Monday, July 21, 2014

National Championships to Remember

Haley Batten
Haley Batten on her way to defending the Junior 15/16 XC title. She would go on to win the Super-D as well.

The Whole Athlete/Specialized Team was truly impressive at the 2014 Cross Country National Championships at Bear Creek Resort in Pennsylvania, earning seven Junior Titles and 14 medals. Overcoming numerous flats and mechanical challenges out on the technical, rocky courses, the young riders showed tenacity and dedication throughout.

Mike Mace
Mike Mace wins both the 13/14 Cross Country and Super-D.

Sean Bennett
An ecstatic Sean Bennett overcame a first lap flat to come back for the XC win.

Christopher Blevins
Christopher Blevins defending the 15/16 XC title, even after a flat tire and wheel change. (photo: Mark Avery)

Veda Gerasimek
Young Pennsylvanian Veda Gerasimek rode to a podium finish in both the Junior 15/16 XC and Super-D.

Cypress Gorry
Cypress Gorry earned two top-10s, with 7th in the U23 XC and 10th in the Pro Short Track. (photo: Mark Avery)

Casey Williams
Casey Williams flew to 4th in the U23 XC and 3rd in the Pro Super-D.

Kelsey Urban
Kelsey Urban hit the podium twice behind teammate Batten with 2nd in both XC and Super-D. (photo: Mark Avery)

Neilson Powless
Neilson Powless flatted out of the lead in the XC, only to have to run most of the course to the tech zone.
He would get his redemption by winning the Short Track Title two days later.
(photo: Mark Avery)

Neilson Powless
Blevins celebrates Powless's Short Track victory, and a Whole Athlete/Specialized 1-2.

Cole Avery
Cole Avery guts it out to finish after bad luck and punctures ended his podium hopes. (photo: Mark Avery)

Silas Blunk
Another victim of punctures in the XC, Silas Blunk powers on in the Short Track.

Zach Peterson
Zach Peterson was also the victim of sharp rocks with a flat, but soldiered on to finish strongly. (photo: Mark Avery)

STXC podium
Powless, Blevins, and Bennett go 1-2-4 in the Short Track.

Sean Bennett
Bennett is Junior 17/18 National Champion.

Haley Batten, Kelsey Urban, Veda Gerasimek
Batten, Urban, and Gerasimek go 1-2-4 in the Junior 15/16 XC.

Mike Mace
After taking 2nd in the Short Track, Mace earns the 13/14 XC Title. He would add the Super-D victory to his weekend accomplishments as well.

Christopher Blevins
Blevins with his second consecutive Junior 15/16 National Title.

SuperD
The Super-D Medalists celebrate.

Sean Bennett, Christopher Blevins
Bennett and Blevins, Junior XC Champs. (photo: Mark Avery)

Josh Snead, Chris Slack
The unsung heros of the team, mechanics Josh Snead and Chris Slack. (photo: Mark Avery)

Check out all the team's 2014 Top-10 results here.

Next up for Whole Athlete/Specialized:

7/26 ProXCT #7 - Catamount, VT
7/31 World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, CAN
8/07 World Cup #6 - Windam, NY
9/04 World Championships - Hafjell, Norway

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wisconsin Podiums for Whole Athlete/Specialized Juniors

Haley Batten, Kelsey Urban
Batten and Urban go 1-2 in both Short Track and Cross Country!

Serving as the final tune up for the National Championships later this week, the Wisconsin ProXCT proved to be a series of podiums for Whole Athlete/Specialized Juniors. Haley Batten and Kelsey Urban were flawless, going 1-2 in both the Short Track and Cross Country races, while U-15 rider Mike Mace followed suit with wins in both events as well.

Mike Mace
Mace wins the U-15 Cross Country.

Zach Peterson and Silas Blunk also went 1-2 in the Junior Men's Short Track, then 2nd and 3rd in the Cat 1 open Cross Country. Cole Avery showed that he's on form for Nationals with a 2nd place finish in the Junior 15/16 XC, while Veda Gerasimek rounded out the team's top-10 results with 8th in the Cat 1 Women's race. 

Zach Peterson
Peterson and Blunk race to a 1-2 Junior Short Track finish.

Zach Peterson, Silas Blunk
Peterson and Blunk top the Junior STXC podium.

Haley Batten, Kelsey Urban
Batten and Urban make their winning move in the women's short track race.

Mike Mace
Mace wins the U-15 Short Track.

Cole Avery
Avery with a solid 2nd place finish in the Junior 15/16 XC.

Silas Blunk, Zach Peterson
Blunk and Peterson go 2-3 in the Cat 1 combined XC.

Check out all the team's 2014 Top-10 results here.

Next up for Whole Athlete/Specialized:
7/18 XC National Championships - Bear Creek, PA
7/26 ProXCT #7 - Catamount, VT
7/31 World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, CAN
8/07 World Cup #6 - Windham, NY

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whole Athlete/Specialized Riders Shine at Road Nationals

Christopher Blevins
Blevins wins both Junior 15/16 Road and Criterium National Titles.

