The 2012 Felt-sponsored 1t4i road team
was introduced last week at the team’s winter training camp in Alicante, Spain. The Dutch-based outfit will field a 26-rider men’s Pro Continental team plus a women’s team of 10 riders.
The 1t4i moniker stands for “Team Spirit, Inspiration, Integrity, Improvement and Innovation.” Known last year as Skil-Shimano, the team is looking to step up to the top level of the sport with Felt this year. It will focus on the sport’s biggest events including the Tour de France, one-day Classics, Olympics
and other top-tier stage races.
As the official bike sponsor, Felt supplies all of the team’s road and time trial framesets. For road races, 1t4i riders will race either F-Series
or AR carbon frames
. And for TT events, they will race Felt’s flagship DA frames.
The team embarks on its 2012 season with plenty of momentum, having won 21 races in 2011
, including German Marcel Kittel’s dramatic sprint victory on Stage 7 of the Vuelta a España
. Other major highlights last year included Simon Geschke’s Stage 2 win
at Criterium International, Tom Veelers Stage 3 triumph
at Tour de Wallonie-Picarde,
quartet of stage victories
at the Four Days of Dunkirk.
This year, Kittel, fellow Germans John Degenkolb
and Patrick Gretsch,
plus Dutchman Veelers, and French pro Alexandre Geniez
form the core of an international 26-man roster that also includes riders from China, Belgium, Sweden and Japan.
It’s a young team, which general manager Iwan Spekenbrink
says is by design. “We believe it is good to have the future of the sport,” he said. “We are a substantially bigger team and this is the year we step up the top level of cycling. Our perfect race program would be the Classics, two grand tours and the Worlds, but of course it depends on the plans of the organizers.”
Felt has a long history of working with cycling’s top athletes to help push its product development under the most demanding conditions. Competing at the sport’s top level is part of Felt’s DNA—it helps fuel the process of creating cutting-edge technologies that benefit all cyclists.
“From our perspective, there is no team out there that offers the opportunities that 1t4i does,” said Felt’s founder and namesake Jim Felt.
“The roster is a powerhouse loaded with young talent. With such a promising core of riders and an innovative staff, it’s truly a dream program for Felt’s return to the European race scene. We are excited to be back racing at the highest level again.”
The 1t4i women’s team will be led by Dutch riders Amy Pieters
and Regina Bruins.
The 10-rider team is focused mainly on European road races and the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.