After nearly two decades in road racing, Bissell ABG Giant announced a new sponsorship strategy that will see its men’s amateur team expand into gravel and mountain bike races.
Long-term cycling investors Mark Bissell and Bob Hughes decided it is time to redefine cycling and how companies sponsor teams. Hughes’s Advantage Benefits Group (ABG) has been a dedicated sponsor of American cycling since 2004 and helped support standout pros including Brent Bookwalter and Ted King.
“Racing a bike isn’t just about skinny tires. Mud, gravel, pavement, two-tracks and fire roads all ignite our passion and Bissell ABG Giant combining these courses will reinvigorate a sport in a time of need,” ABG President Robert Hughes said. “With the recent growth in gravel racing, we recognized an opportunity and no longer wanted to feel constrained by road events.”
After years of focusing exclusively on road cycling, Bissell ABG Giant is ready to bring back the excitement of racing on two wheels and will carry this passion and energy to a variety of mass start events throughout the US.
The team is mindful of its strong history of developing riders and will continue this mission. A few standout riders who have come through the program – part of the Bissell/ABG pro and amateur teams – include Paddy Bevin, Ian Boswell, Nicolai Broechner, Thomas Revard, and Eric Young.
“We are eager to see how this new model reinvigorates our athletes and their passion for racing bikes. I’m particularly excited to announce that we’ve signed Australian Karl Menzies. He was with our program back in 2005 and we are eager to welcome him back to the family. We believe his experience will translate to results while helping mentor our younger riders,” Hughes explained.
Menzies’s lengthy career saw him race for Advantage Benefits/Endeavour, Health Net P/B Maxxis, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and Cylance Pro Cycling. Accolades include second overall at the Tour Down Under (2007), wins at the Sun Tour (2004, 2005, 2006), Tour of Elk Grove Prologue (2011), Dana Point Grand Prix (2015) and runner-up at the Wilmington Grand Prix (2015).
With depth in its 2019 roster, Bissell ABG Giant plans to work together with long-term sponsors Bicycle Garage Indy, Giant Bicycles, NUVO News weekly, SRAM and Zipp to integrate different components on various surfaces.
The 2019 season will see Bissell ABG Giant implement a three-phase approach with national grave races in the spring, road racing in the early summer and mountain biking races in the late summer and fall.
Bissell ABG Giant’s complete 2019 roster includes:
- Ruben Bacon (USA)
- Josh Johnson (USA)
- Karl Menzies (AUS)
- Nolan VanderZwaag (USA)
- David Williams (CAN)
- Nate Williams (USA)
- Seth Worthington (USA)
- Jake Rytlewski (rider/director) (USA)
- Aaron Beebe (rider/director) (USA)