Chipotle development team boosted by addition of First Solar as new sponsor
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Chipotle development team boosted by addition of First Solar as new sponsor

by VeloNation Press at 12:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Continental squad is feeder team for Garmin-Barracuda

Chipotle First SolarIn the wake of this month’s news that the elite Garmin team had secured computer company Barracua as a co-sponsor, management company Slipstream has today confirmed that its development team Chipotle has reached an agreement with an additional backer of its own.

First Solar has signed up to support the Continental squad, which will henceforth be known as Chipotle First Solar.

The company is based in Arizona and is described by the team as the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules and design. It builds complete photovoltaic (PV) power plants for customers in many countries, and is working on the two largest PV projects in the world.

In 2010 it ranked sixth on the Fast Company’s list of the world's 50 most innovative companies, while last year it was named top of Forbes’s list of America’s 25 fastest-growing technology companies. It had profits of $196.5 million in the third quarter of 2011.

The green nature of the product syncs well with backing of the Chipotle team, according to First Solar’s Vice President of Global Corporate Communications, Ted Meyer. “Our sponsorship of the Chipotle-First Solar team is part of our broader commitment to a cleaner, healthier environment,” he said. “Cycling is a sport with global appeal that promotes hard work, competition and excellence, values we share.” He said the fact that the team was working on the next generation of top riders was also an attraction.

The team has a strong lineup of promising young riders including Danny Summerhill and Lachlan Morton, and with its links to the Garmin-Barracuda team, it is likely that some of them will progress to racing with the ProTeam.

Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters set the team up in 2003 and said that it remains an important part of the overall setup. “When I started this organization, my dream was to foster an environment where young riders could flourish,” he said. “I am proud to continue that mission and to welcome First Solar – a company that shares our vision of fostering the next generation - to the Continental team. Like Chipotle, First Solar is dedicated to creating a better, healthier, and sustainable future.”

Slipstream Sports president Matt Johnson added that the team will be competing in some of the locations where big First Solar projects are underway. “We will be bringing their message straight to the communities and markets most important to them,” he said.

The team is set to begin racing on February 10th in the Valley of the Sun race in Phoenix, Arizona.

Directeur sportif Chann McRae is feeling upbeat about 2012. “The Chipotle-First Solar boys are set for an exciting year. We’re proud to have a roster featuring some of the finest U23 talent in the world,” he said. “Our sprinters are eager for the closing kilometers, and the climbers are excited for high mountain selections.

“We kicked off the season with a training camp in Wimberley, Texas, and we’ll race all the way through the World Championships in Limburg, Netherlands on September 23rd. We hope to give our fans many reasons to cheer in 2012.”

Team Chipotle-First Solar 2012:

Josh Berry
Rob Bush
Robin Carpenter
Andz Flaxsis
Evan Hyde
Andrei Krasilnikau
Adam Leibovitz
Michael Midlarsky
Lachlan Morton
Anders Newburry
Alister Ratclif
Tom Scully
Robbie Squire
Danny Summerhill
Steele Van Hoff


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