Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Four National Titles for Whole Athlete p/b DNA as Blunk, Simmons and Richardson Earn Top Honors

The US National Championships have always been a major target for the Whole Athlete Development Team, and 2018 was no exception. Keeping a decade-long streak of National titles alive, Whole Athlete p/b DNA riders earned four victories and six podium finishes over two days of racing on the technical trails of Snowshoe, West Virginia. Savilia Blunk was crowned Women's U23 National Champion, Quinn Simmons did the double, earning both Junior 17/18 XC and STXC titles, while Gabbi Richardson dons the stars and stripes with the Junior Women's 11-16 STXC victory. Ten years and 26 Junior & U23 National Titles...What a ride!

Savilia Blunk
Blunk is the Women's U23 National Champion! (photo: Shane Johnson)

Blunk's U23 victory comes just one year after winning the Junior title, underscoring an impressive first-year U23 season that has seen her on multiple ProXCT podiums. 

Savilia Blunk
Blunk on her way to her biggest win yet. (photo: Ann Beckett)
 
Kelsey Urban also featured at the front of the race with a solid 4th place ride as she battled for the podium throughout. She followed on Sunday with 9th place in the Elite Women's STXC. Urban and Blunk now head to Vermont for the next stop on the ProXCT series this weekend, then just two weeks later to World Cup #6 in Mont St. Anne, Canada.

Kelsey Urban
Urban followed her 4th place U23 XC finish with a top-10 in the Elite Women's STXC. 
 
Splitting his time between the road and dirt this season, Quinn Simmons has shown impressive versatility with success in both disciplines and in both Europe and the US. He can now add two Junior 17/18 National MTB titles to his growing palmares. Following the Junior 15/16 XC title won on a similar course at Snowshoe last year, Simmons took the 2018 Junior 17/18 XC race head on, attacking early and building an insurmountable lead. The battle for the podium behind Simmons was a tight one, with teammate Nolan Jenkins holding on for a hard-fought 4th place. 

Quinn Simmons
Simmons attacked early in the XC and never looked back. (photo: Simmons)

Simmons and Jenkins were again very active in the short track the following day, joined by teammate Finn Gullickson, as the three battled a highly competitive Junior 17/18 field. Riding both a strong and effective team race, Simmons capped off an impressive weekend with his second win in two days, while Jenkins landed a 5th place podium finish and Gullickson hung tough for 9th. All three riders head to the Road National Championships this week in Hagerstown, MD, excited for more opportunities to shine.

Quinn Simmons
Simmons and Jenkins set the early pace. (photo: Simmons)
 
After shifting her focus from cross country running to cross country MTB racing this past Fall, Gabbi Richardson has taken on an ambitious race schedule in 2018. She's successfully balanced NICA high school Varsity racing with a full calendar of national-level XC races, earning multiple victories and podium finishes throughout. Snowshoe marks Richardson's first-ever National Championships participation and she embraced the challenge, landing on the podium in the Junior 15-16 XC in 5th, while taking it a step further winning the Junior 11-16 STXC title the very next day. 
 
Gabbi Richardson
Richardson is Junior STXC National Champion. (photo: Richardson)

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

Quinn Simmons
Junior 17/18 Men's XC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Gabbi Richardson
Junior Women's 11-16 STXC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

07/28: Julbo Eastern Grind ProXCT - Catamount, VT

08/12: World Cup #6 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada
09/03: World Championships - Lenzerheide, Switzerland 

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Whole Athletes Achieving Global Success

From Canada to Belgium, Montana to Germany, Whole Athlete p/b DNA riders are mixing it up with the world's best and showing they're up to the task. Seven wins and eleven podium appearances across five countries over the past four weekends highlights an impressive start to the summer of racing.

Nolan Jenkins kicked off the team's recent successful run with strong rides at the Mont Tremblant and Baie St. Paul Canada Cups with 6th and 5th place finishes, followed by a big win at the Missoula XC Junior UCI Series event in Montana. Jenkins then hit the podium again in the Pro Short Track the following day in 4th.

