Weekend Reading: Behind the Scenes at the USA Pro Challenge!

I’m going to keep this brief because I’m still in the thick of the USA Pro Challenge Race Experience. We’ve been having a great week and I’m so proud of the athletes who have been riding every stage of this great race with my coaches and me. And it’s been great to upload my data to Strava and see others who are getting close to completing the CTS Bucket List Strava Challenge!


G346Carbon2014_600x600Due to huge demand, Power to the People is back for a very limited time! Through September 1, we’re including a free PowerTap power meter wheelset with new 12-month CTS Coaching signups! Don’t miss it this time around!

Take Advantage Today!

The most inspiring moments of these Bucket List events occur when athletes exceed their own expectations. And I’m not just talking about higher power numbers or a faster time up a specific climb. I’m talking about moments when an athlete pushes himself or herself beyond what they thought they were capable of.

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The USA Pro Challenge Race Experience is 524 miles in 7 days with nearly 40,000 feet of climbing. That included Stage 2: a 105-mile day with more than 8,000 feet of climbing and a 29-mile dirt road climb/descent. A few of our athletes got caught in the same thunderstorm that led to a neutralization in the pro field, but they didn’t stop and they persevered all the way into Crested Butte. They were wet and cold, and a few had never ridden in conditions like that, but they got it done and shared their war stories at the dinner table!

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The next day we rode 96 miles with two ascents up to Monarch Pass at 11,000 feet. CTS Athlete Dennis D. was struggling with the altitude and the distance, but Coach Adam Pulford rode with him all day and taught him how to draft and descend like a pro so he had the energy to finish the climbs. At the start of the day I’m not sure Dennis believed he could ride the entire stage, so it was incredible to see the joy on his face as he pedaled across the finish line at Monarch Mountain!

On Stage 3 the overlapping nature of the course meant our athletes had to stop by the side of the road as they were climbing to the finish to let the pros pass as they descended toward Salida. After riding for hours and then standing around for quite a while, there was some discussion of just getting into the support vehicles and calling it a day, but everyone stayed on their bikes and rode every last meter. There were high-fives and hugs all around, and even a few of the pros gave our crew kudos for their efforts.

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After Thursday’s stage in Colorado Springs, I had the honor of hosting the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team for dinner at my home. CTS is the official coaching and sports science partner for the team and we’re extremely proud to be working with the team. Off the bike the young men of Hincapie Devo are just as impressive as they are in their races. They are professional and focused. They understand what they’re up against as a team of young riders battling with seasoned World Tour teams, but they are confident and hungry. They came to USA Pro Challenge to race, and it shows: Robin Carpenter won Stage 3 into Crested Butte, and Ty Magner finished 4th on Stage 4 in Colorado Springs!


The Hincapie Sportswear Development Team and Staff, plus a few CTS Coaches and Kristin and Kelly from Amgen Tour of California.  


Ken Chlouber, the founder of the Leadville Race Series, may have summed it up best in his signature quote: “You’re better than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can.” The key is finding events and situations that put you in a position to test how good you are and how much you can do. That’s what Bucket List events do. This event, and every event on the 2014-2015 CTS Bucket List, put athletes in a position where failure is a distinct possibility. There’s a time in these events when you may want to quit, but we also provide the support to help you stay in the game and reach your finish line.

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to fill out this application to see if you’re Bucket List Qualified. See if you have what it takes to join Team CTS, and if you don’t right now then we can help you improve to the point where you are Bucket List Qualified! Whether it’s this year or next year, I want to see you out there with a huge smile as you conquer one of these events!

Have a Great Weekend
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach of CTS

Comments 1

  1. Always great to hear from an owner. I really love to hear the stories of other riders and the passion of you and your team to help them get the best experience out of what they signed on for. Looking forward to 2015 TOC and maybe working with you. Please let me know, Paul

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