Billy Oliver on the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival

May 28, 2010 on 5:00 am | In Employee Adventures, Sponsorship | No Comments

The 2010 Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival is only a week away and everyone here at is excited to head to Show Low, Arizona to put on the best race yet! This year Deuces Wild received a great honor by being named one of the top five triathlon festivals in the world by Triathlete Magazine! Sponsored athlete Billy Oliver is one of the biggest fans of Deuces Wild, and this will be his fifth year taking on the challenging Deuceman long course triathlon. I had a chat with Billy to find out what it is about Deuces Wild that keeps him coming back.


How many years have you raced at Deuces Wild?
I have done the long course race in ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09 and will be doing it in ’10.

 What is your favorite thing about Deuces Wild?
I like the change of scenery. It is nice to see pine trees, junipers and fresh, clean air (although its a bit thinner up there) in the summer when you are used to desert brown and cacti. Of course the cooler temps are nice also.

What is the most challenging part of DeuceMan?Mike Xterra Bike
Definitely the bike. The never ending rollers, hills, the long climb back into Show Low combined with the altitude make for a tough day…then you get to run!

 What makes Deuces Wild different then other triathlons?
Two words…popsicles and raffle! A nice cold popsicle as you cross the finish line is very cool (literally) and the raffle is the biggest and best of any race out there.

What is one of your favorite memories from Deuces Wild?
I really enjoyed working the bike aid station for the XTERRA race the following day and cheering on all the athletes.

 What keeps you coming back every year?
It’s a great weekend of camping, racing and an atmosphere very reminiscent of the old days of Wildflower.

 What are you most excited about for this year’s race?
Hopefully PRing the course and to see if I can “PR” at the raffle!

 Don’t worry its not too late to sign up, spots are still available for the Olympic distance, DeuceMan (long course), Aquabike, Youth Deuceathlon, and XTERRA events! Register HERE. Everyone come on over to beautiful Show Low, Arizona to experience great racing and one of the best triathlon festivals in the world!


(Photos compliment of ASI Photo) sponsored pro cycling team battles to the end in CA

May 24, 2010 on 11:39 am | In UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

Thousand Oaks, CA – The sponsored UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis fought until the final finish line of the Amgen Tour of California to preserve Rory Sutherland’s high placing in the overall classification.

Rory SutherlandIn the end, Sutherland finished 7th overall, the top domestic based rider in the race, with teammate Marc de Maar finishing 13th overall. UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis also finished as the top domestic team in the race, with 4th place in the overall team competition, behind Garmin, Radioshack and HTC-Columbia.

“This was a great Amgen Tour of California for our team even though we had our share of bad luck this week,” said Team Directeur Sportif Gord Fraser. “Our guys gave a tremendous effort and showed we could ride with the best teams in the world.”

With the day’s main break up the road by a couple minutes, UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis sent Max Jenkins to the front on the third lap to help the HTC-Columbia team of race leader Michael Rogers bring down the gap to the break.

“We wanted to do everything we could to put Rory and Marc in position to go for the stage win today,” Fraser said. “Max went to the front near the top of the climb on the third lap and buried himself until the beginning of the climb on the final lap. We wanted to put Rory and Marc in a position to attack when the gap came down.”

De Maar put in the first attack but suffered a mechanical that slowed him down. A second mechanical put him in the third group on the road led by Jens Voight (Saxo Bank), who was sitting 4th overall and also motivated to close the gap.

Brad "Captain America" White, Seton Claggett and Karl Menzies

When the attacks by the leaders started on the final climb and gaps formed, Sutherland tried to bridge up to the leaders’ group with Phil Zajicek (V Australia) but the duo needed another rider to help close the gap.

“I think if Marc was able to be with them it might’ve been different,” Fraser said.

The duo eventually integrated with the third group, and they did everything they could to limit their losses. In the end, stage winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) and Radioshack’s Chris Horner, who were both able to bridge up to the break late in the stage, got enough time on Sutherland to each jump two places, moving him to 7th, with Voight slotting in at 6th overall.

“Every stage this week we were in the hunt for the win,” Fraser said. “We were always in the mix. To finish where Rory and Marc did amongst some of the top riders from the biggest teams in the world is a tremendous accomplishment for this team.”

