SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Champion cyclist, Chris Horner, winner of the 2013 Vuleta a Espana, will join the U.S. registered Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team for the 2015 season. Previously, Horner has finished in the top 10 overall in the 2010 Tour de France, captained the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing and won the Tour of California in 2011.
"I am very excited to be joining Airgas-Safeway for 2015," said Horner. "I have achieved a huge amount of success in my career and I'm incredibly proud of that. For me, the next chapter isn't just about what I can do as an individual, but what I can give back to cycling as a sport. I had a number of options for this year and what really struck me about Airgas-Safeway was their utter commitment to giving the next generation of young riders the opportunity for success."
The 43-year-old Horner brings a vast amount of experience, leadership, and skill to the Airgas-Safeway team. Horner turned professional in 1995 and has won nearly every major U.S. race during his career, including the overall National Racing Calendar series in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
"Chris Horner has done it all. This is not only a huge development for our program, but also for cycling fans in the United States," said Airgas-Safeway team principle Chris Johnson. "To be able to give a group of young riders the chance to race with a champion like Horner is a dream come true on so many levels."
Horner was equally enthused about his participation in the program and to be back racing in the U.S. "Racing with excited young athletes fits well with my love of the sport, and it will be a great partnership to build for the future. I look forward to sharing my racing and tactical experience to help the team race for the win at Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and many other races throughout the season."
Airgas, one of the nation's leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, has sponsored the team since its inception and is excited about the continued growth of the program.
"It has been thrilling to see how its riders have developed and excelled throughout the last two years," said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Molinini. "We are excited to partner with co-sponsor Safeway to continue to support these young athletes and look forward to next season with champion cyclist Chris Horner."
Grocery retailer Safeway, the team's co-sponsor, shared their enthusiasm and underlined the value that Horner brings to the team.
"We are very proud that the Airgas-Safeway team is focused on developing young riders. The addition of a rider of Chris Horner's caliber will provide the team with not only leadership but also the mentorship that is critical to success in both business and cycling," said Safeway president of marketing Mike Minasi.
"2015 is shaping up to be a fun year with great racing and more time at home with my family, including the new baby we have on the way in January," Horner concluded. "I can't wait to race with a group of excited young pros -- their enthusiasm will make the season fun and exciting."
The Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team consists of 16 riders from the United States, Canada and Mexico and will start the season in January with a training camp in California.
About Airgas - Safeway Cycling
Airgas - Safeway is a U.S. registered UCI continental cycling team. Managed by D3Devo, the team consists of 16 riders from the United States, Canada and Mexico. http://d3devo.com
About Airgas Inc.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation's leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 16,000 associates work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.
About Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. Safeway operates 1,331 stores in the United States and had annual sales of $35.1 billion in 2013.
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SOURCE D3Devo, LLC.