For some, winter is beautiful. The stark clean snow of a powder day is the highlight of the year for snowboarders and skiers. North American bike racers don’t appreciate these blue bird mornings; the harsh crosswinds and frigid precipitation are hard to bear and the cold weather brings about an annual migration of cyclists to the southwestern part of the states. Dark lenses replace clear, fenders are left behind, and tan lines begin to emerge from the pale canvas of winter legs. The southward journey has become an annual ritual for many, bringing together some of the best minds and legs in North American cycling.
We were fortunate to meet up with 21 international riders from theUnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team as they converged in Scottsdale, AZ for their annual winter training camp. Despite our best wishes, a cold front was ripping through the desert, deflating any hope of slipping on a short sleeve kit and coconut scented sun tan lotion. Still, the riders piled on the base miles.
The camp was filled with positive energy as new faces meet old for the first time. Smiles were shared, stories were told, and as the new bikes were unveiled there was a palpable energy in the air. The racers were pacing and smiling and wore a thin veil of contrived coolness that hardly disguised their excitement. They are ready to start a new season of racing. The UnitedHealthcare team edition bikes are drool worthy. The blue train starts off with a carbon chassis from NeilPryde and touch points from Ritchey. Spanish made Rotor cranks glide upon our, yet to be publicly released, Chris King Press Fit 30 Bottom Brackets. Supporting it all is the unmistakable buzz of our mango Chris King R45 road racing hubs laced up to a selection of ENVE carbon hoops.
After the oohs and aahs of the bikes wore off we set out for a series of rides, wind tunnel tests, and the official 2013 team presentation. This year’s line-up is amazing and we are confident that the team will cause a stir in races throughout the pro calendar. They’ll start with the hard man courses of the spring classics and onward to the exhausting tours of Portugal, Britain and California. The team is set to leave their mark on the races of 2013.