Sutherland holds 5th overall at Tour of California

May 22, 2010 on 8:25 pm | In Sponsorship, UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

Rory Sutherland

Los Angeles, CA – In the heart of Los Angeles, Rory Sutherland of the sponsored UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis rode with the heart of a lion in the Stage 7 individual time trial, posting the 9th fastest time on the day, but more importantly, holding on to his 5th overall position in the general classification of the Amgen Tour of California.

“If you told me at the start of the day I’d still be in 5th overall with the quality of field here, I would’ve been happy,” Sutherland said. “I definitely didn’t feel good, but then everyone else was tired coming in, too.”

With his wife Cheynna in the follow car, Sutherland powered out onto the course in pursuit of his two-minute man and former teammate, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin), who came into the stage in 8th overall, six seconds behind the Australian. At the first split through one lap of the 10.5 mile course, Sutherland had posted what would end up the 8th fastest split time, at 21:32.

“I don’t like to hear split times during a TT,” Sutherland said. “So I wasn’t getting splits from Mike (Tamayo), but he said I was doing good. It’s hard when you have a two-minute gap to the guy in front of you because you don’t see anyone the whole time you’re riding. So it’s tough to know how you’re going.”

He continued to power around the course, shaving four seconds off of his first lap time to come in at 43:00.12, little more than one-tenth of a second behind Chris Horner (Radioshack), who came 8th at 43:00.01.

In the end, Sutherland gave up 1:19 to stage winner Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia), but less than a minute to race leader and three-time time trial world champion Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia), who finished 2nd on the stage. The only rider to best him on the day out of the group that was mostly on the same time as Sutherland coming into the stage was Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), who finished 5th today, 0:20 ahead of Sutherland. Voigt jumped up to 4th overall, while previous 3rd overall Peter Sagan (Liquigas) dropped to 7th.

“It’s been a hard week,” Sutherland said. “The staff has worked hard this week. My teammates have worked their butts off all week for me and Marc (de Maar). So it’s a bit of a responsibility for me to repay everyone for their work. It’s good to be able to do a good time trial and get a good result for them. They’re all my co-workers and they’re all my friends. It’s big for this team.”

Thomas Taylor defends his title in Tempe, Arizona

May 21, 2010 on 10:00 am | In Sponsorship | No Comments

Sponsored athlete Thomas Taylor came back from his 10 month sabbatical from triathlon last weekend to XTERRAdefend his Tempe International sprint course champion title. In those 10 months Thomas has been focusing on this running and participating in the XTERRA Train Run series, where he has had great success. So much success that there seems to be a poster with a life size picture of Thomas on the streets of Portugal advertising their newest race! Thomas’s first race back may have not gone according to plan (but really when do they ever?) but he kept his cool and it sure paid off. Welcome back to triathlon Thomas, didn’t you miss it?!

Race morning 6:30, I dive into the lake to line up for the race, gun goes off in 3 minutes (we weren’t allowed any more warm-up – I promise).  Both goggles fill with water- no big deal, they always do and just need to be resealed.  As I pull them off as I always do before licking the lenses and smash them onto my face to create enough suction to pop out my eyeballs the strap pops and I know instantly they are broken.  2 minutes until the gun goes off, a second pair of goggle lies in my bag some 400m away in transition……  My first thoughts are I could make it, but then I think the better of it, as its not worth the excitement of try to make that happen.  It’s only a 450meter swim anyway, plus I had already “checked” the water and it was pretty clean tasting and appeared to be pretty clean, well as clean as brown stagnant lake water gets that is.  So without goggles I’ll go.  We’re off and clean around the first buoy and I’ve fallen into a comfortable 3rd place on the hip of second place.  First place has all but left the rest of us in the water to play Marco Polo or something, so hanging on for second sounds good to me.  I seem to build into the swim and am gaining some form and feel for the water right about the time it’s over.  Another advantage of swimming with no goggles- you have no goggles to take off, a time savings I’m sure of about a millionth of a second… maybe the same as shaving one’s eyebrows…

