Mark Hekman (Ranked 5th in 2005 USCF/NRC Criterium standings overall) -
Abe McNutt - OH
Malachi "Reid" Peacock - GA
Ryan Rish - OH
Todd Shaker - OH
Tim Swain - OH
Chad Thompson (Team Director/ rider) - OH
Wow, and it's like the biggest roster in the US too! Pleanty of guys
to pick from to ride off the back...although maybe Baldesare could pull
off another big crit win.


Ah, Crit Pro. This is not a pro team, and most of the guys on that
roster also have regular jobs, so, cut them a little bit of slack.


Bob Schwartz

Tom wrote:
> Ah, Crit Pro. This is not a pro team, and most of the guys on that
> roster also have regular jobs, so, cut them a little bit of slack.

If that's true then one has to wonder why they are talking about
UCI Continental status and killing giants in Georgia.

Bob Schwartz