It didn't take long for Ketchum-based bicycle manufacturer Scott to shake off the ignominious end to last year's pro tour road cycling season.
After ending its four-year sponsorship of the Saunier-Duval team due to a doping scandal during the 2008 Tour de France, Scott got professional riders back on its bikes through a deal with U.S.-based Team Columbia-Highroad for the 2009 racing season.
The move has already begun to pay dividends, as the team placed second overall in the Tour of California, which took place Feb. 14-22 and is the largest stage race in North America.
Mark Cavendish, one of the best internationally known riders on the team, won two stages of the race and the Sprint Jersey, while teammate Michael Rogers took third place in the overall standings.
Theoe results were achieved on Scott's top-of-the-line Addict, one of the lightest road bikes on the market, weighing in at 13 pounds. At nearly $13,000, the bike can be a bit pricey for the average consumer.
Cavendish got help on his way to the sprint title from teammate and U.S. veteran racer George Hincapie, who gained notoriety while helping Lance Armstrong dominate the Tour de France during his tenure on the U.S. Postal Team.
Armstrong retired from racing in 2005, but returned to the sport this year and the seven-time Tour de France rider is scheduled to go for an eighth title this summer.
Adrian Montgomery, Scott USA's marketing and public relations director for its bike division, said Armstrong's return to racing has again sparked the nation's interest in cycling and will hopefully help continue to boost Scott's sales, which are already in the top 10 for road bike manufacturers worldwide.
"Nowadays, its important when developing new, cutting-edge products that we validate our technologies with the best athletes in the sport," Montgomery said.
Jon Duval: email@example.com