Tag Archives: professional cyclists

California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized names 2015 road team

Celebrating its 15-year anniversary, the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team announced today the 12 riders that will contest the 2015 road season. Additions this year include two riders who were top five at the 2014 UCI Junior Time Trial World Championships. Continuing on its mission to develop the next generation of professional cyclists, the roster includes nine under-23 racers, one junior 17-18 rider and two mentors that will provide leadership on and off the bike throughout the year.

“The California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team is proud to be one of the longest-standing programs in the United States. We have won over ten national road championships. Our catch and release model continues to be successful with two more riders moving into UCI Continental teams this year. We are excited for both Yannick Eckmann and Justin Oien as they take the next step in their professional cycling career,” Anthony Gallino, Team Manager and VP of Sales for California Giant, said.

Past national champions include Max Jenkins (2007 U23 Road), Ken Hanson (2008 Elite Criterium), James Mattis (2008 Elite Road), Justin England (2009 Elite Criterium), Steve Reaney (2010 Elite Criterium), Andrew Talansky (2010 U23 Time Trial), Evan Huffman (2012 U23 Time Trial), Stephen Leece (2013 Elite Road) and Logan Owen (2014 U23 Road, 2013 Junior Road, 2013 Junior Criterium). Mattis won the 2012 Masters Road World Championship. During this period, the Team also claimed multiple cyclocross national championships.

Teaming up with Specialized, the California Giant Cycling team will be riding the S-Works Tarmac SL4, Venge, and Shiv TT. “We are really looking forward to 2015 and once again partnering with California Giant to build on their successes on the road. With access not only to our best products but also (and importantly) Body Geometry fit and expertise which helped our Global programs have such an awesome year at the Tour, Vuelta and World Championships. With some of the best young talent in the US it’s going to be a great season,” Gavin Noble, Specialized USA Sports Marketing Manager, said.

The team will also be on SRAM Force 22 group sets, Zipp Wheels & Quarq power meters. “We’re glad to be back supporting the ‘Berries and their goal to cultivate road racing’s next generation of professionals.  At SRAM we believe in constant and determined development and our product leaders have been hard at work refining the tools the team needs to take the 2015 season by storm,” Alex Wassmann, SRAM Global Road Sports Marketing Manager, stated.

Gallino added, “We feel that the four riders that we are bringing into our program are top notch. This addition to our strong core group will deliver a solid program this year. We expect big things out of Benjamin Wolfe, Torey Philipp and Colin Joyce who will be the senior leaders of the team.”

Riders joining the Team in 2015 are Jacob Albrecht, Adrien Costa, Jake King and Zeke Mostov.  Reigning junior 17/18 time trial champion, Costa, claimed the silver medal at the 2014 UCI Junior Time Trial World Championships. Mostov finished fifth at the same event.

“I can’t wait to spend the next season with the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team. With such a talented roster, a great support system for domestic and international racing, and an extremely valuable and beneficial relationship with Specialized, I know it’s going to be a great year,” Costa noted. 2015 will be his final season racing as a junior.

“I am honored to be on this reputable program that has been around for quite a while in this sport of short lived teams. I believe that California Giant provides me with the best possible balance of opportunities to develop as an athlete and a person. Also, importantly, their strong partnership with Specialized is unique and will provide me with the absolutely best tools possible to excel at racing, particularly time trials. The roster is not only very strong, but also a fun group,” Mostov commented.

Returning riders include Ansel Dickey, Colin Joyce, Tobin Ortenblad, Torey Philipp, Brendan Rhim and Benjamin Wolfe. Also back are Stefano Barberi and Jared Barrilleaux who will bring their years of experience to the team as rider-mentors at the national caliber races.

“2014 was definitely a huge building year for me. I went from fighting an injury, to wearing the best young rider jersey for four days at Nature Valley and placing third at the National Time Trial Championships. Anthony and California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized run an amazing program that not only gives amazing support with equipment, but also with personal support. I am really excited to get the 2015 season rolling. We have an amazing squad who is 100 percent committed to giving it our all for the entire season,” Wolfe said.

