Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whole Athlete-Specialized Team Kicks Off 2012 with Winter Training Camp

As it enters its fourth season, the Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team held its first training camp of 2012 at the Whole Athlete Performance Center in Marin County, California. Fourteen juniors, six U23s, three athlete-mentors, and five coaches came together to take part in the holistic methodology that defines the successful development program.

Whole Athlete Team Training Camp
Photo: Through My Eyes Photography

Riders were treated to organic food, yoga classes, sport psychology workshops, kinesiology taping, foam rolling techniques, and of course epic training rides in West Marin and on Mt. Tamalpais. After an unusually dry Northern California winter the skies opened up just in time to douse the camp. Despite the timing, the cold, wet weather could not dampen the riders' high spirits.

Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team
Photo: Through My Eyes Photography
Having just earned the distinction of USA Cycling's 2011 Mountain Bike Club of the Year and a recipient of the Center of Excellence award, the Whole Athlete-Specialized Team looks to build on its continued success as it forges ahead. For the 2012 season, the team's focus continues to be the US ProXCT series and National Championships, as well as the two North American World Cups and qualifying riders to the World Championships for the fourth straight year.

Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team
Photo: Through My Eyes Photography

Among the returning riders for 2012 are 2011 Junior 15/16 MTB Cross Country National Champions Lucas Newcomb and Kate Courtney, both entering the Junior 17/18 field this year. New additions to the team include 2011 MTB and Cyclocross World Championship Team member Cypress Gorry, and NorCal High School League Frosh Series Champion Sean Bennett.

Lucas Newcomb, Shane Skelton
Photo: Through My Eyes Photography

Guided by their philosophy of "dedication, integrity and fun", the Whole Athlete-Specialized Development Team is a non-profit funded program providing young cyclists avenues to the highest levels of the sport.

The mission of the Whole Athlete-Specialized Cycling Team is to invest in the future of our youth and the sport of cycling by supporting development of junior & U23 cyclists, providing a program where young cyclists can race and ride together guided by a defining philosophy of dedication, integrity and fun. This mission is enabled by our coaches, mentors, volunteers and contributions to the non-profit Velo Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Special thanks to Good Earth Natural Foods and Taco Jane's for their generous nutritional support of the 2012 kickoff camp, and to Through my Eyes and Off the Back Photography for their dedicated work in the cold and wet conditions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cross Nationals Podium!

Cypress Gorry reached his goal of making the podium at the Cyclocross National Championships with a strong third place finish.
photo: Lyne Lamoureux
After a softening front tire resulted in a bike change on the first-lap, Cypress worked his way back through the field all the way to the front, and was just outsprinted for second by Tobin Ortenblad.

We're keeping our fingers crossed on his selection for the US World Championship team, to be announced soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Off-Season is On for Cypress Gorry

While most of the team is deep in training mode for the upcoming 2012 race season (soon to start in early March), Cypress Gorry has been racing hard all winter as he builds toward the US Cyclocross National Championships this weekend in Madison, WI.
Cypress Gorry, Azencross Loenhout, Cyclocross
Gorry focused through the Belgian mud at Azencross Loenhout. -- Photo: Tom Robertson

Not only has Gorry been racing cyclocross consistently in the US over the past few months, he recently returned from the Euro Cross Camp, where he raced half a dozen International and World Cup events throughout the month of December.

Cypress Gorry, Namur Cyclocross
One of the many run ups at Namur, France -- Photo: Tom Robertson
Recently interviewed in Cyclocross, Gorry noted how exciting and popular cyclocross racing is in Europe, even on the coldest of winter days. He describes his final European race of the season in Loenhout, Belgium: "What on first glance appears to be an open flat field actually makes for an incredible race. Many added features, some of which include a flow section, some jumps, and a massive rideable flyover, add to the excitement for both the spectators and the racers. With another large field, the race was very exciting..."

Cypress Gorry, Diegem Cyclocross
Mentally focused at the startline at Diegem, Belgium -- Photo: Tom Robertson

This weekend will be the next big test for Gorry as he faces the best US junior cyclocross talent at the National Championships in wintery Wisconsin. With an eye on the World Championship Team selection, Gorry hopes to land on the podium in Madison and head back to Belgium for the biggest race of the 2011-2012 season at Cyclocross Worlds in Koksijde, January 28th.

Coverage of the Junior Cyclocross National Championships can be found on Cyclocross, and Stay tuned for more exciting news from Madison!

And to really get a taste of world-class cross racing, check out the video recaps of the most recent World Cups and elite European races: