Canadian cyclo-cross pro Chris Sheppard will be auctioning one of his Santa Cruz Stigmata 'cross bikes to help fund two junior cyclocross racer's trips to the 2008 World Championships, in Treviso, Italy, on January 26th and 27th.
Cyclocross is a challenging sport that is hard on both equipment and the wallet. Due to its non-Olympic status, 'cross funding is limited if not non-existent for juniors.
"I won the '91 junior Canadian XC championships which entitled me to a position on the National Team," Sheppard said. "If it were not for two generous mountain biking lawyers (Frank Quinn, Russ Candari - thanks again) I would not have been given an opportunity to chase my dream."
Along with a completely built 1300gr Stigmata frame, the winner will receive a Giro kit consisting of a Pneumo helmet and two bib short/jersey sets. Onboard equipment includes: Chris King headset, SRAM Force drivetrain, Crank Brothers pedals, Paul brakes, Alpha-Q forks and DT-Swiss wheels. The bike will be fully prepped and buffed out prior to shipping by Sunnyside Sports in Bend.
"It's almost heartbreaking, speaking as a sponsor, to see one of the bikes that you've just scraped together at the last minute getting auctioned off so soon after it was built, but this is for a good cause," said Mike Ferrentino, marketing and project manager for Santa Cruz. "Shep has decided that, once his season is over in early December, he wants to auction off one of his new 58cm Stigmata 'cross bikes, and donate the proceeds toward getting a couple juniors to the World Championships.
"Details still need to be ironed out, such as when exactly the auction starts and ends, how the winning bid will be paid, and where the money will be disbursed," Ferrentino added. "At the moment, Shep is saying `How about one Canadian, and one US junior?' We're okay with that. It sure is a much warmer fuzzy feeling than seeing the bike on eBay two weeks after nationals in Kansas City. Anyway, we think this is cool."
Sheppard resumes competition at the USGP in Trenton this weekend.
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