“I am excited to begin my fourth year with California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized in 2015.  Last season, I really began to feel competitive in the NRC races so I will be heading into 2015 with a bit more confidence.  Next year will be my final season as an Under 23 rider so it’s important to improve over last year and get results to move up to the next level.  Anthony runs a really awesome program that puts a big focus on developing young riders so they can make that leap and I am very happy to be a part of it again.  It’s nice to go into my final year knowing how the team operates so there will be no adjustments to be made and I hope to be able to help some of the new additions to the team,” Philipp noted.

The team schedule will include the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) races, the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships, many of the Northern California standards as well as opportunities to race in Europe. Gallino commented, “We’ll be working again with Mike Sayers and his USA Cycling Under 23 Development program. We’re excited to continue that partnership which allows our kids to race in Europe as well as here in the United States.”

The California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized will gather for a mini-camp in December and a training camp in mid-February 2015.

California Giant Berry Farms continues to believe in the value of supporting programs like this that clearly show the importance and the positive results of living a healthy lifestyle including and healthy fresh products like California Giant berries.  Team members rely on the company’s fresh berries as a recovery fruit after long training rides and races during the season.  Additionally the company has experienced long standing consumer support of their brand as a result of sponsoring cycling for so many years.  Research continues to show that cycling enthusiasts, which are families with higher education living active lifestyles, strongly support brands that sponsor the sport.

For more information about the California Giant Berry Farms and their sponsored cycling team, please visit calgiant.com.

The 2015 California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Road Team Roster

  • Jacob Albrecht (19), Soquel, CA
  • Stefano Barberi (30), Newbury Park, CA
  • Jared Barrilleaux (29), Petaluma, CA
  • Adrien Costa (17), Los Altos, CA
  • Ansel Dickey (19), Woodstock, VT
  • Colin Joyce (20), Pocatello, ID
  • Jake King (19), Charlottesville, VA
  • Zeke Mostov (18),San Francisco, CA
  • Tobin Ortenblad (20), Santa Cruz, CA
  • Torey Philipp (21), El Dorado Hills, CA
  • Brendan Rhim (18), Norwich, VT
  • Benjamin Wolfe (21), Old Lyme, CT


  • Anthony Gallino – General Manager
  • Ken Carpenter  – Sport Director
  • John Hunt- Sport Director
  • Jesse Moore – Sport Director
  • James Mattis – Sport Director
  • Hunter Veloz  – Chief Mechanic

USA Pro Challenge sees Economic Impact Increase to $130m

The 2014 USA Pro Challenge saw 128 of the best professional cyclists in the world compete in the toughest professional cycling race in the U.S. over the course of seven days, Aug. 18-24. Fans came out in droves to watch the action-packed, heart-pounding racing through the Colorado Rockies. After traveling to 10 host cities for the official stage starts and finishes, and passing through many other notable towns along the way, the estimated economic impact of the race to the State of Colorado is $130 million, according to a study done by Sponsorship Science, a global sports research firm.

The Pro Challenge delivered another strong economic performance in its fourth running, with direct spending by traveling spectators contributing a significant portion of the economic impact. Both those fans from outside the state and Coloradans traveling 50 miles or more to take in an event stage contributed $130 million on lodging, food, transportation and entertainment, an increase of 12 percent year over year. This change was largely driven by a 10 percent increase in the average number of nights stayed and an 11 percent increase in per night average party spend, the result of a 15 percent increase in average per night lodging cost.

“Seeing the enthusiasm and passion from the fans lining the streets during the 2014 USA Pro Challenge really gave a sense of the growing support for the sport of cycling in the U.S.,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the race. “This race showcases Colorado to the world and creates an incredible economic impact locally that can be felt throughout the year. Further, it was great to see an increase in television viewership.”

