This year marks the first time Team Exergy has been invited to the Amgen Tour of California. For an American Continental squad, California is The Big Show. As such, reasoned team manager Remi McManus, why not make the biggest visual splash we can?
In the weeks leading into the race, McManus peppered his sponsors with one request: gold.
California officially adopted ‘the golden state’ as its nickname in the 1960s, but the moniker comes from the discovery of gold in the state in 1848.
“Every since I was a little kid I was interested in the flashy stuff, the good-looking stuff,” said McManus, a former pro rider. “I always admired Mario Cipollini. Now the world’s top teams do the all-yellow, the all-green kits for the Tour de France. Well, this is our Tour de France. For our first invitation to the Amgen Tour of California, what better way than to take the race by storm?”
Based in Boise, Idaho, McManus started calling sponsors when he found out his team was in. A few were excited. A few were unsure. But most were unsure they could deliver in time.
Normally, Exergy rides florescent green components and accents, and once a few sponsors committed to gold, he had to pressure the others — “the bikes couldn’t have half green, half gold.”
Seen these before? Most people haven’t. microSHIFT makes shifters and derailleurs. The lower lever shifts the chain up the cassette; the smaller, upper lever shifts the chain down onto smaller cogs
Although there was some late-night working on the eve of the race’s opening stage in Santa Rosa — including some redecaling by Boise company Trademark Sign, which made the drive to apply custom Felt and FSA decals — Team Exergy rolled into its first Amgen Tour of California Sunday with gold a’ plenty.
Color selection aside, one notable brand on the Team Exergy bikes is microSHIFT, a relatively small and little known Taiwanese company that makes shifters and derailleurs. This is almost certainly the first Amgen Tour of California for microSHIFT, too.
Check out the gallery above at right for all the details. And be sure to follow all the live coverage, results and news of the Amgen Tour of California on Cyclingnews.com.