In continuing its preparation toward its first season as a Pro Continental squad, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team officially announced today that it has named Eric Greene as its U.S. Team Director and Vittorio Algeri as its European Team Director. Both individuals will report to Mike Tamayo, the Team’s General Manager and Directeur Sportif.
When asked about the decision to tap Algeri and Greene, Tamayo stated, “Our team owners at Momentum Sports Group [Thierry Attias, President and Greg Raifman, CEO] have done an outstanding job putting us in a position to build on MSG’s eight (8) years of successful programs by signing some of cycling’s top riders and assembling an A-list staff. With our expanded international race calendar this year, leadership will become even more critical to our future success.” Tamayo continued, “In this regard, we are confident that Vittorio and Eric are the right individuals to guide our racing efforts both at home in the U.S. and internationally.”
Algeri, who is currently en route from Italy to Spain, will represent the Team at this week’s 2011 Vuelta a Espana Route Presentation as part of his first major task in his new capacity. “I am excited about this opportunity and eager for the season to get underway,” Algeri said. “Europe will challenge us, but this is a great team to work with and I expect this year to be most successful.”
Greene will face his first test on the road later this month in Malaysia as he directs the Team’s six-man roster, which is headed to the 16th Annual Tour de Langkawi. “I have enjoyed working with MSG for the past five (5) years and I am honored to serve as the U.S. Team Director of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team,” he said. “Mike has a great racing vision for us and Vittorio and I are looking forward to executing against that vision this season.”
Enthusiastic about the direction his team is headed, MSG President Thierry Attias, said of the Team’s two newest appointments, “Our 2011 race calendar covers four continents and we have put many of the elements in place to give us the best chance to be successful. Combined with the strength, depth and capacity this team possesses, we firmly expect Vittorio and Eric will work with Mike to ensure we are very competitive in Europe and victorious domestically.”
Tour de Langkawi. Billed as the largest cycling event in Asia, Le Tour de Langkawi is a highly anticipated event by international cycling aficionados. The prestigious event expands this year from seven to 10 days and promises to provide a great early season challenge for the new-look team from UnitedHealthcare, which features several new riders, new team kits, and a race calendar that will cover four continents this season beginning in January with Le Tour de Langkawi.
Following a tremendously successful 2010 season which included 35 stage wins, nine GC victories and 138 podium appearances, Team Director and General Manager, Mike Tamayo is excited about the opportunities and challenges that await the Team in 2011. Tamayo, stated, “When it comes to quality events at the beginning of the season, The Tour de Langkawi is one of the most prominent and it sets the tone for the start of the season. The organizers produce an excellent event and Team UnitedHealthcare is excited to participate in its 2011 edition.”
“One of our goals is to use this great tour in Malaysia as an opportunity to debut our international season,” Tamayo continued. “As a new Pro Continental team, we have high expectations and the timing of Langkawi is perfect and gives us a great launching pad for 2011. There are a number of opportunities for bunch sprints, so we’re aligning our roster selection to pursue stages. We’re bringing a fast team to Langkawi along with two of our best climbers to bolster our Team’s execution on the two GC deciding days.”
Scheduled to race for the UnitedHealthcare Team at Langkawi are Robert Förster, Boy Van Poppel, Hilton Clarke, and Karl Menzies, along with climbers Chris Jones, and Max Jenkins.
Immediately following Langkawi, the Team will convene for training camp in Southern California (beginning February 4, 2011) before heading to Europe.