Ben Spies is World Superbike Champion and rookie of the year in MotoGP, the elite class in motorcycle road racing. A Texan, he trains on a road bicycle and appears to have fallen in love with road cycling. He's a Cat Two rider in Texas, and...
Off the track, I'm starting an amateur/pro cycling team in the States next year. It's all come together pretty well. It's going to have about 12 guys on it. Six under contract, the heavy hitter squad. They'll be the guys that'll go on the road to race. They'll do the USA National Criterium Series, the National Road Race, and some big road races.
We've got a couple of guys based in Texas, but then a bunch of other guys, too. I'm going to have a Sprinter van and a trailer. I'm working with Specialized; Yamaha is going to be a sponsor; and I've got a couple of other sponsorships that are being finalized. The riders and everything else are pretty well locked down. I'm pretty excited about it. It should be fun.
I've got one really, really good rider on the team - all the riders are good, but one is going to be more the mentor for the younger kids. Really, it's just a thing for me. I'm into cycling and it's something I can do without spending money - I'm not making money on it, it's a nonprofit deal. Just basically giving some young kids a chance. Once we get all the posters and stuff knocked out and ready for the year, I'll be able to update everyone in the racing world.
Right now I'm starting off small but really professional. Three years from now, we might have a team that can go to the Tour of California and things like that. But right now, it's just going to start out as a small, amateur/pro team, and work their way up.
Everyone likes and respects Ben Spies. Let's wish him luck and cheer for his guys in 2011 and beyond!