The Champion System Pro Cycling Team has hired former U.S. national road champion Chris Wherry to serve as an assistant sport director for Asia’s first pro continental team.
Wherry raced for the Saturn Cycling Team, Mercury-Viatel, Navigators Insurance, Health Net and Toyota-United during an 11-year professional career. In addition to winning the national road title in Philadelphia in 2005, Wherry also captured the Redlands Bicycle Classic the same year and was a bronze medalist in the national time trial championships in 1999. Following his retirement in 2009, he started The Hub Training Center in his adopted hometown of Durango, Colo. He also helped found a development mountain bike team, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Devo Sweet Elite, which captured five national championships in 2011.
“I have dreamed of being a team director since retiring,” Wherry said. “This is such a cool program and the opportunity to further Asian cycling and bring some amazing riders to the world stage is one I couldn’t pass up. I love cycling and can’t wait to be back in the mix during the races.”
Wherry will spearhead a directorial crew for the Champion System Pro Cycling Team that includes former Navigators and Toyota-United teammate Burke Swindlehurst, who will be assisted by BelgianTim Meeusen at select events. Wherry’s first event at the helm will be Dwars door Drenthe on March 9.
“It’s great for me to have two guys I know and trust in Burke and Chris taking care of the guys, and with Tim Meeusen helping out a bit in Belgium, I think we have the beginnings of a great sport management team,” Champion System Pro Cycling Team General Manager Ed Beamon said. “Chris is exactly the kind of guy we want for the Champion System program. The team is about providing opportunity, developing talent, and opening professional cycling to the Asian continent. We’re building a staff of enthusiastic and motivated professionals who understand and embrace the challenge and the journey we’re embarking on. This is not an ‘old school’ program doing things the way they’ve been done for 100 years. We’re charting new waters and breaking new ground and we need the right people in key positions to help us steer the right course.”
Wherry called it an “amazing opportunity” to be reunited with Beamon, who directed him as a rider on Navigators Insurance in 2003.
“Ed has so much experience on the world level and I’m really excited to learn from his extensive experience,” Wherry said. “Ed’s also a great guy and we’ve always had a good time.”