Following an epic week of racing through picturesque Colorado scenery, America’s most challenging race came to a conclusion in Downtown Denver when Aspen resident Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team maintained his lead and took the overall win for the second year in a row. The race received unprecedented coverage totaling 30 hours on NBC, NBCSports and Universal Sports in the U.S. Additionally, through 40 hours of international coverage, the race was seen in more than 175 countries and territories around the world.

A draw for Colorado travel, 56 percent of spectators claimed they would not have traveled to the state at this time if it were not for the race. And with that, 70.9 percent stated they are likely to return to watch the race next year.

Additional interesting analysis points include:

  • Spectators traveled in groups, with the average party consisting of three people
  • The average hotel stay for spectators increased in 2014 to 5.3 nights
  • 53 percent of race attendees live in households with income exceeding $85,000 and within that group 32 percent had household incomes in excess of $120,000
  • Spectators enjoyed their race experience, with more than 80 percent saying they were very satisfied or satisfied with the race
  • More than half of spectators in attendance reported they ride a bike for fitness, with 47 percent saying they engage in road cycling a lot
  • This was an audience that appreciates the world-class level of competition at the USA Pro Challenge and watches major cycling events on television, with 83.8 percent stating they watch the Tour de France

About the research study

The USA Pro Challenge commissioned Sponsorship Science LLC, a global sports marketing & research consultancy firm with more than 50 years of executive experience working with events around the world,  to continue conducting quantitative research measuring the change in overall economic impact of the Pro Challenge over time.

“While we conduct these types of studies for sports and entertainment clients around the world, across many platforms and geographies, cycling has always been a core sport, and one where we have a wealth of experience, ” said David Porthouse, SVP of Sponsorship Science, LLC. “Our history with the event and trust in the Pro Challenge management team, as well as the promoter Medalist Sports, has allowed us to develop the data and models used to accurately and fairly evaluate the growth of the race over time and its impact on the state of Colorado.”

Sponsorship Science, LLC designed the study from the outset to deliver consistent, defensible results which address many of the contentious issues surrounding economic impact reporting. Kevin Schott, director of Sponsorship Science notes the multi-year relationship with academia via Dr. Brett Boyle, professor within the sports business program at St. Louis University, has paid enormous dividends in terms of scientific rigor and credibility throughout the duration of this long-term relationship, serving as the foundation for the future. Key areas addressed included:

  • Substitution effects – Since local fans will often spend similar amounts on local sports and other entertainment, Sponsorship Science, LLC did not include the local fan spend in the economic impact report, as a net impact, although local participation was thoroughly tracked, and forms a significant part of the appeal
  • Time shifting – Colorado is an attractive destination for travel, so Sponsorship Science, LLC deliberately filtered respondents to ensure they were not capturing data from spectators already in Colorado, independent of the Pro Challenge, and also used elimination questions to remove those fans who intended to come to Colorado in the near future independent of the race. Despite these rigorous procedures, the number of dedicated fans travelling to the Pro Challenge has followed a long-term growth trend
  • Sample sizes – Large samples were taken at all stages, distributed across the race locations, in order to create samples and sub-samples (by age, income, distance travelled, etc.) that are all statistically significant
Todd Wells (Specialized). Photo by ScottKingsleyPhotography.com.

New Jersey’s Premier Cyclocross Event, HPCX, to be held October 18th and 19th – Now with 100% More Cowbell

Todd Wells (Specialized). Photo by ScottKingsleyPhotography.com.
Todd Wells (Specialized). Photo by ScottKingsleyPhotography.com.

Elite professional cyclists from around the United States and the World will compete October 18th and 19th in New Jersey’s premier cyclocross event, HPCX (UCI C2).

Hundreds of spectators and athletes will visit Thompson Park in Jamesburg, NJ, during the Saturday and Sunday races. As the only UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) race in the United States the third weekend in October, HPCX expects to draw a competitive field for the elite men’s and women’s races. With the opportunity to ride on the same course as the pros, the weekend will also feature men’s and women’s races of all categories, including juniors, and the experienced 35 and 45+ age groups.

