SOLVANG, CA – A few months ago, I spent a weekend in the sunny region of Solvang, California with team captains Jared Ellison and Mark Fiori of the Limitless Cycling Team, with its riders primarily from the Folsom area.
• What are your 2014 goals?
§ The goals for the team are centered around the self-prescribed goals of our individual riders. We’re really here to be the catalyst for each rider to achieve their individual goals, whether that’s a podium at Nationals, and invite to USAC’s junior development team, or an upgrade to the next category of racing. In the longer term, we all know that making it to the Pro ranks of cycling is extremely difficult, even if you have the talent, and making a living from it is even more challenging. Given that, our goal is to provide tools, support, and opportunity to make youth racing a positive experience that creates a lifelong love for the sport. We certainly aspire to deliver riders to the next level of the sport (whether on a domestic pro team, USA Cycling U23 squad, or Int’l Pro Team), but if our youth riders can look back at these years as some of the best they had growing up, than we’ve done our job.
• Who are your riders to watch?
§ We are lucky to have a strong group of 4’s and 3’s in our first year. While we expect that all of our riders will have some great moments and podiums, there are a few that have set some extremely high goals for their season and are already showing the propensity to have a tremendous year.
o Rupert Cox – Has started the year very strong with a good showing at Cal Aggie taking two teammates to podiums (plus himself) in what was the largest junior field ever contested in that race. A few weeks ago, he won Knight’s Ferry RR in the E3 field, with the help of his teammate Gabe Multer. His form is coming along and we expect to see him do well in a number of stage races and Nationals.
o Garrett Marking – Coming off a great 2013 season where he finished 14th at Junior National Road Race and 18th in the time trial (as a 15 year old in at 15-16 category), we expect Garrett to have a breakout year. He’s a very determined cyclist, who is naturally gifted for the sport and has an extremely strong work ethic. Expect to see good results from him in a number of stage races (VOS, San Dimas, Chico, Madera, Rafa NW stage race), in addition to another strong showing at Nationals. (Update: Since the time of this writing, Garrett has proven his success by winning two weeks in a row at the Bariani Road Race and Chico Stage Race Downtown Criterium.)
• What races will you be targeting? § You’ll see our riders at most of the single day NCNCA races. We are also very focused on giving them experience in many of the stage races available both in and out of our district. Nationals will be a big priority for many of our riders after the spring season. Following Nationals, Cascade will be one of our biggest stage races as team. We’ll cap off our season with what’s becoming one of our favorite events, Rapha Northwest Juniors Stage Race.
§ With the help of our shop sponsor Folsom Bike, we secured a great partnership with Giant Bicycles. They were very excited to support our juniors and we look forward to a long relationship with them.
§ Squadra has been great to work with in the development our kit design and manufacturing.
§ Core Power supports us with some of our nutritional requirements
§ Ink Monkey Graphics has been great in providing our casual gear
§ Body Logic has made themselves available to provide necessary preventive and corrective physical therapy
• Any rider backgrounds to share? § Always inspiring to hear about Connor Ellison’s story. Rare liver disease, raising awareness around organ donation, and competing as a part of the first all junior RAAM Team at the age of 12 http://www.prweb.com/releases/
Update: Since the team camp, Limitless has had multiple successes in the races so far, and an important milestone has come with Rupert Cox and Garrett Marking being invited to the USA Cycling Camp to represent the USA in Europe for several races.
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