The rumor mill has been churning with hints about a new team backed by Rapha, the British company responsible for the super-styley, perhaps even stately, line of cycling attire (see our review of Rapha’s 2009 cyclocross kit here). Although no formal announcement has yet been made, Cyclocross Magazine‘s spy network has turned up mock-ups of the kit and confirmation that the team will be dubbed “Rapha-Focus.”
Cyclocross stalwarts Chris Jones, who races for Team Type 1 on the road and raced ’cross for Champion Systems last year, and Zach McDonald, who put in an incredible performance in Bend to take the Collegiate Div 1 2009 ’cross crown, have been linked to the new squad. We just finished an interview with Jones for an article about roadies turned ’crossers for Issue 10 of our print mag – look for that interview coming out soon, and watch for him to improve on his 2009 breakthrough season.
Jones and McDonald be hitting the biggest races in the country and will enjoy the support of a full-on, decked out race van. They’ll be on Focus Mares high-modulus carbon frame and forks, the same frameset that Jones raced last year (see our feature of Jones’ 2009 Focus here). Last year, Jones said, “My Focus Mares is the sexiest looking bike on the circuit.” Sounds like he’ll be happy to keep the same ride. Additional gear will be supplied by Giro and Easton.
The other rumor that we heard was that, with Focus being a German company and Worlds being in St. Wendel, Germany, that Jones and McDonald would make a concerted effort to make the selection for the U.S. Worlds team. Other details about the program should be coming within the next week or so.