New for 2014, the race expands from a one-day event to a two-day race weekend.

The race, presented by the Highland Park Hermes cycling team and Rutgers University Cycling team, is a 15 year long tradition that attracts professional cyclists as well as collegiate and amateur cyclists. This year’s event also features a 5k run through the park, welcoming runners to join in the exciting atmosphere.

Former US Olympian and multiple time US National Cyclocross champion Todd Wells will headline the Elite Men’s field.

“We are excited to expand the race to a weekend-long event and happy to be ever improving.  We love our connection to both the international cycling community and the local cycling community here in New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic Region”, said Craig Callan, veteran HPCX promoter.

HPCX is the second longest running UCI Cyclocross race in the United States and is part of the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series, brought to you by  Efinger Sporting Goods, Highland Park Hermes and Rutgers University Cycling.

Competitors - Action

First ever Red Bull Berm Burners Champion crowned at Windham

On Saturday at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Windham, BMX rider Victor Behm, and returning Red Bull Berm Burner’s champion edged out 24 other professional cyclists from across the country for the title of Red Bull Berm Burners Champion taking home bragging rights and $1,000 cash. The race pitted professional cyclists from all disciplines in a head-to-head battle on a compact dirt track, built to test riders’ core abilities and technical skills.

First competing in a five-lap heat qualifying round, sixteen riders advanced to the finals in a bracketed head-to-head single-elimination format. In the final round, Victor Behm edged out competitor Joe Hayle for the crown leaving him to take the second place title. Mountain bike rider Dylan Conte finished third to round out the podium.

Competitors - Action

“It’s the best feeling in the world to win this for the second time,” said Victor as he took the podium. “The competition today was intense and it really all came down to skill and endurance on the course.”

Though BMX riders found a speed advantage on the course, rider Joe Hayle said he discovered an advantage in stability on the dirt. “BMX bikes definitely had a speed advantage on the course so I’m stoked that I was able to ride clean through the rollers and end up here on the podium.”

BMX racing, track cycling, and motocross were all influential in the design of the cutting-edge dirt course. The race is open to 20’ BMX and 26’ and 29’ mountain bike wheels with both rigid and suspension frames, along with all other bike disciplines. An open amateur race was also held today for riders 15 and older.

Pro Results:

1. Victor Behm (BMX)

2. Joe Hayle (Dirt Jumper)

3. Dylan Conte (MB)

Marianne Vos wins inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France

Marianne Vos of the Netherlands won the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France on Sunday, a 55-mile (88.5 km) circuit on the famous cobblestones of Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

“I felt quite good,” the Rabobank-Liv team rider said after the race. ”My team was upfront all the time – we were in every breakaway so I could stay relaxed. It gave me extra motivation to be there in the final sprint and to push maximum power.”

Vos’ teammate Kirsten Wild finished second and Leah Kirchman of Canada was third.

In this first edition of “La Course by le Tour de France,” 120 women from 20 teams raced thirteen laps of Paris’ broad tree-lined boulevard for a prize of €22,500. For many of the professional cyclists, being able to race in Paris was a gift in itself.

“It’s fantastic to be here, on the Champs-Elysees and to have this opportunity for women cycling to show ourselves in front of this crowd and in front of the whole world,” Vos said.

In the crowd, cycling fans were equally enthusiastic. Dirk Dillen, from Belgium, said it was about time this race was created. “Women do the same efforts as guys, so they deserve to get more in the picture. And it’s a very good thing that they can ride here in the picture.”

British Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley said she hopes this race will be the start of something bigger.

“It will take time and it has to be sustainable,” said Pooley. “It has to have the viewers and the sponsors. I think this is a really good test.”

Tour de France Director Jean-Francois Pescheux said he was already looking to the future. “The next step will be, first to consolidate as much as possible this race, to make it sustainable in the long run, and then to try and organize a race with different stages which would really respond to the demands of professional female cyclists.”