I’m fast in transition and pass up the lead swimmer and am leaving in first place when something hits my bike shoes, which are already clipped onto the bike.  The shoes start to spin out and start to flap and drag on the ground which makes me come to a full stop, flip them over, and then mount the bike (honestly a teenage girl mounted here bike faster than I did, as I stood there looking like this was my first time getting on a bike).  On the bike course I felt bad right from the start, well not so much bad as just not good.  The legs felt flat and didn’t want to really push, but ahead were a few people to chase so I managed to look ahead and start hunting them down, that is right after I changed my water bottle to the second bottle cage since apparently the front cage thought today would be a great time to break off and try to dump my only water bottle.  Not the start of the bike leg I was after.   At about the half way point on the bike I’m out in front of the race (not a huge deal as I started a mere 3 minutes behind the juniors) I can see I’m now being stalked by a few serious riders.  By the two thirds mark, Justin rolls up next to me, introduces himself and rides on by.  I managed to step it up and use a slight climb to close the gap he puts on me and I’m content to ride just a few seconds back of him into transition and then run for the finish.  Coming into transition- I do a flying dismount, my secret weapon to steal back a few seconds on those hard core cyclist.  I unstrap my shoes well in advance and am poised to pounce off the bike and start the run. It’s sort of one fluid move from riding a bike to running next to it all in half a second, and it all comes back to be instantly and I’m set bike mountto start running with the bike next to me until one of my shoes starts to drag and then the other.  The bike bucks up and things sound horrible- but this sometimes happens but it just works itself out in a few steps… but not today.  More noise.  More racket.  More bucking of the bike.  The bike is not happy.  But I need to run and swiftly to catch up to Justin.  So I lift the rear of the bike to try to get the shoes and wheel all back into sync, but as I do there is a horrible crashing sound and as I look back the rear disc wheel is literally hanging off my bike by the chain.  Seriously I’m holding the bike seat at about chest height with me and the wheel is still on the ground hanging vertically by the chain.  I kid you not- the crowd in unison goes “OOOooohh” in a painful sigh.  My instant desire to throw the whole thing down and stomp on it while cursing passes as I think I might be recognized by… oh about everyone there- and that would not be cool to say the least.  So like in every Ironman video you’ve ever seen I scoop up my bike in one hand, grab the wheel in the other and proceed to run into and through transition with my new two piece bike.  (OK this should be noted as another part of Ironman racing which I have no desire to do, or should I say HAD no desire to do).  The worst part is out of the corner of my eye I can see the race photographer taking shots while I’m “that guy” running with my bike in shambles.  I don’t want to be “that guy”- hence the no Ironman clause in my race resume.  But anyway…

I manage to rack what’s left of the bike and luckily for me I’m next to a fence to lean the “extra” parts against up against.  Into my shoes and off to the run (without the bike this time) I go.  Out of transition the plan is to run easy the first half mile and then pick it up for the rest of the run.  Justin in out in front and looking good.  I start off on a solid pace to close the gap down and then work off of his energy.  Problem is my pace is pretty strong and I’m not gaining on Justin at all.  So I pick it up and am running a bit uncomfortably and still not closing like I would like to.  “Can he run this well?”  “Did I do too much on the bike?”  “Do I not have my running legs yet?”  “What is his strongest event?”  “Am I going to be able to run his pace?”  So scratch the pre-race plan- its now race time.  I set off to run him down and then hope like hell he decides to back off the pace.  I manage to find my groove a few hundred meters into the run and go for the pass as he starts to fall off his initial pace.  At the first sign of a hill I pick it up to try to gap him and at the next corner it looks like I have managed to put some time into him, but now the pressure is on to race the guys who are still behind me, or in front of me, but I don’t know about since they started off minutes behind me in other waves.  I manage to run strongly, but it is not an easy pleasant run or what I had hoped for or seem to recall in past triathlons.  Things hurt.  Things hurt a lot more than I seem to recall.  My legs are not fresh and snappy like in a 5k without a swim and bike ride before them… oh yes its triathlon pain- welcome back Mr. Taylor.  I run what appears to be a solid run and hold on for first across the line.  45 seconds ahead of second place… or so it would seem, until some 15 minutes later when a youngster lays down a time just 10 seconds back of me.  Another refresher course- always run it out hard as you’re always racing those not in your age group/wave and they can sneak in there and push you off the podium.  So yes, I managed to hold onto the win for the sprint race to defend my title.  The bike appears to be OK- no really sure what happened at T2, but I firmly believe it was an omen from the biking Gods that the Scott is ready to be retired and a new generation of Tri bike is in my future… wanna contribute to the fund?

