Procon Cycling the Early Years
Procon/Carlos O’Brien’s has a long and varied history. But what’s the story? How did it start?
Procon as we know it was formed in the early to mid 90’s, buy merging two teams, Phoenix Consumers Cycling Club (PCCC) and Team Proformance. At the time Proformance was an up and coming team with a focus on developing new riders, women’s and juniors racing. Members were all actively racing and were primarily cat 3’s, 4’s and a few masters. PCCC was one of the oldest active teams in the state, but had lost focus and sponsorship and membership was declining.
PCCC approached the Proformance board with the idea of merging the two teams and using the strength of each to advance cycling in the state. Membership of both teams voted to support the merger and it was on. The two major sponsors China Mist Iced Tea from Proformance and Champman Auto Group from PCCC came on board to sponsor the combined team. Our own Sean O’Brien was an active racer, and as Carlos O’Brien’s was also a sponsor of Proformance they came on board as well. Sean has been a minor or major sponsor since the teams’ inception and has always been a supporter of the team and cycling in Arizona!
So what’s with the name? That came about during a brainstorming secession with the combined PCCC/Proformance board in the dining room of Tommy and Bill Burke’s, the PCCC president’s, house. We were throwing out all kinds of names without success when Bill’s daughter, maybe 10 yrs old at the time, just blurted out PRO (from Proformance) CON (from Consumers)”Procon” and it stuck.
Procon has always sought to promote rider development including juniors (Jeremy Bounds and Ron Jensen raced as juniors) and race promotion with an emphasis on road racing. We promoted the occasional Crit and TT but the Usery Pass road race was the main focus for many years. Usery was always the first race on the calendar which made it the most popular single day RR in the state. If you never got the chance to race that venue, it was a classic multi loop course, starting at Salt River Recreation, up Usery to McDowell, Power to Bush Highway with a finish 2 or 3 km up Usery. It moved to a Usery/ Bush Highway loop before permit hassles caused it to fade away.
What a long strange trip it’s been…
TBT! Many thanks to Jim Clune for providing this weeks piece! Check out the kit form the early 90’s…