Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Specialized Team Camp

Last week I spent 4 busy and fun filled days in Morgan Hill, CA meeting all my new teammates on the Specialized US Tri Team.  When I first signed with Specialized, I was happy and honored to say the least, however, this camp presented an opportunity to meet the people and see the "behind the scenes" work that has taken Specialized to the pinnacle of the cycling and triathlon worlds.  It also gave me the opportunity to meet the athletes making up our team.  It wasn't until I was there, in the presence of these people, that the reality of the situation finally set in. It was a humbling experience in every sense. 

Specialized has built a top notch "Global Triathlon Team" under the guidance of Bobby Behan which includes the likes of Chris McCormack, Rasmus Henning, Javier Gomez, Simon Whitfield, etc...  A "top shelf" team no doubt.  However, in a move that exhibits the company's commitment to triathlon, they have seen fit to develop a "US Tri Team" with some more "up and coming" athletes.  This is not to say that this team doesn't pack its fair share of firepower. What with the likes of Ben Hoffman, Melanie McQuaid, and Desiree Ficker.  The week was even kicked off with the aforementioned Ben and Mel taking out the top podium spots at X-Terra Granite Bay. 

There wasn't a day at Specialized that I didn't have to fight the urge to simply walk around ogling all the cool stuff. Evidence this piece of machinery.  It is just one example of about twenty such "one off" bikes around the complex.  

Pretty much each day kicked off with a early morning swim and the opportunity to ride was ever present.  Below is the pre "lunch ride" lineup.  In case images of a fun little spin in the sun pop into your head, rest assured, with the likes of Ned Overend in the bunch, it was anything but.  I almost lost my breakfast. 

 In between swims, rides and runs, our days were filled in meeting rooms learning about all things Specialized. Everything was covered; bikes, shoes, tires, helmets, apparel, etc... we got some serious learning done.
Product Manager and WHIZ Mark Cote talks about the development of the Shiv
What served as quite possibly the highlight of the week came about in the form of Global team members Jordan Rapp and Peter Reid joining us for two days.  Representing no less than twelve Ironman titles between them, not including Peter's three, Ironman World Championship titles and three runner up finishes, it was an incredible opportunity to pick the brains and learn from two of the most knowledgeable men in the sport.  To see for yourself, and learn a thing or two, click on the photo below of Jordan and Peter graciously sharing their knowledge and experience with the team.
As you can see it was a fantastic week of training, learning and team building.  And from the size of the dinner tables, you can probably tell it was a great deal of fun as well.

To say I am excited to be a part of the Specialized US Tri Team would be a drastic understatement. Its going to be a great year. 


  1. A huge congrats Ian! I think you're going to have a wonderful year and it sounds like this was just the beginning! Can't wait to see you on the circuit!

  2. Sounds like a completely amazing event!