Challenge Tires, a worldwide leader in handmade tubulars and open tubulars for the demanding pro and amateur cyclists, is pleased to announce the road teams and triathletes that will be sponsored in 2012. A mainstream in the cyclocross world, Challenge Tires is looking forwards to working with talented road racers and triathletes this season.

"I am excited to be working with these teams and athletes in our second year of focusing on sponsorship." Challenge Tires National Marketing & Sponsorship Director Bill Marshall said. "Not only do we want to give back to the sport of cycling and obviously grow our brand but we want to educate all on the importance of a handmade tire. We feel that we can achieve these goals by working with these skilled athletes."

Marshall added, "In addition to our continuous research in sophisticated raw materials and production processes which have made Challenge Tires unique, the feedback from our sponsored athletes can only improve our great product."

Challenge Tires will be sponsoring the following teams on the road, Optum Pro Cycling team, Elbowz Racing Elite Cycling Team and US Military Cycling.

The 2012 Optum Pro Cycling team include 32 professional men and women who will compete in road and cyclocross events in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia during the 2012 racing season. Optum Pro Cycling Team Performance Director Jonas Carney stated, "Our team is very excited to be racing on Challenge tires in 2012. Their line of tires should give us great options for any kind of race. Whether we are competing in stage races, time trials, or criteriums, we will always have the right tire for the job. The riders were already impressed with the product at training camp and we can't wait to start racing on their tubulars in Merced two weeks from now."

Rounding out the list of sponsored teams are Timex Triathlon Team for triathlon and XTERRA and Boo Bicycles for road and cyclocross.

"Challenge Tires makes the most supple, grippy road racing tires I've ever used. Because of Challenge's painstaking handmade construction, my Boo tracks perfectly through rough criterium corners and the response is telepathic." Boo Bicycles owner Nick Frey commented on the news.

Athletes Chris Legh (triathlon, XTERRA), Luke Bell (triathlon), Heather Jackson (road, triathlon and cyclocross), Meredith Kessler (triathlon), Jimmy Archer (triathlon, XTERRA and cyclocross) and Guy Crawford (triathlon) will also be sponsored in their respective disciplines.

"I'm delighted to be a part of the Challenge Tires family in 2012 and could not be more excited to race on their sophisticated and unique tires." said Kessler who has competed in over 35 full Ironman races all over the United States since her start in 2000. "I value their relentless dedication and passion for creating and developing such top of the line products within the industry. It is beyond a luxury to be partnered with Challenge and a huge relief to know that I have the most high quality tires on two wheels beneath me while competing in an event as long as an Ironman!"

In 2012, Challenge Tires will be working hand-in-hand with all teams and athletes to develop an even better line of product for the future. Taking into account the new trend of wider rim profiles, Challenge Tires will be providing the 24mm Strada Tubular and, new for 2012, the 24mm Forte to its sponsored teams and athletes. The choice gives the teams and athletes the best of both worlds with both wider rim and standard rim profiles.