Team SmartStop has been invited to the 10th edition of the Amgen Tour of California.

Premier Sports Group is very proud to announce Team SmartStop has been invited to the 10th edition of the Amgen Tour of California.

The eight-day stage race starting on Sunday May 10th will follow a challenging course from North to South and will see the competitors touch down in 12 different host cities.

General Manager, Omer Kem said: “Premier Sports Group racing as Team SmartStop is incredibly proud to be invited to the 2015 Amgen Tour of CA. The invitation is the culmination of years of hard work and an absolutely amazing 2014 season. We at Premier Sports Group are very much looking forward to working with AEG and Medalist Sports to make the 2015 edition, the best edition yet with a team that is ready to race!”

Team SmartStop was unlucky to not receive an invitation in 2014, but over the season have proven their capabilities and determination to be able to participate in one of America’s most prestigious stage races.

“The Amgen Tour of California is a validation for all the work we did in 2014,” said Director Michael Creed, “and the races faith in our upward trajectory for 2015.”

Team SmartStop could be facing competition teams from World Tour teams such as Orica-GreenEdge, Team Sky and Giant-Alpecin who have all competed in previous editions of the race.

Despite the tough competition the team will be turning up to the Amgen Tour of California ready to race and with fire in their bellies for success at America’s Greatest Race with Creed stating: “Chasing jerseys and stage wins will be the focus.”

The Amgen Tour of California stages are:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 13 – Pismo Beach to Avila Beach
Stage 5: Thursday, May 14 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Stage 6: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 7: Saturday, May 16 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8: Sunday, May 17 – L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) to Pasadena

BMW p/b The Happy Tooth Race Women’s Tour

Premier Sports Group is also very excited to announce that the BMW p/b The Happy Tooth women’s team will also be racing in the Women’s Amgen Tour of California.

The tour has held a women’s race in conjunction with the mens event since 2011 and this year the Amgen Tour of California Invitation Time Trial has been given the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) status of 1.1, the highest status a non-world cup event can be given.

In 2015 the women’s race will feature four stages, a three-day stage race followed by the individual time trial starting on Friday 8th May.

Director, Jono Coulter said: “”The team at BMW p/b The Happy Tooth are happy to receive an invite to the UCI 2.1 Women’s Amgen Tour of California. This is a marquee event on the world calendar. We are determined to bring a classy & proven squad to race against some of the best teams in the world & show the excitement of women’s cycling”

The Women’s Amgen Tour of California stages are as follows:
Stage 1: Friday, May 8 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 2: Saturday, May 9 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 3: Sunday, May 12 – Sacramento
Invitational Time Trial Stage 4: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake

Rohan Dennis Snatches Race Lead In Tour Down Under

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Santos Tour Down Under, Stage 3: BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis wins ahead of teammate Cadel Evans.

On the strength of a vicious attack on Torrens Hill BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis soloed to victory and into the race lead Thursday at the Santos Tour Down Under. His BMC Racing Team teammate Cadel Evans finished second.

Team’s First Win of 2015
Dennis crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of his teammate Cadel Evans and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). Although the hour record contender had to switch plans in the final, he is very satisfied with his win and the overall lead. “The plan for me was to attack at the bottom of the Torrens Hill climb to put the pressure on Richie Porte (Team Sky) and the other contenders and let Cadel just sit back”, Dennis said. “Obviously I was too far behind to actually follow that plan.” Winning in front of his home country’s crowd Dennis also takes the first BMC Racing Team’s win of the season.

One-Two overall classifications
The 143.2 km stage that was marked by a four man breakaway that gained a freedom of maximum 3 minutes 30 seconds. The last remaining attacker was caught heading to the 1.2 km final climb. BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans who is now second overall, 7 seconds behind his teammate Dennis, is happy how it worked really well for the BMC Racing Team today. “We had a plan on covering on two bases, but of course I also want to be able to lend a favor to my teammates where I can and where it’s favorable”, Evans said. “We had Rohan and Peter ready to do an attack anywhere where they could and it worked out really well for us.” With three more days to go Evans remains the team leader Dennis said: “Obviously we are both protected riders but Cadel is still a leader in my eyes.”

