Established originally as a development model and recognized predominantly as the USA's youngest pro cycling team, Team Slipstream has produced 28 national champions since its inception in 2004. By selecting and retaining young, talented riders and matching them with seasoned riders including such notables as Magnus Backstedt (SWE), Christian Vande Velde (USA), David Zabriskie (USA), Julian Dean (NZL) and David Millar (GBR), the program brings leadership and mentoring qualities to further enhance the strength of this exciting new squad.
The road team has moved from a Pro Continental license to the top rung of the ladder, a full Pro Tour license. This license guarantees the team invitations to race the full schedule of the sports most prestigious events such as Paris-Roubaix and the three Grand Tours. Garmin/Chipotle-H3O has demonstrated the team's ability to perform at the top level. In 2008, Martijn Maaskant finsihed fourth at Paris-Roubaix, while at the Tour de France Christian Vande Velde finished fifth overall, and at the Giro d'Italia the team took the opening TTT and put Christian in the coveted pink jersey.
Jonathan Vaughters says of the partnership, "Felt bikes are fast, durable, light, and make sense from an engineering standpoint. The guys love them, they test fast in the wind tunnel and they don't break. It's refreshing, and we're thrilled to work with such a superior partner."
Felt not only opted to sponsor the pro team, but also the U23 and junior development programs. There is also a world-class track component.
Three members of the track team competed at the 2008 Olympics in
Slipstream's junior development program, sponsored by 5280 Magazine, is the most successful in the country and boasts a plethora of national champions. These riders will work at the youngest level in cycling toward a spot on the professional Slipstream squads.
Felt Bicycles' company namesake Jim Felt said, “This is a team we have watched since its inception and seen it flourish into the best program in the nation. It fits in perfectly with Felt’s model – to build the best bikes in the world for our riders, regardless of whether they are already of pro caliber, whether they dream of winning medals, or whether they are simply trying to beat their personal best. We could not have more exciting partnership”
The team will train and race Felt's top-of-the line products including the brand new AR, as well as the proven F1, F1 Sprint and Z1 road frames. In time trials, they will race Felt's DA, the world's fastest legal TT bike.