IRT Wheels Announces Formation Of New Professional Team
The 2015 IRT Racing Team jersey by Pactimo.
Inertia Racing Technology announced the formation of a new U.S. based Continental team called IRT Racing Team. A nine-man roster brings a mix of talent that includes up-and-comer overall GC threat Colton Hartrich (2nd 2014 San Dimas Stage Race), along with speed for the sprints in Eamon Lucas, and will be directed/managed by former Rock Racing and Yahoo Cycling Team director Haldane Morris, who brings years of experience. Former Olympian and pro cyclist Tony Cruz will serve as assistant director to the team, in addition to providing nutritional support in the way of Cruz Bars.
Based in Pasadena, California, IRT is going on its fifth year of producing carbon and aluminum wheels and decided to take a different approach to sponsorship for 2015. During a recent visit to IRT’s headquarters, IRT Racing Team co-owner Lynn Perrando told us, “We went from sponsoring three elite teams our first year, then six the following year, and it just kept growing each year. We were spending a lot on elite racing and decided partnering with a professional team should be the next step.”
Rather than the more traditional approach of sponsoring an existing team, IRT decided to build their own program from the ground up. IRT Racing co-owner Ray Asante tasked Haldane Morris with building the team’s roster, staff, and race schedule.
Eder Frayre, Rene Corella, Haldane Morris, Lynn Perrando, Ray Asante, and Tony Cruz.
(Photo: Kristy Morrow)
“We have assembled a youthful roster, with both up-and-coming young stars and some younger, seasoned veterans,” said Morris. “Our goal is to take this youthful base and develop them into a seasoned team by through the opportunities of competing at International races in Europe, Asia and South America and big races in the United States, such as the US Pro Road Championships, Cascade Cycling Classic, Gila and many others. We have very optimistic expectations of them and expect to be very competitive.”
Other than giving young riders an opportunity to race their bikes for a living, there is also a greater purpose that Perrando and Asante have set out for the team, and that’s in joining forces with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, bringing a philanthropic voice to the race season. With research being done by Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein MD, PhD, IRT Racing is racing in support of research on children’s cancerous brain tumors. “As parents ourselves, we hope to never have to live that nightmare with our own children that some families are facing now,” says Perrando. “By supporting the research being done, we hope to minimize the number of children in the future that have to endure this terrible illness.”
Look for bike and equipment coverage during the IRT Racing Team training camp in late January.
Erick Slack (USA)
Coulton Hartrich (USA)
Eder Frayre (Mexico)
Walton Brush (USA)
Sam Bassetti (USA)
Cory Greenberg (USA)
Rene Corella (Mexico)
Eamon Lucas (USA)
Chris Stastny (USA)
Head Mechanic: Marco Sainz
Head Soigneur: Paige DeVilbiss
Photographer: Kristy Morrow
Ritte will be providing the team with their new Ace frameset.
Ritte Bicycles, Shimano, Kuat Racks, Pactimo, GQ-6, K-Edge, Panaracer, Xpedo, Mobile Edge, Arundel, BSX Athletics, Velo Saddles, CarbonPro Sports, Zuca, PFC Nutrition, KOR Water, Minoura, Pedalers Fork, Cruz Bar, SPF Addict, Doc’s Skincare, Crossfit Ganbatte, Endevr, Pandana, Tifosi Optics and Sallys Smart.