Chipotle and Sugar Labs confirmed as sponsors of the Slipstream Continental team for 2011
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chipotle and Sugar Labs confirmed as sponsors of the Slipstream Continental team for 2011

by Shane Stokes at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Argyle returns for Garmin-Cervélo’s feeder squad

Chipotle-Sugar LabsSeveral weeks after its superb showing at the Tour de Langkawi, where the team rode aggressively and the youngest rider in the race Lachlan Morton finished sixth overall, the chief sponsor of Slipstream’s Continental team has been confirmed for 2011.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has signed up to be the main backer of the Continental team in 2011, continuing on its long association with Slipstream Sports.

Last year the-then under 23 squad had Holowesko Partners as the chief sponsor. This time round, it has both a new title and a new status, becoming a Continental team and stepping up its plans as regards programme and ambitions.

The squad is to be known as Team Chipotle, and has unveiled a jersey which is very similar to the ProTeam kit of Garmin-Cervélo, Slipstream Sports’ top ranked outfit. It is also predominantly black and white, features collars and short sleeves in blue and – crucially for some – incorporates a panel of argyle. The pattern had been a signature theme of the Garmin team for many years, but has been muted in the ProTeam’s design this year.

Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters emphasises that the chief goal of the squad remains the same as before. “When I started this team in 2005, my dream was to foster an environment where young riders could flourish,” he explained “Today I believe that dream has come to life.

“Chipotle has been, from the beginning of our relationship, a great sponsor that fully supports our mission of helping talented young riders climb the professional ranks. Together we have created the right dynamic for these young athletes to flourish. I’m proud of what all of our riders continue to achieve.”

Lachlan MortonThis year’s team features seventeen riders, namely Alex Howes, Anders Newbury, Andrei Krasilnikau, Andrew Barker, Danny Summerhill, Elliot Craddock, Alfredo Cruz, Gabriel Epstein, Jacob Rathe, Kirk Carlsen, Lachlan Morton, Max Durtschi, Raymond Kreder, Robert Squire, Robert Bush, Thacker Reeves and Tom Scully.

Carlsen was with the ProTour team but is moving to the Continental squad in order to help him to recover from illness.

It will again act as a feeder squad for the Garmin-Cervélo ProTeam.

Sugar Labs also on board:

The team will also have a very different kind of additional backing. As was detailed by VeloNation at the start of December, the not-for-profit Sugar Labs organisation will also feature prominently on the jersey.

It is coming on board in order to raise awareness of the open source project, which was originally created for the One Laptop per Child computer program with a goal of providing every child with equal opportunity for education. The educational software is now used by 2 million children in more than 40 countries.

The structure of the arrangement means that Sugar Labs is a sponsor, but will receive rather than pay out money. The budget for its contribution has chiefly been raised through donations and other such initiatives; the excess over the budget required for its contribution will go directly to Sugar Labs, as will any money generated during the season.

"Our partnership with Sugar Labs is unique in that its the first educational charity supported by a cycling team,” said Vaughters. “Allowing technological literacy to flourish in developing nations and preventing underprivileged children from falling behind in our rapidly changing world is Sugar's mission. Our mission is to promote their message in the events we compete in around the World.

Sugar Labs“The upcoming Vuelta a Uruguay will provide an incredible showcase for this partnership. Almost all of the children in Uruguay have been given a laptop by the One Laptop Per Child foundation, and these computers operate on a Sugar operating system.”

Vaughters said in December that the overall increased budget on the team would see an expanded programme in 2011. “We will do more international races. I think it will be one of the strongest Continental teams in the world."

Former pro rider Chann McRae will again act as directeur sportif. He expects big things in the months ahead. “2011 will be bike racing at its best. There will be epic battles in the mountains, on the pavé, and in the sprints. Our line up gives us a very balanced and dynamic team. The guys worked hard this winter, and are very hungry for the season.”


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