Taking a brief hiatus from the dirt to compete in the 2014 Road, Time Trial, and Criterium National Championships, Juniors Christopher Blevins, Neilson Powless, and Sean Bennett joined U23 Jacob Albrecht in Wisconsin over the weekend...And the boys did not disappoint.

Blevins was nearly flawless, winning both Junior 15/16 Road Race and Criterium National Titles, as well as earning 3rd place in the Time Trial. Powless also set a fast time in the TT, finishing 4th against an extremely competitive Junior 17/18 field. Bennett followed suit with 4th in the 17/18 Criterium, confirming the Whole Athlete/Specialized Juniors' bike racing depth. All three will transition back to the dirt for the XC National Championships in Pennsylvania next week.

Neilson Powless
Powless rides to a 4th place finish in the TT.


Bennett on his way to a top-5 finish in the Criterium. (photo: Tim Aiken)

Making a full transition from MTB to road this season and progressing from Cat 3 to Cat 1 in only few short months, Albrecht underscored his progress with a strong 14th place finish in the 160-rider strong road race. He will continue his breakout season at the Cascade Classic in Oregon later this month. 

Jacob Albrecht
Albrecht motors the U23 TT. (photo: deanwarrenphotography.com)

Jacob Albrecht
A 160-rider peleton taking on the U23 road race.

Silas Blunk
Blevins takes the win!

Check out all the team's 2014 Top-10 results here.

Next up for Whole Athlete/Specialized:
7/12 ProXCT#6 - Portage, WI
7/18 XC National Championships - Bear Creek, PA
7/26 ProXCT #7 - Catamount, VT
7/31 World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, CAN
8/07 World Cup #6 - Windham, NY 

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ProXCT Racing Heats Up at Colorado Springs

Casey Williams
Williams giving it all in the Short Track.

At sharp contrast to the humid Montana "Hub of Five Valleys", the ProXCT series continued with the fifth round in the desert-like Southern Rockies of Colorado Springs. With temperatures in the 90s at 6400 ft. elevation, the riders were challenged by both the competition and conditions.

Haley Batten kicked off the Whole Athlete/Specialized Team's weekend with a solo victory in the Junior Women 15-18 race, while teammate Kelsey Urban embraced the heat and high elevation, finishing 6th.

Christopher Blevins
Batten hammers in the heat of the Springs.

Battling a competitive junior men's field, Silas Blunk landed a solid 6th place finish as he builds toward XC Nationals. And wrapping up the weekend with his best ProXCT finish to date, Casey Williams earned a hard fought 11th place in the Pro Men's Short Track. 

Silas Blunk
Blunk in pursuit on the loose descent.

Kelsey Urban
Urban focused at the bottom of the XC descent.

Haley Batten
Batten wins the Junior Women combined.

Casey Williams
Staying cool and hydrated in the dry Colorado Springs heat.

Check out all the team's 2014 Top-10 results here.

Next up for Whole Athlete/Specialized:
7/12 ProXCT#6 - Portage, WI
7/18 XC National Championships - Bear Creek, PA
7/26 ProXCT #7 - Catamount, VT
7/31 World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, CAN
8/07 World Cup #6 - Windam, NY

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whole Athlete/Specialized Team Flyin' in Missoula

Cypress Gorry
Cypress Gorry takes the A-line at the Missoula XC.

Amid the lush mountains of northwestern Montana, the Missoula ProXCT served up some of the country's best racing. And Whole Athlete/Specialized riders came to play, earning three wins and seven podium finishes. 

Christopher Blevins did the double, winning both the Cat 1 short track and cross country, and doing so with the fastest amateur time of the day. Haley Batten took a convincing win in the Junior Women's XC, followed by teammate Kelsey Urban in 4th place. 

Sean Bennett and Neilson Powless both landed on the podium in the UCI Junior race with 3rd and 5th, while Cole Avery took 3rd place in the very competitive Junior 15/16 race. Silas Blunk also hit the top-10 with a solid 6th place finish in the Cat 1 combined event. 

Christopher Blevins
Blevins on his way to the Cat 1 win and the fastest amateur time of the day.

Haley Batten
Batten flowing the singletrack.

Kelsey Urban
Urban dropping in.

Cole Avery
Avery on a podium run.

Neilson Powless
Zach Peterson and Neilson Powless charging the first climb.

Sean Bennett
Bennett on the flyover jump.

Casey Williams
Williams battles in the Elite Men's race.

Silas Blunk
Blunk climbs his way to a top-10 in the Cat 1 open race.

Christopher Blevins
Blevins soars the A-line.

Kelsey Urban, Haley Batten
Urban and Batten were all smiles after their podium performances.

Check out all the team's 2014 Top-10 results here.

Next up for Whole Athlete/Specialized:
6/28 ProXCT #5 - Colorado Springs, CO
7/12 ProXCT#6 - Portage, WI
7/18 XC National Championships - Bear Creek, PA
7/26 ProXCT #7 - Catamount, VT