Nolan Jenkins
Jenkins takes his first win of the season at the Missoula XC Junior UCI event. (photo: PB Creative)

Not to be outdone, Gabbi Richardson took the win in the Missoula Junior Women 15-18 Short Track and 3rd place in the 15-16 XC, while Savilia Blunk followed her first Professional win at the Evergreen XC in Washington with two podium finishes at Missoula, earning 4th and 2nd in the XC and STXC.

Gabbi Richardson
Richardson has consistently finished on the podium in each race this season. (photo: PB Creative)

Savilia Blunk
Blunk continues to impress in her first season racing Pro/U23. (photo: PB Creative)

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kevin Vermaerke and Quinn Simmons took a short break from the dirt to race the road in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, earning impressive results in both one-day events and stage races. Vermaerke won back-to-back days in the Omloop de Maasvallei in Holland and the Bierbeek kermesse in Belgium, underscoring his bid for both MTB and road Worlds later this season. Also aiming for the Worlds double in September, Simmons took the final stage victory and the overall points competition at the UCI Nations Cup Trofeo Karlsberg stage race, showing he's right on track. 

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke attacks for the win in Maasvallei.

Quinn Simmons
Simmons earns his second UCI Nations Cup win of the season.

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

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA riders:
06/17/18 Canada Cup #5 (Junior UCI) Oro Station, ON
06/23/18 Canada Cup #6 (Junior UCI) Whistler, BC

06/24/18 XCO Bundesliga (Junior UCI) - Wombach, GER 07/01/18 XCO (Junior UCI) - Houffalize, BEL 07/20/18 XCO & STXC National Championships - Snowshoe, WV

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Success at Soldier Hollow as Vermaerke and Simmons Go 1-2 in Junior UCI Series Race

Racing in the thin air of the Wasatch Mountain State Park in northern Utah, the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team came to Soldier Hollow ready to face both high elevation and stiff competition. The fourth stop on the ProXCT circuit was also a Junior UCI series event, with top points at stake for Juniors looking to qualify for the World Championships in August. 
 
Kevin Vermaerke embraced the challenge once again and held off a strong Junior field to take the win for the second year in a row. Teammate Quinn Simmons also rode a strong and tactical race as he sprinted for 2nd place on the day, completing an impressive Whole Athlete 1-2. Vermaerke and Simmons now head to Europe to tackle a series of road races, followed by two major Junior UCI XC events in Germany and Belgium before returning to the US for the XC National Championships in West Virginia. 

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke blazing a trail in the stars and stripes. (photo: PB Creative)

In the elite races, first-year U23 Savilia Blunk continued to impress as she underscored her well-deserved place in the Pro women's field, landing on the podium in both the short track and cross country with 3rd and 4th place finishes. Blunk will take her excellent form to Europe next to compete in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the U23 World Cup in Germany and the Czech Republic. 

Savilia Blunk
Blunk has shown impressive consistency all spring. (photo: PB Creative)

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
Simmons finding success while splitting his time between the road and dirt. (photo: PB Creative)

Meanwhile, back in the heat of Southern California, Gabbi Richardson landed yet another podium finish at the SoCal High School League finals at Tehachapi, making her way from a back row call-up to ride through nearly the entire field for 2nd place in the Varsity girls race. 

Gabbi Richardson
Richardson has finished on the podium in every race entered so far this season. (photo: PB Creative)

Vermaerke, Simmons
Vermaerke and Simmons with the top two spots on the day. (photo: Whole Athlete) 

Savilia Blunk
The Pro Women's podium is becoming a familiar place for Blunk this season. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

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

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA riders:
05/20/18 World Cup #2 - Albstadt, Germany
05/26/18 World Cup #3 - Nove Mesto, Czech Republic
06/09/18 Missoula ProXCT #5 (Junior UCI Series) - Missoula, MT
06/24/18 XCO Bundesliga (Junior UCI) - Wombach, GER 07/01/18 XCO (Junior UCI) - Houffalize, BEL

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

From Bonelli to Belgium, Fontana to France, Whole Athlete p/b DNA Riders Achieving Global Success

Racing in four countries on two continents over the past few weeks, Whole Athlete p/b DNA riders have had an impressive start to the 2018 season with multiple international podiums.

