As we get ready to close 2013 and roll into 2014, I’ve been thinking about my own “Best of 2013” list. The past 12 months have been very exciting, and quite varied in terms of my own experiences and the results that CTS Athletes have achieved. The hardest part of making a list like this is knowing that a lot of very deserving people and events will get left off. I wish there was room here to individually congratulate and recognize every CTS Athlete for their accomplishments in 2013, but suffice it to say I’ve never been prouder of the CTS Athlete community. The number and magnitude of your accomplishments in 2013 were overwhelming, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do in the next 12 months!
Here’s my Best Of 2013 List, in no particular order:
- My Best Day on the Bike: Riding the Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge with basketball legend Bill Walton. The roads and terrain were beautiful, we experienced everything from scorching sun to cold rain and lightening, and it was great to get insider stories from Bill on John Wooden, the Celtics, the NBA, and his philosophy of life.
- Quote of the Year: “I Love My Bike”. Another nod to Bill Walton. No matter what Bill was facing, no matter how many hours he’d been on the bike or how strong the headwind, he would just smile and say, “I love my bike!” It became a mantra for the coaches and athletes, especially when we were tired or frustrated by the conditions. When the going gets rough, just saying it seems to lighten the pedals a little bit.
- Hardest Day(s) on the Bike: The first three stages of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California were brutal. I was really impressed that Team CTS hung together and got it done. The heat going into Palm Springs was surreal and extreme, yet everyone stepped up to the challenge, rode smart, and survived to continue with the ride the following day.
- Favorite Equipment Choice: I spent the year on a Madone 7 Series with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting and I think it’s the best combination I’ve ever ridden. Fast, light, responsive, and flawless. It’s more bike than my 53-year-old body can fully take advantage of, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying!
- Favorite Project: My monthly column for Road Bike Action Magazine. I’m so happy to have the freedom to writing an in-depth training column for the core of the cycling market.
- Most Inspiring Accomplishments from Former Teammates: I’m lucky to have a ton of inspirational teammates from my years as a pro, and this year it was particularly moving to see my old friend Jock Boyer achieve great success with Team Rwanda. I highly urge you to see the movie, Rising from the Ashes. It’s also been moving and inspiring to watch Roy Knickman support his son Andreas through his battle with cancer. Roy sharing his experiences have inspired me to be a better father and husband, and person overall.
- Leadville 100 MTB: CTS Athletes won 3 divisions (M1 – Ryan Geiger, M2 – Cameron Cogburn, F4 – Rebecca Rusch) and Cameron Cogburn finished 4th overall. Sixty-eight CTS Athletes crossed the finish line, including the oldest finisher in the race – and the first 80-year-old ever to finish – Fred Schmid! We’re going to be on course supporting CTS Athletes again in 2014, and we’re having a Leadville 100 Recon Camp in July, just for CTS-Coached Athletes!
- Dirty Kanza 200: I never expected to enjoy 200 miles of gravel roads as much as I did, and it was tremendous to finish in the top 25 overall and witness CTS Athlete Rebecca Rusch earn another great victory. CTS Athletes Angie and Scott Rake won the tandem category and Stan Prutz won the Masters Men, so it was a great event all around for CTS Athletes!
- La Ruta de los Conquistadores: Perhaps the best aggregate result of the year. CTS Athletes won 4 divisions and even went 1-2 in the Elite Men’s race with Marconi Duran and Alex Grant! Pua Mata won the Elite Women’s race, Manny Prado won the 35-39 age group, and Alfredo Peralta won the 40-49 age group. As usual, CTS Athletes also beat the races finisher rate, this time by scoring a 100% finisher rate with 22 athletes!
- Hincapie Development Team: I can’t even begin to list the wins and achievements that the Hincapie Development Team earned in 2013. We’re very proud to work with this incredible group of talented athletes and we’re looking forward to continuing our support of the team in 2014 and beyond!
- Katerina Nash: Our favorite multi-time Olympian won on the mountain bike and the cyclocross bike in 2013, including a World Cup victory on the cross bike and a valiant 4th place at Cyclocross World Championships.
- Mara Abbott: Winner of the 2013 Giro Rosa, as well as Velo Magazine’s North American Woman of the Year, Women’s Stage Racer and Climber of the Year, and Comeback of the Year awards. And on top of it all, she’s an awesome person!
- Alison Tetrick: A great athlete and wonderful ambassador for CTS, Alison had a tremendous season in 2013. Though she won several races during the year, one of the highlights had to be finishing 2nd in the Chrono des Nations, one of the most prestigious time trials in cycling!
- Gregory Brenes: If you watched the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge, you no doubt saw this Costa Rican racer coached by CTS Coach Adam Pulford. A brilliant climber, he rode to 6th overall in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, and we’re all looking forward to watching him race in 2014!
- Kids on Bikes Summer MTB Camps: KOB held their first mountain bike camps in 2013 and they were incredibly successful. It was awesome to see 6- to 12-year-olds learning all about mountain biking, good nutrition, and having fun on a bike!
I hope 2013 was a great year for you and that you’re looking forward to even more in 2014! Stay tuned for news about a lot of exciting changes and developments from CTS!
Have a Great Weekend and a Happy New Year
Carmichael Training Systems