Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Whole Athlete/Specialized Team Partners with Play Hard Give Back to Support NICA and Fund 2015 Season

Whole Athlete Team 

On the heels of its successful 2014 season, Whole Athlete / Specialized is looking for ways to give back, as well as prepare for another great season in 2015. The team has named the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) as a recipient of its fundraising partnership with Play Hard Give Back, a fund-raising and sports marketing company based in Ketchum, Idaho. 

To support this fundraising initiative, the team is selling three delicious trail mixes through the Play Hard Give Back web site. Proceeds will go to NICA, the team's chosen social cause, as well as to help fund the team's upcoming racing season. 

PHGB 

"We are very impressed with the work NICA has done over the past five years," says Dario Fredrick, team director for Whole Athlete/Specialized, "and share a parallel vision in promoting athlete development, excellence, teamwork, professionalism, and respect for the community and environment." 

The snacks are available for sale at http://www.playhardgiveback.com/wathlete.
Some of the flavors include: 

Fuel and Flow – A healthfood-lover's paradise, made with raw almonds, honey-roasted nuts (peanuts, pecans and almonds), salted pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, dried fruit (apples, cranberries), ginger AND stoked with blueberry antioxidant BGood Bites. 

Rise and Shine – For coffee lovers only: an invigorating blend of raw almonds, dried cranberries, cashews, dried mango, chocolate-covered espresso beans AND stoked with espresso date nut BGood Bites. 

Karmakandy – For the sweet tooth in all of us. Loaded with raw almonds, dried cranberries, banana chips, peanut butter cups AND stoked with peanut ginger BGood Bites. 

"This is one sweet way to give our fundraising efforts a boost," said Fredrick. "This stuff is awesome. Tell everyone you know but keep it away from the dog!" 

About NICA
Founded in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for local leagues to produce quality mountain bike events, and supports every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through their efforts on the bike. For more information visit www.nationalmtb.org

About Play Hard Give Back
PHGB empowers athletes to reach their goals while cultivating a sense of gratitude. Using a unique online platform, PHGB seeks to help athletes sell innovative products with proceeds that support both their careers and the social causes of their choice. For more information visit www.playhardgiveback.com.

A non-profit Junior / U23 development program, the Whole Athlete/Specialized Team's mission is to invest in the future of our youth and the sport of cycling by developing young athletes at the regional, 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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Powless Top-10 at World Championships as Whole Athlete/Specialized Team Celebrates Best Season Yet

Neilson Powless
Powless on his way to 8th place at the XC World Championships.

In a fitting end to an amazing season for the team, Neilson Powless became the second Whole Athlete/Specialized Junior to finish top-10 at the World Championships, following Kate Courtney's 6th place finish in 2013. Powless' Worlds performance comes on the heels of the team's seven Junior National titles, ten top-10 finishes in UCI International competition, and over 50 total victories this year.

Sean Bennett, Christopher Blevins
Junior 17/18 and 15/16 XC National Champions Sean Bennett and Christopher Blevins (photo: Mark Avery)

Haley Batten
On the podium in Heubach, Germany, Junior 15/16 National Champ Haley Batten - already competitive at the world-level.

The Whole Athlete/Specialized Cycling Team has achieved what no other US development program has: 60 wins a year, on average for the past five years, twelve US Junior National Championship titles, 15 riders named to the world Championships, fourteen top-10 finishes in World Cup races, and the first US Junior Woman ever to win a World Cup. 

The success of the program could not be possible without the tremendous support of the team sponsors, donors, staff, riders' families, and volunteers. We are grateful to all who have supported us over the past six seasons. Thank you!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Williams, Powless, and Bennett Named to World Championships Team!

Casey Williams, Neilson Powless, and Sean Bennett will head to Hafjell, Norway at the end of this month to compete in the Mountain Bike Cross Country World Championships.

All three are coming off strong rides at the National Championships in Bear Creek, PA, with Bennett and Powless earning Cross Country and Short Track Junior Titles, and Williams a 4th and 3rd in the Under-23 XC and Pro Super-D. Williams will also compete at the Windham World Cup next weekend as the riders prepare for the season finale.

Casey Williams
Casey Williams (photo: Mark Avery)

Neilson Powless
Neilson Powless (photo: Mark Avery)

Sean Bennett
Sean Bennett (photo: Mark Avery)

Next up:
8/07 U23 World Cup #6 - Windam, NY
9/04 Junior and U23 World Championships - Hafjell, Norway

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Champions Converge at Catamount

Neilson Powless
Recently crowned Short Track Junior National Champion,
Powless powers his way to a podium finish in the Pro Men's 17+ race.

The Catamount Classic in Vermont marked the final race of the ProXCT series and an opportunity for newly crowned Whole Athlete/Specialized Champions to compete in the stars and stripes. 

Following a podium finish in the internationally competitive UCI Junior XC on Saturday, Neilson Powless rode an inspired Pro Short Track to a 4th place podium finish on Sunday as well. Sean Bennett scored 6th place in the UCI Junior XC, and will join Powless in representing the US at the World Championships in Norway in early September. 

Haley Batten
A focused Batten negotiates the slick, muddy course on her way to victory in the Junior 15/16 XC.

Haley Batten led the charge in muddy conditions with a victory in the Junior Women's 15/16 race, while Mike Mace not only won the Under-15 category, but took the overall in the Cat 1 field. Kelsey Urban and Veda Gerasimek rounded out the Junior Women's top-5 in 4th and 5th, as Cole Avery scored 5th in the Junior 15/16 men's race.

casey williams
Williams soars toward a 6th place finish in the Pro Men's XC. 

And with an impressive 6th place finish in the Pro cross country race, U23 rider Casey Williams showed he's ready to tackle the two upcoming World Cups in Quebec and New York.

Haley Batten, Mike Mace
XC National Champions Batten and Mace do the jerseys proud with wins in their respective cross country events.

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

Next up:
7/31 U23 World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, CAN
8/07 U23 World Cup #6 - Windam, NY
9/04 Junior and U23 World Championships - Hafjell, Norway

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

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