At the first North American Junior UCI Series race in British Columbia, Kevin Vermaerke kicked off his 2018 World Championship quest with his first of three consecutive podium finishes. First-year U23 Savilia Blunk and Kelsey Urban also featured at the Canada Cup, both landing in the top-10 of a strong Pro women's field. Vermaerke followed his solid Canadian ride with two more podiums at the Fontana-Bonelli Junior UCI Series double these past two weekends in highly competitive international fields, while Finn Gullickson rounded out the top-10 at the Fontana XC, showing his building form as well. 

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke doing the national champ jersey proud. (photo: PB Creative)

Meanwhile on the cobbles of Northern Europe, Quinn Simmons and Nolan Jenkins jumped in the deep end of the world-level road racing pool, taking on Junior Gent Wevelgem and Paris Roubaix for the first time. Simmons surprised and impressed many with a breakthrough podium finish at Gent Wevelgen, followed by 3rd overall at the highly competitive Belgian stage race Ster van Zuid Limburg, and then a hard-fought 7th place finish at Paris Roubaix -even after being taken down in a crash and suffering a flat tire in the final sections of pave'. Simmons then rode to another podium finish at the Bonelli Junior UCI XC after flying back to the US just days prior. 

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
Simmons thrived on the cobbled roads of Northern Europe.

Not to be outdone by her teammates, up and coming 16-year-old Gabbi Richardson was equally impressive with four podium finishes in four national-class races at the Fontana and Bonelli ProXCTs, including a breakout win at the Bonelli Short Track in the 15-18 field.

Gabbi Richardson
Richardson finished on the podium in every race entered at Fontana and Bonelli. (photo: PB Creative)

Kevin Vermaerke
Simmons' podium finish at Gent Wevelgem auto-qualifies him for the road World Championship Team.

Vermaerke, Simmons
Vermaerke and Simmons land a hard-fought, international podium at Bonelli.

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


Next up for the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team:

04/21/18 Sea Otter ProXCT #3 - Monterey, CA
05/06/18 Soldier Hollow ProXCT #4 (Junior UCI Series) - Soldier Hollow, UT
06/09/18 Missoula ProXCT #5 (Junior UCI Series) - Missoula, MT


Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Whole Athlete p/b DNA Racers Kick Off 2018 Season with a Bang!

With the 2018 racing season underway, Whole Athlete p/b DNA team members are already landing on podiums across the US. First-year U23 Savilia Blunk earned an impressive 3rd overall in the Pro Women's Cactus Cup MTB Stage Race, Gabbi Richardson took top honors in the SoCal Varsity race #2, Quinn Simmons was victorious in the Valley of the Sun Stage Race, while Kevin Vermaerke took the opening SoCal Varsity race followed by the overall win at the Tour of the Southern Highlands Stage Race...And the season has only just begun!

Savilia Blunk
Savilia Blunk on the Pro Women's Cactus Cup XC Podium in her first professional race. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Blunk wasted no time showing what a dedicated winter of training will do in her first-ever professional race - the Cactus Cup. Facing current and former Elite National Champions in the central Arizona desert, Blunk took on the 3-day stage race with the confidence and poise of a seasoned pro, finishing 3rd in the Short Track, 3rd in the Cross Country, 4th in the Super-D, and earning 3rd place overall for the weekend.

