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As a loyal Jelly Belly p/b Kenda team fan you may notice this report is written with a bit of a different tone. That is because we are starting a new initiative; I guess you could call it a new years resolution. The riders have all agreed to supply loads of content in an aim to give an inside view of the happenings of the team. We hope you enjoy this and look forward to crossing paths down the road.

BOOM! 2013 is upon us. Please, allow us to re-introduce ourselves. Jelly Belly presented by Kenda is pumped to get after this new season with a very strong return of cast and crew that has been bolstered by three new riders. Firstly, we have to point out that this will be our 14th season under the Jelly Belly banner. That in itself is massive and lands us in the top five of longest running teams in the world.

Things are much the same with us on the backend of the team with Danny, Ver Beast, at the helm and the Ralfster as our main man with wrench. This dynamic duo, joined periodically by other familiar faces that lend an oily hand or two, could write the book on international travel. Between the two of them they have more frequent flier miles than Santa Claus.

8113036286_091fd7dbbaReturning riders are Brad Huff, Jeremy Power, Ricardo van der Velde, Emerson Oronte, Sean Mazich, Nic Hamilton, Luis Lemus, Christiaan Kriek, and Alex Hagman. This crew encompasses a variety of strengths and styles of racing in combination with cohesion unlike any other in the peloton. Not only that, but easily one of the most entertaining and fun bunch within the bunch, but don’t take our word for it, follow these guys on Twitter and see for yourself. In fact, Luis Lemus, the NATIONAL CHAMPION OF MEXICO is a twitter officianado and could easily write a book on social media.

It won’t take long for the new guys to mesh with the returning core…I imagine just one Navy SEAL session, round of paintball, or whatever the management has in store for us at team camp (scheduled for early February) should do the trick. Lets meet the new faces.

Morgan Schmidt: Pacific North West fellah Morgan has been in the game a while, not saying he’s old though. He brings some good experience and some strength in the hills and as a GC rider. A rather quiet demeanor lends me an inclination to nick-name him the silent killer. We will keep yah posted on the developments there.

Ian Burnett: We are happy to have another Coloradan come on board for 2013, such a happy folk they are. A quick shout out to this all around rider as he is recently engaged- Big ups amigo! Ian has a big engine – a throttle just waiting to be gripp’d and ripp’d…a horse chomping at the bit, a lion ready to burst from a cage…you get the gist, this guy will lay the hurt.

Ben Wolfe: A young gun entering the domestic pro scene for his first year. Facebook tells me he is from Connecticut and there a ton of photos with him winning races so I am keen to meet this guy. We already bonded over a tweet exchange about Sriracha hot sauce…so, so far he’s notched a few tallies in the ‘good/great’ column.

We are psyched to have Rock Tape come on board to help hold us together when the going gets tough. Most of the guys sought out Rock Tape independently last year, so it just makes sense to partner up for an injury free season. Also, 3T components have stepped up to provide us with the Mercurio carbon dangs (read: wheels) to go along with our cockpit and seat posts. I scoped these wheels out at Interbike and they are the real deal, stealthy and light. Cat Eye cycling computers is launching a new model called the Stealth, which is GPS and Power enabled; we will now have every bit of technology at our fingertips. Inno Advanced Car Racks will outfit the team convoy with the best racks around. Ask our mechanic, he is extremely comfortable using these racks knowing the bikes will never fall. Another important consideration for him is that the bikes engage and disengage quickly enabling a super fast bike swap should there be any mishaps on the road. North Wave shoes will keep us styling on the steps with special podium shoes.

Please have a look at our partners section on the website because without all the fantastic support we would just be a bunch of skinny dudes trying to go fast…we would be, well runners I guess…whoa, that would be way too hard…so a MASSIVE thanks to all our sponsors so that we don’t have to run anywhere and no one has to witness that, ever.

Look for more reports soon, including an in depth look at what happens behind the scenes at the Jelly Belly team camp! Thanks for reading,

-Nic Hamilton