Specialized Triathlon Team Invades Headquarters

After Wildflower, the entire long course Specialized Tri team converged on Specialized HQ for product knowledge training and meetings with designers and engineers responsible for product development.  With a cast that included Rasmus Henning, Macca, Phil the Shiv Graves, Des Ficker, Ben Hoffman, Caveman, Jordan Rapp, Bobby Big Man Behan, Kristin Peterson and Jimmy Archer it was a pretty good show to say the least.  I hadn’t met a few of the crew before so it was nice to put a face to the name and get to know more people on the earth that are really good at what they do.

 Me and Bobby at Wildflower (thanks Rich Cruse!)

Given the team pretty much kicked ass all over the place this weekend (Desiree 2nd, Phil 4th, Rasmus 5th, me 5th, Conrad 10th with a monster bike split at Wildflower and Ben 2nd IM St George and Macca 4th Alcatraz) we had an all podium squad to present to the folks at Specialized and explain why Specialized is branching out into triathlon in a meaningful way.  We were given the overview of what is coming and all I can say is start saving your money.  You are going to want what is coming because the Shiv is only the start.  XTERRA people too 😉 there is candy in the works for your sweet tooth.  I would tell you but then I would have to kill you. 

We talked with many product designers and engineers but really only Jordan was talking their language in numbers and angles and widgets and such.  Macca summed it up for me: “Just give me what is the fastest, mate.  The fastest!  I want that!!”  Amen, my friend.  However, I do find that some of the women’s products could be even better and I think Desiree and I were able to provide some of that feedback so ladies… we have your back!  Having time to hang out and socialize with the Specialized crew and put Jeff, Myron, Joe, Ryan, Geoff, Ashley, Garth, Clint and all the other designer/product people’s faces to names (too many I already forget!) was awesome.  It was amazing to meet all of you and nice work by the way.  The amount of testing Specialized does on their products while innovating is pretty cool.

Clint:  “This is where you put your head.”  Mel and Ben concentrating so as to not miss a single hint on usage… 🙂

The personalities on this team are very animated and it was a good time, all the time.  Between Conrad winning the lunch ride World Champs on Monday to Macca false starting the 50 yard freestyle World Champs on Tuesday morning at the pool it was clowning all the time.  Rasmus and Kristin put on a swim clinic for the rest of us while Bobby proved that you have to stay faster than the team manager or you are FIRED!! Hah, just joking.  On two counts: one, he’s fast! and two, well, yeah, you have to stay faster though.

Swim Camp courtesy of Rasmus

I am really stoked to be part of this group.  If you add Simon Whitfield, Javier Gomez, Lisa Norden and Barbara Rivieros to the mix, which comprise the short course team, this triathlon team contains the best of the best in this sport.  Our team has more World Champions, Olympic Champions, World Cup winners and ass kicking ability than any other team in any other sport.  I think Mike Sinyard is going to be blown away when this team paints a big red “S” across disciplines in triathlon from the top of many podiums this season.  Looking forward to my contribution to the effort!

2010 Wildflower Triathlon

I have always wanted to go and race Wildflower as it is one of those iconic events on the North American calendar that looms legendary in the history books.  However, whether it was too scary, too early or too much of a road triathlon (only the latter) I never got a chance to toe the line until this year.  Boo!  I should have been doing this a LONG time ago!  So, so cool!  I had a super time having my butt handed to me by a deep field of super athletes with Julie Dibens reigning supreme way at the front of the race.  I am happy with fifth as really, I didn’t even have any kind of outcome goal going into this race so that was just fine.  Also I did have a bit of a new bike snafu so although I didn’t really get to see what I can do on the bike I did manage to ride up to second before some issues occurred so like Conrad, I rode well and held on for a good finish.

Mine is a cautionary tale of new equipment.  I got a brand spanking new killer amazing red rocket superspeedy Specialized Transition two days before the event.  My new steed and I met on Thursday morning and went for a 45 minute date riding around Morgan Hill before we drove to Wildflower.  Friday morning I took my friend out for another ride and then put it to bed before the race on Saturday morning.  So I had a total of 2h of time trial biking to prepare for this event.  However, the bike fit I got from Bill at Procity was amazing!  I finally listened to him and allowed him to move my stuff all over the place, essentially moving me into a TT position.  So riding the bike was so much less of a problem than any time I got on a bike in the past in my stupid hybrid mountain-biking-on-tri-bars position I was so insistent upon in the past.  Money.  However, there was still some stupidity for me to add to the mix later.  Anyhow, all went smoothly leading up to the race and I would like to thank Nick and Jeff at Shimano,  and Jeff, Joe and Myron at Specialized for the mechanical support of champions.  My issue was sort of out of their hands. 

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