Notes
Besides the overall classification (Ochre jersey), Dennis also leads the Subaru King of the mountain and the Cycle Instead young rider classification. While his BMC Racing Team teammate Cadel Evans, second overall, tops the Iinet sprint classification. The BMC Racing Team leads the Virgin Australia winning team classification after stage 3 in Santos Tour Down Under.
Rohan Dennis will attempt the Hour Record on Sunday 8 February at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen.

Listen to comments from Evans and Dennis on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line http://bit.ly/1E14xIb
Best regards,
BMC Racing Team

Isaura Van Lancker

 

Alison Powers Announces Retirement

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After an outstanding year racing with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team around the world and representing the United States at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships, Alison Powers will retire from professional cycling and transition into the next chapter of her life. Looking back over her career, Powers commented, “It has been a pretty amazing career! I have won or been part of a team that has won almost every single race in the United States. All of my cycling goals have been accomplished and I feel very satisfied leaving the sport. I’m proud to have won the Tour of the Gila criterium in 2006, my first year doing NRC races, and then to have won it again this year, my last year racing.”

Alison Powers came to the team with a long list of accomplishments; a Pan American time trial championship title, the US National criterium championship title, and general classification wins at the Joe Martin Stage Race, Cascade Classic Stage Race, and Redlands Classic. In her incredible final season, Powers won the overall classification at the Tour de Femenino de San Luis, took victory in the Amgen Tour of California time trial, and claimed US national titles in both the road and time trial disciplines among many other impressive victories while wearing the blue and white of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. Alison said, “Being a part of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has been wonderful. This year felt like I was getting my ‘master’s degree’ in bike racing. I am so proud and happy to have been part of the team– and also sad to leave the program, my teammates, and the staff. They are all really wonderful people who took great care of me and taught me to become a better and more complete bike racer.”

In retirement, Powers plans to spend more time at home with family and friends in Colorado, while remaining active on her bike and Nordic skis. She will put more emphasis on her coaching business, ALP Cycles Coaching, allowing her share her racing skills and training expertise with other athletes. Powers concluded, “The past 10 years of my life as a bike racer have been really wonderful. I feel so lucky to have had this kind of hard work, team camaraderie, and success in my life. I really love riding my bike, and to know I have accomplished so much feels really wonderful and happy. I can leave the sport with a smile on my face and two current national championship jerseys.” General manager Mike Tamayo added, “Alison was instrumental in creating this program and yielding the one of the most successful seasons for a women’s team ever, especially a debut season. Not only is Alison is an extremely valuable rider in terms of her own results, the knowledge she brought as a coach, mentor, and racer was invaluable to the rest of the team. Alison will always be a part of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train family, and will continue to stay involved with the team as a high-performance advisor and mentor to riders.” The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team wishes Powers the best in her retirement and thanks her for her contributions to the program as a rider and a leader.

Jens Voigt sets new Hour Record

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Jens Voigt has put the Hour Record back into the headlines Thursday evening in Grenchen, Switzerland in front of over 1600 fans at the Velodrome Suisse, setting a new record distance of 51.110 kms to break the 2005 benchmark of 49.700 kms set in 2005 set by Ondrej Sosenka.

Jens Voigt was ahead of his set timetable from the first lap, and he slowly built on his lead as the seconds ticked off the clock. He never appeared in trouble and was able to increase his pace in the final 10 minutes to bring his speed over the 51km/h mark for the first time.

