Elite level U23 men’s team with big ambitions for 2017 and beyond. Echelon’s true development team is starting its second major campaign with a new name and a lot of international talent. With hopes of gaining major race invitations and sights set on UCI status in the coming years, AJ Kennedy’s program (known in 2016 as Echelon-Storck Development) is doing it the right way; slowly and methodically.
The team’s 2016 bike supplier, German carbon dream-bike, Storck, returns, but now as the title-sponsor. Storck has committed as a true factory sponsor, supplying the lust-worthy machines and SRAM componentry, along with a laundry list of support for young riders to develop their talents. Joining Storck in the title is Chinese clothing icon, CCN Sport, now expanding into North America. Together, the 2017 program is to be known as Storck-CCN Development Team, and will race anything they can get their wheels into to prove their grit.
While the program returned seven of their core riders for 2017, the team has added several new international and domestic up-and-comers to round out its twelve-man roster. Returning are Bryan Larsen (USA), Owen Gillott (AUS), Jules Goguely (FRA), Eric Oien (USA), Gera Medina (MEX), Gavin Murray (USA) and Alex Gaidis (USA). They will be joined by newcomers Thorsten Askervold (USA), Harrison Bailey (AUS), Rupert Cox (USA), Zach Nehr (USA) and Leo Yip (HKG). The team also has a big announcement, slated for a later time, in a former WorldTour rider joining the program as a thirteenth mystery man in the late spring.
Storck-CCN aims to race both stage races and criteriums in North America, South America and Asia. “Our goal is to start at Redlands. From there, we plan on Tour of the Gila, North Star Grand Prix, Tour de Beauce, Cascade Classic and ToAD. This is all pending invitations, obviously. We have made huge strides in sponsorship and roster depth to prove to the race organizers we will be active in their events, and certainly improve upon last year’s performances. We are learning and always striving to improve.” Says team owner and GM, AJ Kennedy.
The program, actually in its fourth season of existence, brought on the help of AJ’s long-time friend, former UCI team owner/GM and native Nor-Cal co-junior racer to bring his dream into reality. The addition brought on a large portion of support, a solidified infrastructure and mission statement that has seen the team grow from “hometown kids” to a true international competitor in just two short years. AJ also enlisted the expertise of Kirk Carlsen, former U23 US National Road Champion and local California talent to direct his pool of riders. Kirk brings years of professional experience (both domestic and WorldTour) into his DS role, and also shares the program’s ambitions and ideals, bringing the management trio closer to the next step.
Thorsten Askervold (USA), Harrison Bailey (AUS), Rupert Cox (USA), Alexander Gaidis (USA), Owen Gillott (AUS), Jules Goguely (FRA), Bryan Larsen (USA), Gera Medina (MEX), Gavin Murray (USA), Zach Nehr (USA), Eric Oien (USA), Leo Yip (HKG)
Be sure to stay informed about the team and all of its amazing supporters at www.echelondevo.com. You can also follow the journey on facebook at facebook.com/StorckCCN and on twitter, Snapchat or Instagram at @storckccn.
About Stork Bicycle:
Since 1995 Storck has been developing innovative ground breaking and timeless products which have won numerous tests and design awards. This year we have created several new highlights, which continue the proven Storck tradition. Products, which offer the best compromise of longevity, lightweight and strength on- or off-road. Characteristic for Storck: the continuous re-development of existing technologies, the application of the most modern materials available and award winning design with function. Numerous innovations which are standard features today were developed, patented and introduced by Storck. No other manufacturer takes such intensive care of its product’s, our designs are never out of date. Our bikes must match the individuality of their owners – this is why you can configure your own personal dream bike and truly experience the fascination of owning a Storck.
Markus Storck was responsible for designing and manufacturing the first ever all Carbon fork, the first ever all Carbon Full Suspension bike and the first ever all Carbon all Carbon Cranks. The Power Arm Cranks were the lightest Cranks in the World for over a decade. The First Olympic Gold Medal in Mountain Biking was won by Bart Brenjens riding a Storck Mountain Bike.
Through consistent development and outstanding design Storck Bicycles have regularly been voted ‘Best of Test’ by Cycling Journalist around the World. Germany’s Tour Magazine is probably the recognized as the ‘Most Authority Lead Magazine’ in the World, due to its extensive testing, real live data capture and technical reviews. The Storck Fascenario 0.7 won ‘The Best Bike in the World’ in 2007, 2010 and 2011. The following year 2012, the Fascenario 0.6 continued with Tour Magazine voting it ‘The Best Bike in the World’ . Quite an accolade.
In 2013 Storck Launched the New Aernario Road Bike. A combination of Sectional Aero Shaped tube profile and the normal Storck Characteristics of lightweight, stiffness where required and outstanding handling with exceptional speed. Tour Magazine scored the Aernario the highest ranking ever in the 20 year history of the Magazine. The Title of ‘Best Bike in the World 2013’ was the Storck Aernario.
Storck first sponsored the elite team, Honey Stinger-Spinergy, in the 2005, as well as the Vanderkitten women’s team. Storck re-entered the US team atmosphere with Echelon-Storck Development team in 2016.
About CCN Sport North America:
With more than 10 years of clothing production experience, CCN Sport is one of the few brands who own their factory and production facility. CCN manufactures different levels of custom-made, technical garments from skating to cycling, and from professional athletes to amateurs. CCN Sport makes it all. CCN Sport uses the latest, cutting-edge printing and sublimation machines in the world, delivering the best color and imagery available on printed clothing available today. This, combined with top-of-the-line fabrics, makes the CCN difference. CCN Sport believes the best products come from the best facilities and the great people that make it a reality.
Storck Bicycle, CCN Sport, Archvest, Bont, Hammer Nutrition, Kennedy & Associates, K3 Holders, Panaracer Tires, Ritchey Logic, Rock Tape, Selle Italia, Speedplay, VeloToze