Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Land Rover-ORBEA headed south for Joe Martin Stage Race

(Photo courtesy of Brian Hodes /

Fresh off its biggest win of the season in front of Levi and Lance at the Gila criterium in New Mexico, the Portland-based Land Rover-ORBEA Professional Cycling Team is headed to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Joe Martin Stage Race May 7-10.

Twenty-year-old Roman van Uden of Aukland, New Zealand, shocked the domestic cycling world May 2 when he avoided several late-race crashes to win the Silver City Criterium of the Tour of the Gila, a race that included the big-name Astana Euro pros and a talented domestic pro field.

"This is a huge win for the young Land Rover-ORBEA squad," said team co-founder Norrene Godfrey, "especially in our first year as a professional cycling team."

Van Uden, who also won the Cherry City Criterium stage of the Cherry City Classic in The Dalles in April, explained his win as a combination of skill and luck.

"I got into a good position," van Uden said. "Guys were riding pretty fast at the front, crashes took out Levi and a few other guys and I snuck through, so we had gaps forming behind. A rider shot through the front trying to get away a bit with half mile to go and then sat up, and I snuck around him outside on the very last corner. He sort of opened a gap and it gave me enough room to take the win."

After the race, Armstrong complimented the Land Rover-ORBEA squad on its professionalism as the team handed out LIVESTRONG wristbands to the crowd and to all the kids who participated in the kid’s event. The team has two core missions, raise funds and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and help develop young cycling athletes into the next generation professional. Each year the team raises funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and each year the team gives away it’s spot in the Seattle LIVESTRONG Challenge to a cancer survivor.

After Joe Martin, the team will be leading a LIVESTRONG Block Party ride in Portland on May 24. Racing continues at the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship in Philadelphia on June 7 and the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minneapolis June 11–14.