With the USA Pro Road and Time Trial National Championships starting today in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Team SmartStop have added to their already deep roster through the signing of Emerson Oronte.
The 25 year old from Cohasset, Massachusetts who now resides in Boulder, Colorado, will join the 14-man team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
The USA Elite Road Race National Champion has shown a lot of promise during the start of the season so far with stage wins and the overall general classification at the San Dimas Stage Race in March as well as top ten overall finishes at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and Tour of the Gila.
Sporting Director, Michael Creed, who has been watching the progress of the young rider said: “Emerson has showed a big leap in physical ability this year and a real desire to race which is always a positive influence on the riders -a good energy.
“He’s turned himself into a really talented GC racer but he is also handy enough on the bike to help out when the stages doesn’t suit him.”
With a string of injuries and illnesses for Team SmartStop so far this season, there was a spot that needed to be filled for the second of the year.
“He is going to fill that void,” explained Creed.
This will not be Oronte’s first stint at the professional level, having previously raced with Team Jelly Belly p/b Kenda, and over the past two years racing for Horizon Organic p/b Einstein Bros. Bagels and most recently Alto-Velo/Seasucker, Orante has been on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) scene for five years now.
Oronte said: “My first real experience into the pro ranks came with Jelly Belly from 2011-2013. There I raced predominantly NRC events but got my feet wet in some larger international races like the Tour of Utah, the Tour of Alberta, the Tour of Qinghai Lake, and the Tour of Korea.”
Wanting to take that leap back into the professional ranks, Team SmartStop is a team Orante has been keeping an eye on.
“Team Smartstop has been on my radar for a few years now and I’m really excited to finally be part of the team. What I find especially appealing about the program is that it does a really good job of investing in and growing their riders. Mike and the rest of the management clearly care about the success of their guys and don’t view them simply as cogs in a machine.”
Oronte will be included on up-coming rosters for the team racing in Winston-Salem, Philadelphia and Quebec, Canada with hopes to play a role in the success of the team as well as getting to know his new teammates.
Oronte said: “My early goals with the team include getting to know the guys well and fitting in–team chemistry is something that often gets overlooked but I think it pretty critical. After that, I’d love to play a part in helping the team secure some results in some of the larger mid-season events like Nationals, Winston-Salem, Beauce, or Saguenay.”
With Team SmartStop having secured an invitation to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and hoping for the invites to the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado and Tour of Alberta in Canada.
On the big medalist races Oronte said: “My big goals include making the rosters for Utah and Colorado wherein I hope to again play a part in getting the team name at the top of the results sheet.”
Oronte’s first race in the Team SmartStop colors will be the USA Professional Road Race National Championship race on Monday, where the team will be looking to defend Eric Marcotte’s 2014 title.
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