The quality of our initial intel on the new Rapha-FOCUS cyclocross team was pretty spot on (you can see our pre-release coverage here.) Read the team’s official press release, with more info on the program, after the jump below.
Rapha and FOCUS Join Forces To Form Professional Cyclo-Cross Team
Europe’s leading cyclo-cross and apparel brands to support the American ’cross scene with a dedicated, professional effort
(Carlsbad, CA, July 16, 2010) –In a joint effort to support cyclo-cross racing here in the United States, FOCUS Bicycles USA and Rapha will be funding a professional ’cross squad for the 2010/2011 season. Dubbed the Rapha-Focus team, the outfit will consist of ’cross upstart Chris Jones of Auburn, California, and U23 standout Zach McDonald of Seattle, Washington. The team will be outfitted with custom Rapha apparel and FOCUS Mares AX-1 bikes. FOCUS will also provide a support van and race mechanic for the riders.
Last season, Jones finished second in the season-opening Cross Vegas event and followed that with a series of solid
performances at national-level races. McDonald, Junior Elite National Champ in 2009 and a podium finisher in a UCI
World Cup, looks to impose his will on the U23 field. Both athletes will race US and international schedules and will
look for peak form around the American National and UCI World Championships.
“The FOCUS brand was literally founded by a world cyclo-cross champion in Germany and we’ve always kept one
foot firmly planted in the sport,” says Scott Rittschof, president of FOCUS Bicycles USA. “The joint effort and
investment of our two passionate, discerning and authentic brands should prove to give a push to the domestic cyclo-
cross racing scene in advance of the world championships being held here in 2013.”
“At the foundation of our company is a passion for racing and once the Rapha-Condor-Sharp team in the UK closes
their road season in the early fall, there is a tangible void within Rapha. With our North American headquarters in
Portland and penchant for the suffering of racing, the sport of cyclo-cross is a natural area for the company,” says
Slate Olson, General Manager of Rapha N.A.. “It’s fantastic to partner with FOCUS, who has such an accomplished
history in cyclo-cross and I am excited that together we could support two genuinely impressive riders.”
“Last year I had a real breakthrough season riding a FOCUS,” says Chris Jones. “This year, I truly believe
that we’re going to be both the best outfitted and most highly motivated riders in the field. Having the backing of
Rapha and FOCUS is absolutely a dream and this season should prove to be the perfect build for the 2013 World
Championships here in the USA.”
Team Rapha-FOCUS riders will campaign aboard FOCUS Mares machines that feature a monocoque carbon fiber
frame with oversized BB30 bottom bracket shell, tapered headtube and an ultra-rigid carbon fork. The bikes will
outfitted with equipment from SRAM and Easton. The Mares was developed and tested in-concert with the FOCUS-
sponsored Team MILRAM and is a true expression of the FOCUS motto “By Pros, For Pros.”
FOCUS Bicycles USA entered the North American market in the fall of 2009 and its bikes are available through
independent specialty bike shops in 21 states from California to New York, as well as Performance bicycle stores
nationwide. Please check out the complete FOCUS line at www.focus-bikes.com
About FOCUS Bicycles USA
Based in Carlsbad, California, FOCUS Bicycles USA is dedicated to enhancing the cyclist’s experience with premium,
race-inspired designs that integrate German engineering, precision design and cutting-edge technology. True to the
brand’s German lineage, FOCUS bicycles are developed, built, tested and delivered with utmost efficiency and to
exacting standards. For more information check www.focus-bikes.com.
Rapha creates the finest cycling clothing and accessories in the world. Designed without compromise for the most
discerning rider, Rapha products blend style with optimum performance. A passion for road racing means Rapha is
more than just a product company. It is an online emporium of performance roadwear, accessories, publications and
events, all celebrating the glory and suffering of road riding. For more information, visit www.rapha.cc.