CyclingNews did a great article on Jeff Pierce and his amazing victory in Paris at the 1987 Tour de France.
The 7-Eleven Cycling Team
The 7-Eleven Cycling Team, later the Motorola Cycling Team, was a professional cycling team founded in the U.S. in 1981 by Jim Ochowicz, a former U.S. Olympic cyclist. The team lasted 16 years, under the sponsorship of 7-Eleven through 1990 and then Motorola from 1990 through 1996. From 1989 to 1996 it rode on Eddy Merckx bikes.
Southland continued its commitment by sponsoring the cycling venue at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where nine Americans won cycling medals. The other (especially equipment) sponsors of the team included Descente, Huffy, Campagnolo, and Tag Heuer. Often, those sponsors elected not to continue after their initial contracts were completed.
In 1985, Ochowitz changed the men’s team’s status to professional. The team went to Europe with an initial roster of members including Olympic gold medalists Alexi Grewal and Heiden, Olympic bronze medalists Phinney and Kiefel, Bradley, Schuler, Hayman, Stieda, and Chris Carmichael. When the team received an invitation to the 1985 Giro d’Italia, one of the Grand Tours of Europe, a young American cyclist based in Europe named Andrew Hampsten was added to the team under a 30-day contract for the race. After both Kiefel and Hampsten stunningly won stages during the Giro, becoming the first American stage winners ever at a Grand Tour, 7-Eleven was invited to the 1986 Tour de France and became one of the major cycling teams for the next decade, under the sponsorship of Southland through 1990 and then Motorola through 1996. Ochowicz disbanded the team after the 1996 season when Motorola decided to discontinue sponsorship.
While it was not the first professional cycling team in the U.S., 7-Eleven was responsible for an overall increase in bike racing interest in the U.S. The team claimed a win in a Grand Tour, when Andrew Hampsten won the general classification as well as the mountains classification at the 1988 Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy). It also claimed a handful of world championship medals and US championships, as well as Tour de France and Giro stage wins and one more Grand Tour podium (Hampsten’s third in the 1989 Giro d’Italia). It was the second U.S. team to ride the Giro d’Italia (1985) (the Gianni Motta team was the first in 1984) and in the Tour de France (1986), where two Canadian riders on the team held the yellow jersey on different occasions (Alex Stieda in 1986 and Steve Bauer in 1990). Its Tour de France stage winners included Phinney, Jeff Pierce, Hampsten, Sean Yates and Dag Otto Lauritzen from Norway. In 1989 Brian Walton won the pro-am Milk Race (Tour of Britain). As of 2009, Team 7-Eleven is the only cycling team to have been inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.
Three bike manufacturers sponsored the team throughout the years: Schwinn from 1981 to 1984, Murray from 1985 to 1986, Huffy from 1987 to 1988, although the team bikes from 1985 to 1988 were primarily built by Ben Serotta. Finally, Eddy Merckx sponsored the team from 1989 through their ultimate cessation in 1996. For Eddy Merckx, sponsoring the American team had a special meaning. Eddy Merckx said:
“I had a special relationship with the 7-Eleven team. They were happy to have somebody with my racing and frame-building experience. For me [it] remains a great memory. I was happy I could make them more successful in Europe, and to see the positive influence they had on the US as a whole. If I had do it over, I would make the same choice straight away.”
During Motorola’s sponsorship of the team in the 1990s, the riders began communicating with the team cars through the use of two-way radios built by Motorola. The radios were slowly adopted through the rest of the professional peloton, becoming standard equipment by 2002. Acceptance of these radios was hastened by the success in the Tour de France of former Motorola rider Lance Armstrong, who continued to use a race radio when he joined the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
View the Full article here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-Eleven_(cycling_team)
This item is one of a kind, please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.