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. 


"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
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

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

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!