15 August 2013

Recommended Reading: Development Observations

The Bright Future of Cycling

Read: Toolbox: Development Observations, By Bruce Hendler for Pez Cycling News

We will get the chance to cheer on the young and talented team of Bontrager next week at the USA Pro Challenge. Joe Dombrowski, who won the best young rider jersey in the 2012 edition of the race is now racing with team SKY and will return as a teammate of Chris Froome and Richie Porte. The Bontrager team remains loaded with other good riders.
Bontrager - in the black and white kits.  Photo from team website
Bontrager Cycling Team (USA) @BontragerCT
The team was 8th of 16 teams on team standings at the Tour of Utah (TOU) last week.

Bontrager Pro Cycling startlist - the 8 man team racing in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge (read more about these riders) or (full team roster)
  • Nathan (Nate) Brown (USA) age 22
  • Lawson Craddock (USA) age 21 (8th on GC at ATOC)
  • Antoine Duchesne (CAN) age 21
  • Ryan Eastman (USA) age 21
  • Connor O'Leary (USA) age 22
  • James Oram (NZL) age 20
  • Tanner Putt (USA) age 21
  • Nathan Wilson (USA) age 22
Bontrager Team Staff:
Team Manager: Axel Merckx
Head Soigneur (and a very funny man): Reed McCalvin
Head Mechanic: Eric Fostvedt
Axel Merckx in Santa Barbara, California, May 2013. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Bontrager Team Equipment Sponsors (full list of sponsors):
Read: Gallery: Inside the Bontrager development team’s Boulder service course, Photos By VeloNews

Bikes: Trek
Clothing: Bontrager
Components: SRAM
Wheels: Bontrager
Eric fostvedt, wrenching.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Team #Proveit 

Talent got you this far now what?Talent is easy, you were born with it. When it comes to ability you got a free pass. But you're not the only one. There are places in this world where talent is just plain common. You'll run into them soon enough, if they don't find you first. The question is when you do, will you have what it takes when the rubber hits the road? To take it to the next level? Will you have what it takes to do what is asked? To work? To learn? To listen? To improve? To be humble in respect of your gifts? To own up, to grow up, to have the confidence, to breakthrough? Riding with us isn't about your talent. It's about what you decide to do with it.

Axel's Axes achievement scale
Some of the riders on team Bontrager Pro Cycling have raced and grown together for two to four years now, but this is an Under-23 (race age) development team and unlike Jens Voigt who can stay until retirement, it is time for these young riders to move onward and upward. Those moving on include: Nate Brown, Gavon Mannion, and Jasper Stuyven. Nate Brown was picked up by Garmin-Sharp for 2014.

As seen in the video below of Nate Brown (team leader for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge), some of these young men found their interest through their parents or at local races as young as ten years-old. Why not take your son or daughter (or a neighbor's child) to a race this week. Expose them to the sport, let them watch and observe; you never know whether a fire will be lit within.

If you are at the USA Pro Challenge next week in Colorado, let that young rider go up and say hi to one of the Bontrager pro riders, you will find them exceedingly likeable, courteous and professional. This is a team I really like. It is also one of the reasons the race owners and organizers of the USA Pro Challenge bring this race to our backyard and invite team Bontrager to be on the list of teams every year - to further develop the sport of cycling.

Related posts by Pedal Dancer®: That's my kid! and Recommended Reading: Joe Dombrowski

Some Photos to share:
Lawson Craddock  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Lawson Craddock getting ready, pre  race prep. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Lawson Craddock   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Nathan (Nate) Brown   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Jasper Stuyven  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
How to fuel team Bontrager.    ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
It was definitely a day for sunscreen in California at the hot ATOC.   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Ryan Eastman (USA) and James Oram (New Zealand National Champion) of Bontrager Cycling Team are greeted by Ryan's parents in Santa Barbara, CA.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Warm Greetings.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Ryan and James - so nice to see riders finishing a stage smiling.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Bontrager Alumni Joe Dombrowksi in Aspen in 2012, with his teammate Connor O'Leary signing an autograph in the backgroud.  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer®
Stage 1 Best Young Rider - USA Pro 2012 - Gavon Mannion (Bontrager) crosses the line in Telluride. ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer®
You will always see this team hanging out together before a race. Team Bontrager in Montrose before Stage 2  USA Pro 2012. ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Bontrager in Breckenridge 2012.   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
How you know Team Bontrager is in town (in Durango in 2012). ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
The team giving an interview in Breckenridge in 2012. ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Gavon Mannion on Independence Pass in 2012 at the USA Pro Challenge

Can't wait to see them race again next week.

btw - They need a new sponsor!
Update 08/23/13: A Developing Drought If Axel Merckx doesn’t find a new sponsor for his Bontrager development team, young riders’ path to the pros will get harder. By Joe Lindsey

Update 08/25/13: Bontrager development team to continue in 2014 By Cycling News