Cannondale announces new mountain bike team

SoBe discontinues sponsorship in 2009

Cannondale racer Kashi Leuchs of New Zealand leads Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands in the Elite Mens Cross-Country competition on the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha on day six of the Mountain Bike World Championships August 27, 2006 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Cannondale will support an all-new Cannondale Factory Race (CFR) Team for 2009 after longtime sponsor SoBe ended its partnership.


The team’s roster includes riders on the World Cup circuit, but also expands into the North American racing scene.

“An opportunity presented itself to combine the efforts of the best athletes racing on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Rory Mason, director of sports marketing for Cannondale. “It really gives us a voice at a wide variety of races, from local fat tire festivals to UCI podiums.”

In Europe, world cup veterans Roel Paulissen, Martin Gujan, and Marco Aurelio Fontana will lead the team. In America, CFR is merging with the former SoBe-Cannondale team, with Gunnar Shogren and Matthew Lee, rounding out the roster, to race in regional events.

Changes in the existing team structures made the merger possible. SoBe notified Cannondale earlier this month that it would not continue as a Cannondale team sponsor.  

“We’ve had an excellent working relationship with SoBe and enjoyed many successes after their return to the team this past year, ” said Matt Jewett, inside sales director and promotions manager for Cannondale. “The upside is that all the best traditions of the team can live on. These riders have continuously been the best ambassadors for the sport of cycling and active lifestyles as a whole. Now they have a global platform on which to carry this 10-year heritage.”


Although the teams combine forces, most of the racing operations for Cannondale will remain largely unchanged, including the teams’ other sponsors.