Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vermaerke and Johnson Earn XC and Xterra Victories

The season ain't over yet! With the XC World Championships just over a week away, newly crowned National Champ Kevin Vermaerke honed his race form with a win this past week at the Over the Hump XC in Orange County, CA. Vermaerke will represent the US in Cairns, Australia in both the World Championship Team Relay and Cross Country events. 

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke resplendent in the stars and stripes
on his way to yet another victory. (photo: PB Creative)

Meanwhile, Anders Johnson switched gears from XC to Xterra this month as he prepares for the National Championships in Snowbasin, UT in just a few weeks time. His first-ever Xterra at the Wild Ride Off-road Triathlon in McCall, Idaho this past weekend resulted in a victory that stunned his veteran competitors. Johnson's Xterra Nationals prep appears to be right on track! 

Anders Johnson
Johnson wins his first Xterra. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)


Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

09/07: World Championships - Cairns, Australia
09/16: XTERRA National Championships - Snowbasin, UT
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Vermaerke and Simmons Win Junior National XC Titles!

The US National Championships have been a major focus for the Whole Athlete Team over the past eight seasons, and this year was no exception. Timing their peak to perfection, Kevin Vermaerke and Quinn Simmons won the Junior 17/18 and 15/16 National XC Titles with impressive rides on a technical, demanding course. The very next day Kelsey Urban followed the Juniors' success with a strong performance of her own, earning the bronze medal in her first Women's U23 XC Nationals.

Quinn Simmons
Simmons is the Junior 15/16 National Champion! (photo: Kenny Wehn)

The stellar rides by Vermaerke and Simmons in the XC came just a day and a half after they both featured on the Junior 15-18 Short Track podium as well, with Simmons just missing out on the win in 2nd and Vermaerke coming back from multiple crashes in the hazadous rock garden to finish 5th.
 
Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke on his way to a Junior 17/18 National Title on the highly technical course. (photo: PB Creative)

While Simmons had a mishap-free ride to win the 15/16 Junior Title in rainy, slick conditions, Vermaerke was faced with a last-lap puncture through one of the many rock gardens, placing his bid for victory in doubt. Although he had built a significant gap on second place at that point, he was passed while getting help in the tech zone. Staying focused and confident after a fast wheel change, Vermaerke charged across the gap to the leading rider and attacked to take a hard-earned, well-deserved win.

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke gets a quick wheel change and some clean eyewear after a last-lap flat. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

After a strong prior weekend of racing in Vermont with two elite podium finishes in two days, Urban showed that her form is on target with a U23 Nationals podium as well. She will race next at the Boston Rebellion ProXCT this weekend then face some of the world's best U23 women at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup in Quebec, Canada.

Kelsey Urban
Urban on her way to a podium finish at U23 Nationals. (photo: PB Creative)

Kevin Vermaerke
Junior 17/18 Men's XC podium. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Quinn Simmons
Junior 15/16 Men's XC podium. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Kelsey Urban
Women's U23 XC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Quinn Simmons, Kevin Vermaerke
Junior 15-18 STXC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Kevin Vermaerke
Until next year, Snowshoe! (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

07/29: US Cup Boston Rebellion ProXCT - Walpole, MA
08/06: World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec - Canada
08/13: Windham ProXCT - Windham, NY
09/07: World Championships - Cairns, Australia 

Nine years and 22 Junior & U23 National Titles...Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Urban and Johnson Show Rising Form at Eastern Grind US Cup-ProXCT

With the US National Championships just a few days away, first-year U23s Kelsey Urban and Anders Johnson tuned their peak fitness at the Eastern Grind US Cup-ProXCT in Catamount, VT this past weekend. Urban came away with 5th place podium finishes in both the XC and STXC, while Johnson had his best Elite ProXCT finishes to date with 13th in the XC and 7th in the STXC. 

Kelsey Urban
Urban thrived on the wet roots and rocks of the technical Catamount course. (photo: PB Creative)

Anders Johnson
Johnson's form has been steadily building this season with U23 Nationals in his sights. (photo: PB Creative)

After battling with the country's top pros in the ProXCTs for much of the season, Urban and Johnson will have the rare US opportunity to race an under-23-only field as they compete for the U23 National Title in West Virginia this weekend. 

Kelsey Urban
Urban enjoying the champagne shower among some of the country's best. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

07/21: US National Championships - Snowshoe, VW
07/29: US Cup Boston Rebellion ProXCT - Walpole, MA
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Simmons Ignites Angel Fire as Vermaerke Shines in Swiss Cup

Quinn Simmons came away from Angel Fire, NM this past weekend with two more wins to add to his growing palmares. His winning time in the Junior 15/16 XC would have put him on the podium in the Junior 17/18 UCI race, followed up by the overall win in the Junior Short Track the very next day. Simmons now looks ahead toward the National Championships in just a few weeks.

Quinn Simmons
The current Short Track (STXC) National Champ,
Simmons wins both the XC and STXC at Angel Fire.
(photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kevin Vermaerke continued his strong European showing with an impressive 8th place at the Swiss Cup in Andermatt. Vermaerke raced against some of the world's best riders, scoring two top-10s in two weekends in the most highly competitive Junior fields. Vermaerke's sights are squarely set toward the World Championships later this year. 

