What an exciting year 2012 is shaping up to be for our organization! We are thrilled to have announced Optum as our new title sponsor, which has allowed us to also launch a women’s team and a cyclo-cross team. Not only are we increasing our presence in cycling, but we are also reaching more Americans who love the sport of cycling and want to live more actively and educate themselves about healthy lifestyles.
In 2007 we launched the Kelly Benefit Strategies cycling team with the hope that we would represent our partners well and continue to grow this program each year. John Kelly, his family and the employees of Kelly Benefit Strategies have been faithful partners, mentors to me and great friends through the years. We are here today thanks to their support and sharing this vision.
There have been many amazing moments in the history of the team that make me proud to be part of this group. Winning the USPRO Championships in our inaugural season will always be a major highlight for me. Followed the next year with winning the Kelly Cup in front of John, his family and all our friends in Baltimore. Our multiple podium performances at the USPRO Road Championships, UCI Stage Race wins all over the world including Uruguay, Thailand and Canada — and of course in 2011, winning the Nature Valley Grand Prix in my hometown and Jesse taking a stage of a major US Tour in 2011 — Jesse’s win in Utah — stands out for all of us!
The men’s team, guided by Jonas Carney, has always raced to win. I know our new Women’s Performance Director Rachel Heal feels the same way as she led the Colavita – Sutter Home team to numerous victories and an NRC Championship in 2011. Everyone here at Circuit Global Sports Management is extremely driven to be the best at what they do. I’m proud of where we stand today and where we desire to go in the future. The timing of this launch fits well with the objectives of our new title sponsor, Optum, and presents us with Olympic-year opportunities as well. We have a very real chance of sending a rider or two to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. On top of this, a few months after our cross team starts racing, the Cyclo-Cross World Championships will come to the United States. Racing in America continues to grow in popularity and the UCI has recognized this, adding races to the calendar. We plan to race successfully both domestically and internationally in 2012.
I’d like to thank you and all our partners, past and present, who have helped and supported our organization attain this level. I often say we don’t have sponsors, we have partners. We are all invested in the success of this team and I truly thank you for being involved.