 Hey Thomas, I know a great place that will give you a good deal on a sweet bike!

Louis Garneau Tri-Lite Cycling Shoe

May 20, 2010 on 2:40 pm | In Product Information | No Comments

The LG Tri-Lite Cycling shoe is the latest in LG’s efforts to drastically reduce the weight.  Weighing an azmazingly light 226grams, the LG Tri-Lite shoe still provides effective power transfer needed by competitive triathletes.   Features include a composite x-lite carbon outsole with patented multivent system, lightened heel with one-way stretch Lycra, synthetic leather and nylon laminated cycling mesh upper, and an upper reversed velcro tab.

Race lighter and finish faster with the new Louis Garneau Tri-Lite Cycling Shoe!

Louis Garneau Tri-Lite Cycling Shoes are gear that gets used!

Leanda Cave Wins Ironman 70.3 Florida!

May 18, 2010 on 10:26 am | In Sponsorship, Uncategorized | No Comments

Florida 70.3

A big congratulations to Leanda Cave for winning Ironman 70.3 Florida this past weekend!
Leanda finished with a time of 4:14:22 setting a new course record! (image from HERE)


Pro Team Mechanics/Trailer – Behind the Scenes

May 17, 2010 on 9:38 pm | In Sponsorship, UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

So, you are a roadie or a tri-geek and you just finished a long ride and the last thing you want to do is clean your bike.  Well, behold the life of a pro cyclist on the #1 domestic cycling team in the US and their great mechanics.  This behind the scenes footage (taken by our friend Rory Sutherland) will take you through the daily happenings during their traning camp based right here in Tucson – the Winter Training Capital of the world!

Ride of Silence

May 17, 2010 on 4:31 pm | In Announcements, Life at | No Comments


This Wednesday, May 19th, cyclists in cities worldwide will participate in the Ride of Silence to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. This silent ride (no talking allowed) is slow-paced and follows a generally short route, allowing time for reflection and remembrance. As members of the triathlon and road cycling communities, we have known our fair share of loss and injury. On Wednesday, we – as a company, will ride in solidarity with our fellow Tucson cyclists, to help bring attention to our roadways and community that cycling deaths and injury can be eliminated if we all learn how to share the road responsibly. You can learn more about the Ride of Silence from their website and find a ride near you on Wednesday. Their website is: The Retail Store will be closing at 5pm on this day to participate in Tucson’s ride.

The Ride of Silence Poem, by Mike Murgas

Tonight we number many but ride as one
In honor of those not with us, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, sons
With helmets on tight and heads down low,
We ride in silence, cautious and slow
The wheels start spinning in the lead pack
But tonight we ride and no one attacks
The dark sunglasses cover our tears
Remembering those we held so dear
Tonight’s ride is to make others aware
The road is there for all to share
To those not with us or by our side,
May God be your partner on your final ride.

Erica Sheckler Teaches Us To Just Keep Moving

May 14, 2010 on 6:00 am | In Sponsorship | No Comments sponsored athlete Erica Sheckler has spend the winter battling a a141a39e5640f8646dd0df9e946200b7mysterious illness. After months of tests, scans, and blood work she is back in the saddle. Last weekend Erica decided to do a duathlon as a “training day” that her husband Craig Sheckler was racing. With only 2 weeks of consistent training under her belt she knew it was going to be a challenge, and Erica’s perseverance and positive attitude was enough to get her through the race. Erica’s story is truly an inspiring one and will hopefully make you think before you judge someone on race day.


They’re laughing at me, I think, as I walk my nice, light bike up the hill.

Then it happens.

The first-timer passes me.

On her mountain bike.

We’d had a nice chat during the beginning of the run; she’d mentioned this was her first race and her only goal was to finish. She’d asked if I’d done this before. I told her that I’m a swimmer by trade, but that I started doing multisport events a few years ago. I’d joked about how much I miss the water on the first leg of a duathlon. She’d asked about my uniform; I happily explained that I’m fortunate enough to be sponsored by, an amazing company and the best online retailer of all things swim/bike/run. She seemed impressed, then mentioned that she didn’t want to hold me up. I wished her luck, told her to have fun, then felt slightly pressured to power on ahead.

“Awesome job! Way to get up that hill!” I shout to her as she’s powering past with this great look of determination. I genuinely mean it, but part of my heart kinda sinks.Swim

This is where you’re at, I tell myself. You have to be ok with it. You have to accept it. 

