(June 7) Enza Jazz apples brand is the official title sponsor of a 2006 New Zealand women’s cycling team that will tour the U.S. and Canada this summer.

The Jazz Apple 2006 New Zealand Women’s Development Cycling team is made up of elite and developing riders. It includes New Zealand’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Ulmer and Olympian Michelle Hyland, said David Nelley, pipfruit category director for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Oppenheimer is the exclusive North American marketer of Enza’s Jazz apples from New Zealand. Nelley said he expects Oppenheimer to have twice the volume it had last year.

He said he expects to have 60,000 boxes from New Zealand in June and July, and an additional 100,000 boxes from Washington in the fall.

As part of the sponsorship deal, members of the team appear at retail locations for Jazz samplings and to sign autographs. Nelley said he was pleasantly surprised by how much attention the team generated during a recent appearance at a Whole Foods Market in Boulder, Colo.

The team is scheduled to compete in 11 mountain or road endurance races from May to July. Hyland finished third in a road race in Colorado the first weekend in June, Nelley said.