UnitedHealthcare to ride Neil Pryde frames in 2012
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

UnitedHealthcare to ride Neil Pryde frames in 2012

by Ben Atkins at 6:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
US team astride Hong Kong brand in second year at Pro Continental level


The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will ride NeilPryde bikes in 2012, the team has announced. The US team, which began in 2003 as Health Net, will be starting its second season in the Professional Continental ranks of the second division, and rode Boardman bikes in 2011.

Neil Pryde Limited was established in the 1970s with a focus on windsurfing products, winning more than 40 World championship titles, before more recently applying its product development and technical innovation to bike frame manufacture.

“The NeilPryde line of bikes was established in 2010 in collaboration with BMW Group Designworks USA as its design partner,” said founder Neil Pryde. “It was designed with racing in mind and we are very proud to be the official frame and fork sponsor of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.

“Our partnership with the Team allows us to further refine the award-winning NeilPryde Diablo and Alize by incorporating pro level Team riders into our integrated R&D process working with our in-house engineers,” Pryde added, “and this collaboration will certainly drive the development of exciting new models such as the Bayamo-Plus and Bura-SL.”

Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare’s Directeur Sportif, welcomed the news that the team will be riding the Hong Kong company’s frames.

“Our athletes will be riding the Diablo model of the NeilPryde line, their carbon flagship,” he said. “The carbon frame is a perfect match for the various terrains that Team UnitedHealthcare will have to tackle in 2012. The Diablo offers stiffness for acceleration while remaining lightweight. More exciting will be the Exoskeleton technology [proprietary to NEILPRYDE – ed] that improves the lateral stiffness; in turn making it an amazing cornering machine.”

The core of the 2011 team, including German sprinter Robert Förster and Australian Rory Sutherland, will remain be strengthened by the acquisition of a number of new riders from WorldTour teams; including Curaçao champion Marc de Maar from Quick Step, Jeff Louder from BMC Racing, and RadioShack pair Philip Deignan and Jason McCartney.

UnitedHealthcare will be presented on Thursday, January 12th, at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, California, which will close out the team’s training camp. The team will then travel to Argentina to open its racing season at the Tour de San Luis – between January 23rd and 29th – then head to Europe for the Volta ao Algarve from February 15th to 19th. Following that, the team will head to Malaysia for the Tour de Langkawi, from February 24th to March 4th, before its first race in 2012 on US soil at the Tampa Twilight Critérium on March 31st.


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