Good for a few moments, until I think, but they’re still probably all chuckling at me in my fancy sponsored-athlete suit and my nice bike. I shouldn’t have let Craig (my husband) talk me into using my race wheels.

I’m only at mile 7 of the bike. Nearing the top of a climb around the 5 mile mark, my right calf cramped so badly I nearly fell over. It would be natural to think I might’ve pushed too hard on that initial 5k run. But for me, the time was slow. I was able to shake the cramp out just enough to climb back on and coast down the other side of the hill. Soon after, another climb. Another cramp. I get off and start walking. It is at this point that the first-timer passes me.

You told her to have fun, I remind myself. You need to do the same. Make the most of it, because this is where you’re at.

I can tell that there are a few people behind me walking. I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone, so I turn around to smile. The man is mentioning that this is the worst of it; after this climb it’s all downhill back to transition.

“I’m gonna hold you to that!” I jokingly remark. He laughs. More importantly, I can tell he’s laughing with me. We get to the top of the long, steep climb, hop back on our bikes, and finish the 14 mile journey back to our running shoes.

As I dismount, I shout a sarcastic remark about how I’m doing to Craig (who’s already finished with the race). Sarcasm has always been my best way of dealing with failure or disappointment. He reminds me that it’s “just a training race.” I run in to rack my bike and switch my shoes. Another cramp. This time, I do actually fall over, luckily onto the grass instead of pavement. I yell to Craig, hoping he still has his emergency Cramp911 on his bike. No such luck. I feel paralyzed, and for a split second I give up hopes on finishing.

Then Craig tells me, “You just have to keep moving.”

And I know he’s right.


I started writing this post about how we view our competitors in a race. When I reviewed the events of the race with her, I had a lot to laugh about. But I also couldn’t shake the thought of how other people perceived my effort at this event. I said to her, “They were probably all laughing at me, but I did what I could. They don’t know what I’ve been going through. They don’t know that I haven’t been able to train for months. They don’t know how much fitness I’ve lost. They don’t know how many blood tests I’ve had done over the past few months. They don’t know that a month ago I couldn’t walk down stairs without having to focus on each individual step. They don’t know that I had a brain scan for MS. They don’t know how scary it’s all been.” We agreed that, in a sense, it’s always easy to judge. However, you never know what someone’s story might be. Because everyone has one. It might be short, it might be long; it might be about a walk in the park, or it might be about a mighty climb. But everyone has a story.

As I kept reminding myself throughout the race, this is where I’m at. Not too long ago, I was given a working Erica and Craigdiagnosis of hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia (a few lab results are still pending). Each day, I take a cocktail of vitamins and minerals to help my body function better. I have good days and bad days, but at least I’m getting out there. I can’t expect to pick up where I finished off last year. It doesn’t matter that last July, I swam 10 miles. It doesn’t matter that last September, I did the swim and bike legs of an iron-distance relay. It doesn’t matter that I concluded the season with a 30k trail run. Winter was rough. I would get in the pool and struggle to make it over a half mile. I would be tapped out after a half hour on my bike. One day I felt ambitious enough to make the one-mile walk to work, and I had to rest halfway there. It didn’t matter how mentally determined I was; winter was not kind.

So, this is where I’m at. I look back on the weekend and care less about what people thought, I care less about what I thought and expected of myself, and I now care more about the fact that I didn’t give up. I’m proud that I crossed that finish line. It matters more that I made it through. It’s a starting point. As I said to a friend not too long ago, it’s like making a fresh start. Having a clean slate.

That clean slate is the start of a new chapter in my story: “You Just Have to Keep Moving.”

TriSports Retail Store Cycling Commercial

May 13, 2010 on 3:53 pm | In Life at, Uncategorized | No Comments

In his previous blog, Seton touched on why – the world’s biggest triathlon retail store –  would sponsor a pro cycling team.  To quote him: “most of all we do it because we enjoy the sport of cycling”. In the spring of 2010, we had a few new TriSports Retail Store commercials produced. Our cycling commercial sends just that message – “We not only carry the best road and tri bikes; we also ride them.” Check it out.

Special thanks to riders from the TriSports Cycling / Eclipse Racing club for helping us out with the shoot.

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