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
The XC stage challenged racers to a longer than usual 40 mile course. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

While Blunk's season was heating up in the desert, 16-year-old Gabbi Richardson took the win in the Varsity Girl's SoCal High School league race at Vail Lake, showing that her podium finish in the opening race two weeks prior was no fluke. Richardson is preparing to take on a season of national-level racing starting next month.

Gabbi Richardson
Richardson attacked and never looked back, taking her first win of the season. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Also victorious in the SoCal League was reigning Junior XC National Champ Kevin Vermaerke. After taking the Varsity win at the Lake Perris opener, Vermaerke then went on to win the final stage and overall at the Tour of the Southern Highlands Stage Race in Georgia with his road team Lux Cycling.

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke kicks off his season with a win. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Also racing on the road for Lux Cycling, Quinn Simmons earned a big win at the hotly contested Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Arizona, also winning two of the three stages. After taking the leader's jersey in the opening stage time trial, Simmons was able to rely on a strong team including fellow Whole Athlete p/b DNA teammates Finn Gullickson and Nolan Jenkins to help defend his lead to the finish. Simmons and Jenkins are now heading to Europe next week to race the Junior versions of Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix!

Quinn Simmons
Simmons in the leader's jersey on his way to overall victory at the Valley of the Sun. (photo: Simmons)

Next up for the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team:
03/31/18 Canada Cup #1 - Victoria, BC
04/07/18 Fontana ProXCT #1- Fontana, CA
04/14/18 Bonelli ProXCT #2 - San Dimas, CA
04/21/18 Sea Otter ProXCT #3 - Monterey, CA
Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Introducing the 2018 Whole Athlete p/b DNA Cycling Team - Celebrating 10 Years!

2018 marks the tenth anniversary season for the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team, a decade of development rooted in dedication, integrity, and fun. 

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
The US National Championships are always a major team target. (photo: PB Creative)

The team’s 2017 season brought the total of Junior and U23 National Titles to 22. And in its nine-year history to date, the program has had 24 athletes named to the US World Championship Team, resulting in multiple top-10 finishes. The 2018 team now looks to add to that tradition of success.

The 2018 Team
Whole Athlete p/b DNA
The 2018 Whole Athlete p/b DNA Cycling Team

The nine-rider Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team includes four Under-23s and five Juniors for 2018. Returning riders Anders Johnson (former two-time fat bike National Champ), Kelsey Urban (former Junior STXC Nat. Champ), and Jason Rowton are joined by Savilia Blunk (2017 double Junior Nat. Champ) to round out the U23s, while Junior 17/18s Kevin Vermaerke (reigning Nat. Champ) and Quinn Simmons (2017 15/16 Nat Champ) are joined by up and comers Finn Gullickson (Junior 17/18), Nolan Jenkins (Junior 17/18), and Gabbi Richardson (Junior 15/16). 

Whole Athlete p/b DNA
Baja team camp kicks off the 10th anniversary season for the 2018 squad.

The team recently came together for the 10th anniversary-season kickoff camp in Baja California to get in some quality winter training, experience detailed sponsor education, and bond as a cohesive team. The warm setting was the perfect way to set the tone for what is sure to be a memorable season. The 2018 Team race schedule is taking shape, so stay tuned for exciting news to come... 

Whole Athlete
Ready to drop in on the 2018 season!

Whole Athlete 


A non-profit Junior / U23 development program, the Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team's mission is to invest in the future of our youth and the sport of cycling by developing young athletes at the national and international levels with dedication, integrity, and fun

Our mission is enabled by coaches, mentors, volunteers, and donors of the Velo Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

The 2018 Whole Athlete p/b DNA Team is a non-profit program of the the Velo Development Foundation, generously supported by Whole Athlete, DNA Cycling, Specialized Bicycle Components, Quarq Powermeters, Rock Tape, ProBar, Oakley, Tam Bikes, All Good Brand, DZ Nuts,Crank Brothers Pedals, Enduro Bearings, ESI Grips, Bungalow Munch Organic Granola, and Mellow Motors.

WA Team Sponsors

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!