“I started as usual too fast, but that is just me I can’t control myself, and I realized that I was a second faster on the first lap than on the timetable so I tried to pace myself a little. But I was in good shape, just right. I am perfectly fit for this moment, I am in very good shape, and after 20 minutes I had gained one lap but I was still feeling in control. Then from 20-40 minutes I had a comfortable lead and I paced myself and was still gaining a little time. Then in the last 20 I sped up a little and gained another lap. The last 10 minutes were flat out – all-in.

“My only thoughts were to not over pace, to focus on holding the black line and to stay aero – no side thoughts. 51.1- yah I am pretty happy.”
– Jens Voigt

General Manager Luca Guercilena commented on Voigt’s Hour Record from Spain where Trek Factory Racing is currently preparing for the World Championship Team Time Trial on Sunday:

“At the start I was pretty worried because I knew the time schedule and he was fast, but then I was happy when I saw him balancing. I knew that at 40 minutes it was the line where he would either increase or go down and I was super happy to see him increase. It was really impressive to see him do this at the age of 43 – but Jens is Jens.

At the end I was really hoping he could beat the time of Moser because that was the first reference for the hour record and that would have been good. He was really, really close. It was a really nice way to finish his career with a good performance, and we gave him all our support and this is what he deserved. I am really happy the event went well. We all watched [the Hour Record] from a computer in Spain and I can say it was inspirational, and has given us a boost for Sunday.”
– Luca Guercilena

After it was over he was able to take in what he had just accomplished in front of a packed house in the Velodrome Suisse, and also televised live throughout the world. He admitted, even through the suffering, he was able to enjoy the moment:

“The first 10 minutes I could not feel the pedals and thought, ‘oh this is easy!’ Then I went, ‘oooooh, maybe you’d better pace yourself a little bit here.’ Then I went on cruising speed from 20-40 mins. But I could feel at that speed I was good, I could hold on to this speed, I am not going to break down or slow down. So I felt in control, and yes indeed I had a little bit of time to enjoy it.”

In the final 30 minutes Jens Voigt began standing at interspersed moments, the first show of the strain and pain from the tremendous effort.

“Having this cramped up position to hold for an hour is pretty tough. Basically the place where I sit on the saddle was really beginning to hurt and giving me a lot of pain, so every 10 laps I got out of the seat to stretch and release some pressure of my behind so to speak. I am happy that I don’t have to sit on the saddle for the next days now!

“I remember how Chris Boardman was walking after his effort and I am not far off from that. I am basically limping. It hurts in my glutes!

“Boardman was my first roommate in 1997 and I can’t ask for a better good-bye than this.”
– Jens Voigt

In 2014 the UCI unified the two previous classifications (Athlete’s Hour and Best Human Effort) into a single classification in line with regulations for current track pursuit bikes and Jens Voigt was the first attempt under the new ruling.

“It’s absolutely what we thought would happen, to bring the Hour Record back to status in a new era. It was pointless to continue the old system, we needed to allow the technology and bring back the magic. It was wonderful! Congratulations to Jens and all the Trek Factory Racing team.”
– Brian Cookson (president UCI)

Results: It’s The UHC Show In Tulsa

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@Luke_Keough wins in the sprint at the Brady District crit

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@bannahharnes takes the top step of podium again & @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd Erica Allar 3rd-

Brady District

@bannahharnes takes the win and @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd – 2 nights on the podium

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Co-Ed UHC

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2014 TT Brady District Women’s Pro-1-2 RESULT

2014 TT Brady District Men’s Pro-1 RESULT

©Danny Munson

Alison Powers Crushes US National Championship Time Trial

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Alison Powers Crushes US National Championship Time Trial, Earns Stars and Stripes for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

Less than two weeks after dominating the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, Alison Powers took to the starting ramp at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championships today with hopes of repeating her 2008 victory and earning the coveted stars and stripes jersey for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The 2014 course in Chattanooga, Tennessee was relatively long at 30.9 kilometers with rolling hills and technical turns. Alison has shown great form recently with fantastic strength and stamina, allowing her to power through the undulating course with speed and precision. Top form, flawless equipment, and determination all converged for Alison Powers today, as she devoured the course and claimed the victory by a margin of 30 seconds.

