The Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling Team continues the rich cycling tradition established by Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2007. The team enters its second season under the helm of title sponsor Optum and continues to pursue winning at the highest levels of the sport while staying true to the values of its partners. Since becoming the first-ever freshman team to win the USPRO Criterium Championship, the team has consistently impressed and improved on its performances from year to year, which now also boasts the 2012 National Racing Calendar's best women's team as well as a cyclocross program.
The team features a balanced roster of time trialists, climbers, and sprinters, comprised of some of the most experienced racers in North America today. With UCI race victories on four continents, victory at the USPRO Criterium Championship three times, and podium spots at the USPRO Road Race and Time Trial, the team has shown it is more than capable of competing against the World Tour teams in California. In fact, Optum p/b KBS climbing ace Sebastian Salas captured the overall King of the Mountain prize at last year's race in addition to the sprinter duo of Alex Candelario and Ken Hanson grabbing 3 top 10's on stages. In 2012, Ken Hanson was the winningest North American rider of UCI races, and Tom Zirbel claimed victory at the Nature Valley Grand Prix later that summer, the highest ranking NRC event in America and a "hometown race" for Eden Prairie, MN-based Optum. In total, the men captured 48 wins and 100 podiums in 2012 across Asia, North and South America and Europe. Known for their aggressive tactics and focused team efforts, expect to see Optum p/b KBS on the attack in sunny California.
Optum, a health services company, helps make the system work better for everyone - from employers, to government organizations, to consumers who access the health care system. Each day the company helps improve how health care is managed, how information shapes and drives improvements in the system, and how technology enables better care. As title sponsor of the team in 2013, Optum carries on a unique tradition in the sport established by KBS, placing a focus not only on winning bike races, but supporting and promoting healthy lifestyles, personal accountability, and ethical sporting standards around the world.