ORANGE, CA (BRAIN) — Cannondale has entered into a partnership with Team Sho-Air Inc. to launch the Sho-Air/Cannondale North American mountain bike team, based out of Southern California.
Sho-Air and Cannondale unveiled the new squad at a media event and team trail ride Thursday in Orange County, California. The team represents Cannondale’s factory MTB efforts in North America and will also support the global Cannondale Factory Racing Team at North American World Cup events.
Sho-Air/Cannondale brings together accomplished pros Max Plaxton, Pua Mata, Alex Grant, Jeremiah Bishop and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Tinker Juarez. It’s managed by five-time amateur national champion Ty Kady, with support from retired Sho-Air pro Manny Prado, winner of the 2009 La Ruta de los Conquistadores. In a bit of cross-marketing, motorsports athletes (and cyclists) Eric Bostrom and Josh Hayes have also been signed to the team.
Team Sho-Air first appeared in 2005 as an amateur race team—launched by Scott Tedro, president and CEO of trade-show materials and transportation provider Sho-Air International—but has grown over the years to establish a national presence with membership of more than 1,000 riders. The three-year partnership with Cannondale marks the end of the North American pro squad’s association with longtime sponsor Specialized.
Cannondale’s investment in the team coincides with a recent resurgence in the popularity of mountain biking and racing as well as the company’s desire to increase participation, global general manager Bob Burbank said at Thursday’s event.
“We were really looking for someone who was not only about racing, but about development of the sport,” he said of Sho-Air and Tedro. “He’s in it for the right reason. At the end of the day, he wants to promote the sport. There’s no doubt in my mind that’s his main priority.”
Tedro also said the entities’ shared values helped seal the deal for him. “The reason they came to us is they wanted to do a better job of promoting their product and their riders,” he added. “But they have matched and exceeded efforts in so many ways. This is what I envisioned as a team when I first started Sho-Air.”
The team is additionally supported by Enve Composites, Fizik, Maxxis, Magura, SRAM, Thomson, Crankbrothers, Osmo Nutrition, custom apparel maker Jakroo and three-store Orange County retailer Bike Religion.