 

Alison adds this accomplishment to her already impressive résumé which includes the current US national professional criterium championship jersey, the 2013 national racing calendar points title, 2014 Tour Femenino de San Luis overall victory, and many more. Elated with her result, Alison Powers commented, “I am super happy– everyone believed in me, and to go from huge disappointment last year to sheer happiness this year is incredible. The team’s belief in me and the support they’ve given me have been big contributing factors.” Sports Director Rachel Heal added, “Alison had an amazing start to this year and we knew she had the form to get a great result here. She’s worked really hard for this and it’s fantastic to see her pull off the win. It was a full team effort with the support from Adrian, Tavis, Mike (team staff) and our sponsors playing a big part in ensuring Alison only had to focus on riding her bike… very fast!”

 

This race was an important goal for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and they prepared accordingly with extensive testing in the Faster wind tunnel optimizing the riders’ fit and position on their Wilier Twin Blade time trial bikes. To emerge from the race victorious shows commitment of the team, riders, and partners to the progress and success of the program. General Manager Mike Tamayo concluded, “We had a clear goal with Alison when we hired her last summer: get to the World Championships and to be capable of a medal. The first step in that process was to win nationals and secure the automatic qualification. We’ve just accomplished the first step.”

 

The US National Professional Road Championship takes place on Monday, May 26th, in which the men and women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will race for the honor of wearing the stars and stripes, this time in the road race discipline. The women’s race totals 101.5 kilometers while the men’s event totals 161.9 kilometers. Both events will be covered live on the USA Cycling National Championships TourTracker.

 

 

BMC Racing Team’s Phinney Is U.S. Time Trial Champion

 

Stock Photo By Brian Hodes

Stock Photo By Brian Hodes

Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney won his second national time trial title in dominant fashion Saturday at the USA Cycling professional road championships.

‘Feeling Good And Feeling Fast’
Phinney’s 51-second margin of victory over runner-up Tom Zirbel (Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) was the largest in the event since 2009. Phinney went 1:24 faster than third-placed David Williams (5-Hour Energy presented by Kenda) while adding to the national time trial title he won in 2010. “I was surprisingly nervous today,” Phinney said. “I sort of felt like all I could do was lose. So I was really happy when I was out there and feeling good and feeling fast and getting positive time splits.” Phinney’s win was his fourth of the season. In February, he won the Stage 1 individual time trial of the Dubai Tour on the way to winning the overall. Last week, he soloed the final 25 kilometers to win Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California. “It is always a huge honor to come here and be able to win,” Phinney said. “I won four years ago, so to come back after missing nationals two years in a row is a special feeling.” His victory was the BMC Racing Team’s 14th of the season.

‘The Pressure Is Off’
Crouched low on his BMC timemachine TM01, Phinney led Zirbel by 13 seconds at the halfway point of the 30.9-kilometer race on two laps of an out-and-back course. That margin kept growing as BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri relayed time splits from the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. “Taylor took a little bit of a beating from (Bradley) Wiggins in the time trial in California,” Sciandri said. “But it pushed him a little bit harder in training. He went straight home after the race, came out here a day early and then it was like a piece of a puzzle that falls into place. The pressure is off now that he has won it. We will let it sink in tonight and then tomorrow we start thinking about the road race.” Phinney will be joined by teammate Peter Stetina for Monday’s 165.5-km national championship road race that includes four ascents of Lookout Mountain. “I am relaxed now, this is a big weight off my shoulders,” Phinney said. “Now I can go into Monday a little bit more relaxed and kind of take it easier, put the pressure on the other teams and just kind of follow wheels.”

Listen to complete comments from Phinney and Sciandri on the BMC Racing Team’s Audio Line:

http://bit.ly/Vg94Oh