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!