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke earns two top-10s in his first European XC races. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

07/15: US Cup Eastern Grind ProXCT - Catamount, VT
07/21: US National Championships - Snowshoe, VW
07/29: US Cup Boston Rebellion ProXCT - Walpole, MA
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Masterful Missoula for Vermaerke while Simmons Soars to CO State Champ

Following his victory at the Utah ProXCT last month, Kevin Vermaerke scored yet another and even more important win at the UCI Junior Series race at the Missoula XC. With an eye on the World Championships in Australia in just a couple months, Vermaerke gained valuable UCI points toward his world ranking and starting call-up.
 
Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke earns his second consecutive win in Missoula. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

This past weekend, Vermaerke earned another strong finish in Switzerland with 7th place at the Junior UCI Lostrof Fischer Cup in Versoix, and this Sunday he will face many of the world's top Juniors at the Swiss Cup #5 in Andermatt. 

Quinn Simmons has also kept his race plate full, dabbling in road racing while still focused on MTB XC. After a hard-earned 8th place among the seasoned Pros at the Iron Horse Road Race, 16-year-old Simmons won the Elite Colorado State Championship XC title just one week later. He then followed his Colorado success with a solid 2nd place finish at the Missoula XC. 

Quinn Simmons
Simmons is the Elite Colorado State XC Champ. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

06/24: Chile Challenge ProXCT - Angel Fire, NM
06/25: Swiss Cup #5 - Andermatt, Switzerland

07/15: US Cup Eastern Grind ProXCT - Catamount, VT
07/21: US National Championships - Snowshoe, VW
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vermaerke Victorious in Utah as Urban Scores a Euro Podium

Following a strong 2nd place in the Sea Otter XC just a couple weeks prior, Kevin Vermaerke scored his first win of the season at the Utah Dev Tech ProXCT in Soldier Hollow. A UCI race for Juniors, the Utah event was an important opportunity for Vermaerke to earn points toward his international ranking as he targets the World Championships at the end of the season.

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke shows his technical prowess on his way to taking the win. (photo: PB Creative)

Meanwhile over in Europe, Kelsey Urban earned her top result of the season thus far with 3rd place at the Women's U23 MTB Grand Prix in Obertraun, Austria. On a technical, wet course, Urban experienced an ideal tune-up for the upcoming first two rounds of the World Cup over the next two weekends.

Kelsey Urban
Urban is joined by Whole Athlete Development Team alumna Haley Batten on the U23 podium.

And back on the West Coast, Anders Johnson landed on his first Pro podium at the Santa Ynez Kenda Cup XC with 2nd place. Johnson continues to build toward the U23 National Championships this summer.

Anders Johnson
Johnson focused as he rides to a podium XC finish.

A few other notable top-10s for the team include Jason Rowton's 7th place at the Sea Otter Classic XC and Quinn Simmons with 9th and 4th respectively in the Pro-open Squawker Classic Criterium and Road Race respectively.

Anders Johnson
Rowton charges to a top-10 at the always highly competitive Sea Otter XC.

Anders Johnson
At only 16, Simmons is already competitive in local Pro criteriums and road races.

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

05/21: Mont Tremblant Junior UCI - Québec, Canada
05/21: U23 World Cup #1 - Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic

05/27: Baie-Saint-Paul Junior UCI - Québec, Canada
05/27: Iron Horse Classic Road Race - Durango, CO
05/27: U23 World Cup #2 - Albstadt, Germany
05/28: Iron Horse Classic XC - Durango, CO
06/10: Missoula PROXCT - Missoula, MT
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Whole Athlete p/b DNA Opens 2017 Season with Resounding Race Camp

The first two stops on the ProXCT in Southern California provided the setting for the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team's season-opening race camp. True to form, the team lived, trained and raced together, taking advantage of the warm weather and two weekends of high-level competition to jump-start their racing season.

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
2017 Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team

Kicking things off at the Fontana XC, Quinn Simmons underscored his winter training and showed that his podium at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships in February was no fluke as he took a convincing win in the Junior 15/16 XC race. Meanwhile, overcoming bad luck at the start, Kevin Vermaerke worked his way through nearly the entire Junior 17/18 field to earn a well-deserved 2nd place in the XC.

Quinn Simmons
Simmons with a double-win break out start to the season. (photo: PB Creative)

The Bonelli ProXCT the following weekend served up another opportunity and Simmons took full advantage by taking his second Junior 15/16 XC win in two weeks. The STXC race the following day saw very competitive racing among the Juniors, with Vermaerke and Jason Rowton landing on the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Simmons close behind in 6th.

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke shines in his first year as a 17/18 Junior. (photo: PB Creative)

Jason Rowton
Rowton building on his 2016 season success. (photo: PB Creative)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

04/23: Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, CA
05/21: Mont Tremblant Junior UCI - Québec, Canada

05/27: Baie-Saint-Paul Junior UCI - Québec, Canada
Stay tuned for more exciting news!