2013 Cannondale Pro Cycling Team Presentation
By Brandon Hale
The 2013 Cannondale Pro Cycling Team presentation was a black tie event held at Paramount Studios on Saturday January 12, 2013. It was clear from the start that Cannondale, as an organization, was motivated to win more than just races in 2013. They left no stone unturned in making sure the Cannondale brand is the most popular bike brand in the world. The theme for the year is “ The Joy of the Ride with a World Tour Team”.
Upon arriving to the black carpet event, the media and the guests were treated like royalty. Everyone was dressed to the nines; cocktails and appetizers were served as attendees mingled in anticipation of the arrival of the Cannondale athletes. When the athletes entered the scene, all members of the press and the guests lined the black carpets as the team strolled through one by one, graciously waving and shaking hands with friends and fans. The last part of the walk before entering Paramount Pictures Studios contained the press gallery. It was here where we got close up with the likes of Ted King, Ivan Basso, and Peter Sagan. They were wearing tuxedos and stopped, posed, then posed again. As if the Cannondale Pro Cycling team was not star power enough, other guests included celebrities such as Erika Christenson from the hit show Parenthood, as well as Shemar Moore and Joe Mantegna from Criminal Minds.
Once inside the theater, Bob Roll (one of America’s cycling voices) hosted the Team Presentation. The presentation kicked off with the team making an entrance on their bikes circling the audience then landing on the stage and in the aisles. Then one by one Bob introduced the Cannondale Management Team. Everyone from the General Manager to the Team Directors were present, and Bob Roll did a fantastic job translating how Team Cannondale is committed to winning in 2013. Bob Burbank, Cannondale’s General Manager, was welcomed with a warm round of applause. He thanked his staff and his global partners before stating he felt they have a great opportunity to change cycling by putting the “fun” back into the sport, and he mentioned “not everyone is a Cat1 racer.”
Every rider was introduced and interviewed about their goals for the 2013 season. Ted King, the only American on the team, was the first rider to speak to the crowd. He said his goal is to ride in the “Tour de France” and that to achieve this he has to take it one race at a time. As they neared the end of the introductions, it was clear they were about to present the captains The second to last person introduced was Ivan Basso with 14 years of Pro Cycling under his belt. You could tell he was experienced in team presentations because he took the stage differently than all the other riders. Before speaking, he handed out high fives to his entire team one by one, showing them that he supports them as much as he is supported by the team. The last person to be introduced was Peter Sagan, and the gallery roared as he entered the stage. As another great leader of the team, he approached each team member to acknowledge them in the same way as Ivan Basso. He said many things, but what was most profound was his goal; “My goal is to win a “Tour of Flanders” for Cannondale this year.” Peter will be one to watch this season to see if he can pull off the win. At the conclusion of the presentation, confetti fell on the crowd from the ceiling and everyone applauded as the team exited the stage.
The dinner that followed was held on the “Streets of New York” a well recognized set at Paramount Pictures. Music, food trucks, and drinks were served to the guests of the event. Team Cannondale riders mingled with the crowd as the press continued taking pictures, and guests ate the delicious food that was offered from several food trucks. They even had one truck that was dedicated to just desserts. As the night winded down, people began to head over the Mondrian Hotel for the “GURU After Party”. The guests of the party were treated to Cannondale musette bags full of gifts that included a new pair of Rudy Project shades. This was a fine ending to one of the best Team Presentation events I have ever attended.