As it enters its second year, leading South African mountain bike racing team, FedGroup-Itec Connect, has announced its intention to grow into an even stronger outfit, starting with an extension of the sponsors’ investment and the signing of a new young rider.
Bradley Stroberg officially joined the team on Wednesday 1 August 2012, while FedGroup and Itec Connect have each committed to a further three-year sponsorship of the team. Negotiations are also currently underway to add another top elite male rider to the team for 2013.
“We had a good first year with a number of podium places and a top 10 finish at the Cape Epic despite some illness issues in the build-up,” said Brandon Stewart, team owner and rider. “Our sponsors have been fantastic and can see the potential of the team, which is why they have made a firm commitment until 2015.”
Stewart explained that the addition of Stroberg to the outfit was part of the team’s focus on supporting young talent.
“Brad is relatively new to mountain bike racing, but has shown great potential and commitment already. He comes with excellent credentials from the Toyota CSA Academy team, which is focused on identifying and supporting talented young road racers.
“We believe Brad has a great future in mountain biking and will ensure he gets all the guidance and support he needs to achieve his potential,” added Stewart.
“At 20, Brad is reasonably new to cycling, but he’s already shown plenty of raw talent and leadership qualities,” said Nic White, manager of the Toyota CSA Academy.
“One of the key functions of our academy is to prepare talented young bicycle racers for career progression with established professional teams. We’re sad to lose Brad so soon, but will still have him ride for us in some road races when his schedule allows.”
Stroberg, who lives in Pietermaritzburg, a mountain bike racing hotbed, is geographically well situated as Team FedGroup Itec – Connect is also based there. The team, which now comprises Brandon Stewart, Bradley Stroberg and Bridgette Stewart, will focus on high profile South African marathons and stage races during the second half of 2012.