ZteaM gets an invite to the Tour of PA which is getting billed as the u-25 tour de france. $150k on the line in payouts and two California teams get selected, ZteaM and Cal Giant Strawberry.
Copy of the cyclingnews.com release:
Nine-time Tour de France rider Frankie Andreu has joined ZteaM as directeur sportif during the cycling organization’s quest to win a place on the podium during the 2008 American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, presented by Highmark Healthy High 5. ZteaM is an American national cycling club supporting the growth of masters, elite, and youth cycling through club riding and racing. The group is funded by national and regional sponsors, and its own members. ZteaM regional chapters operate independently with a focus on supporting youth cycling programmes in their areas.
Andreu, recently a director with Rock Racing, will lend his expertise and support to the bicycling organization, which was chosen as one of only 20 groups to compete in the Pennsylvania event.
Andreu will work along side ZteaM’s elite team leader, Christian Kearney, to prepare racers for the American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, the very first Tour de France-style “espoir” race in the United States. Espoir, which means hope in French, denotes the race is for up-and-coming riders under the age of 25. Over 60 teams vied to get into the Tour of Pennsylvania, but ZteaM was one of only 20 teams chosen to participate. The event will be televised around the world and is being dubbed as “the Tour de France for young riders.”
“ZteaM is all about building the cycling community through its support for youth and developmental cycling and has also built a strong sense of camaraderie for the members and the public,” Andreu said. “They have the right vision and model to build a successful program where young riders can benefit greatly.”
Andreu retired from racing at the end of 2000 after a 12-year professional career. During his racing career, he also represented the United States in two Olympic games and once was captain of US Postal. Andreu is now a commentator for Versus TV and can be seen alongside Phil Liggett and Bob Roll during the Tour de France each summer.
“Frankie is doing this more or less pro bono because he is very supportive of our entire developmental effort and he is interested in our quest for a full continental pro team in 2009 or 2010,” said Hunter Ziesing, ZteaM’s founder. “We are honored and very appreciative that we have one of the most experienced riders in the world to lead us.”