With nearly 250 years of business between them, Raleigh and Clement bring some experience to the table with their new Raleigh-Clement Cyclocross Team. Headlining the squad are Frenchwoman Caroline Mani and Belgian Ben Berden, who will race a full schedule in the US this season.
Raleigh-Clement is offering two spots on the team in a unique fashion: the best-placed, non-professional male and female riders at the Raleigh Midsummer Nights CX Race, July 24 in Deer Valley, Utah, will earn fully-supported positions on the team.
Berden has more than 15 years of experience, including a U23 Belgian national title and victories at major European races. Berden re-energized his career last year by coming to the U.S. to race. He won at the Boulder Cup in Colorado, scored double wins at the North Carolina Grand Prix, and placed second overall in the Cross After Dark series.
Caroline Mani has twice been French national champion and has finished top 10 at the world championships three times. The 25-year-old will race a busy US schedule thru mid-December before traveling back to Europe to complete the season.
The team also includes singlespeed racer Craig Etheridge, a Seattle bike messenger who dominated last season's USGP series, winning six of eight singlespeed events.
2012 marks Raleigh's 125th anniversary, and tire manufacturer Clement has been in business for 124 years. Raleigh has 11 different cyclocross models. The team will race on the Raleigh RXC Pro, which has a carbon frame, disc brakes and internal cable routing.
The Clement brand was relaunched two years ago with an emphasis on cyclocross. The team will race on Clement's tubeless tubular tires, including the PDX tread for mud, the LAS for fast and firm courses, and a new intermediate tread dubbed the MXP.
The Raleigh-Clement Cyclocross Team is led and managed by industry veteran Donn Kellogg, owner of Donnelly Sports and the licensee of Clement.