Felt Bicycles will co-sponsor the Kenda mountain bike team this season. The team will ride Felt’s Nine Series model and help develop a new, yet-to-be-named Felt carbon fibre full-suspension XC bike, which is targeted to be available in 2011.
The team’s four riders — Colin Cares, Amanda Carey, Judy Freeman and Andy Schultz — will compete in a variety of national and international cross-country and endurance events under the Kenda-Felt banner. The riders will have a choice of several different Felt models including the Nine Team, Felt’s flagship carbon fiber 29-inch hardtail.
“I’m really excited to be racing for Felt,” said Schultz, the 2005 U.S. Under-23 National Champion from Tucson, Arizona. “Felt has a great pedigree in racing and a history of sponsoring great racers. I’m honored to have this company’s support.”
Cares lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is the current Under-23 U.S. National Champion. Carey, hailing from Victor, Idaho, focuses on ultra-endurance racing and finished second at the prestigious Leadville 100 in Colorado in 2007 and 2009. Freeman is the team’s newest member represented the US at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia last year.
Schultz and his teammates will target the Pro XCT series and other premier off-road events in North America. The team’s diverse roster reflects the broad range of endurance events that make up the current competitive cross-country landscape. From short-track to ultra-endurance races and festivals, Kenda-Felt will have a presence.
“Our partnerships with teams like Garmin-Transitions as well as Olympic triathletes and others have helped put Felt bikes at the forefront of people’s minds in those disciplines,” said company namesake Jim Felt. “And we’re happy to be expanding our support in off-road racing, where we have some incredible new products coming to market.”
Among those products are the Nine Series bikes, Felt’s 29-inch wheel hardtails, which have gained a major following among endurance racers.
“I think the Nine will be the weapon of choice for Leadville,” said Cares.
The team also benefits from its title sponsor, Kenda’s, broad range of tires.
“Our 29-inch Nevegal, Karma and Small Block 8 tires will give our athletes plenty of options for their new rigs,” says Jim Wannamaker, North American Marketing Director for Kenda USA. “While the new Slant Six will be available for 26- and 29-inch applications later this year.”
The Kenda-Felt team is owned and managed by Quick Release Racing, Inc., of Ann Arbor Michigan. Other team sponsors include Wick Werks, cranks and chain-rings, Hayes Bicycle Group, Black Flag wheels, Manitou R7 MRD forks and S-Type shocks, Voler team kits, Pearl Izumi shoes, SDG saddles, Uvex helmets, Finish Line bike care products and the Joan C. Banfield Foundation of Dexter, Michigan, which will host the team for a number of clinics targeting health and wellness in the school system.