Old Pueblo Grand Prix: Men’s Cat 2/3

March 30, 2012 on 6:00 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments

By Brian Ellis

On Saturday, March 16 the TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing team lined up in Tucson’s biggest cycling race of the season, the Old Pueblo Grand Prix. Expectations were high as the team was still enjoying their recent successes in Murrieta, Avondale and Tucson Bicycle Classic. With nearly a full squad including Brian Ellis, Andre McNulty, Justin Orkney, Ben Lair, David Welsh, Shawn Daly and, making his first Cat 2 start, Christian Maldonado, the plan was to stay at the front and ride aggressively.

The pace was fast right from the gun and within the first few laps, gaps in the field opened and riders were shelled off the back. Things settled down about 5 laps in and Brian took the opportunity and flew up the right side to launch an attack. A group of 4 slowly but surely pulled away from the field. The group of 4 grew to 6 with riders from the teams of TriSports Cycling, Jetset Racing, Green Team, Tachycardia and Tolero (and one unattached rider).

Content with their representation in the break, the TriSports team sat up and left the chase efforts to the rest of the field. Meanwhile, up in the break, Brian and his companions drove the pace and increased their gap on the peloton.  As the lead grew to 30 seconds, Justin Orkney made a valiant attempt to bridge up to the lead group.  Just as he was within ~25 meters of making contact with the leaders, he overcooked a turn and went down. Not to be deterred, he got up, dusted himself off and continued racing.

The lead group continued to push the pace and further increased their gap to the main field. After nearly 45 minutes of riding off-the-front, the leaders had the tail end of the peloton in sight. The field would be lapped!

With 5 laps to go, the field was lapped and things got messy. A handful of the breakaway riders were content to sit on the back and take their top 6 placing but the rider from Green Team quickly made his way to the front of the pack. Brian was in hot pursuit and the rest of the TriSports team did what they could to position him near the front. Amidst the confusion, the Green Team rider sprinted a lap early and thought he had the win but in reality, there was still one lap to go. The final lap was fast and the field was strung out.

Andre led Brian out of the last turn but a long day in the break had taken the toll on his legs. Brian gave it his best but the finish line was just a tad too far and he was passed by the rider from Jetset Racing who took the win. No one else from the break was able to come around Brian though and he held on to 2nd place overall.

Justin Orkney gets the Spirit Award for this race. Despite crashing early on, he continued to race and even made a second attempt to bridge up to the leaders! Unfortunately he never made contact with the lead group, but his efforts would net him 7th place on the day! Andre would finish in 9th overall and Ben, David and Christian rounded out the top 15 with 12th, 14th and 15th respectively.  All in all, a great day for the TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing team!

2011 TriSports.com Athlete of the Year

March 26, 2012 on 9:53 am | In Announcements, Athlete Profile, Sponsorship | 2 Comments

As the sponsorship coordinator here at TriSports.com I think I have the coolest job in the building because I get to work with some of the best athletes in triathlon. Every year I am blown away by the incredible athletes that come to us wanting to represent TriSports and wear our red, white, and blue uniform. 2011 was without a doubt one of the best years for Team TriSports athletes and I would like to take a minute to brag about some of their accomplishments.

Amy Regan won her age group at Ironman Coeur D’Alene for the second year in a row, and finished 10th in her age group at the Ironman World Championship.

Karin Bivens won her age group at Ironman Brazil and proceeded to beat her husband in Kona.

Thomas Gerlach was the Rev3 amateur series champion and turned pro at the end of the season.

Angela Naeth won the inaugural Leadman Epic 250 and wrapped her season up with her first 70.3 win in Boulder.

Mark Tripp was 3rd in the highly competitive M30-34 age group at Vineman 70.3 which was also his first half.

Craig Pansing was the overall series winner for the Los Angeles Tri Series.

And Leanda Cave won Wildflower, Miami 70.3, Rev3 Knoxville, Ironman Arizona, and finished 3rd at the Ironman World Championships.

While these accomplishments are all very impressive there is more to being a TriSports.com athlete than winning races. It about living a healthy lifestyle, pushing ourselves beyond what we ever thought we were capable of, sharing the joy of sport with those around us, and our 2011 TriSports.com athlete of the year truly embodies the spirit of the sport.

2011 Athlete of the Year: Craig Sheckler

As a coach, club founder, and accomplished triathlete Craig Sheckler has turned the sport of triathlon into a lifestyle. As founder of the Endurance Multisport club in Pennsylvania he has helped grow the sport of triathlon in his community and inspired others to follow his lead and live an active lifestyle. His club now boast a membership of over 125 members. When Craig isn’t coaching he is busy training. After many years of racing Ironman Craig was ready for a new challenge and this year tackled Ultraman UK: a ridiculous 3 day double Ironman in the horrible weather of England. He then proceeded to do and Ironman 3 weeks after his return from Ultraman. As a 7 year member of Team TriSports I am honored to present the 2011 athlete of the year award to Craig Sheckler.

Craig and Erica Sheckler

Solar Update 4

March 19, 2012 on 6:00 am | In Community, Solar | No Comments

The TriSports.com Solar (Photo Voltaic) project went online December 23, 2011 and we had our commissioning ceremony on January 30, 2012.  This event marked a major milestone for TriSports.com and me personally.  About four years ago, I stood in front of a packed TriSports.com filled with vendors, family, friends, customers and loyal TriSports.com supporters and vowed that we would have a company powered by the sun within five years.

The TriSports.com Solar Open House and Commissioning Ceremony.

Seton Claggett cutting the “grand opening ribbon” with several key people from Tucson Electric Power, Pima County, Technicians for Sustainability (the folks that put in our system) and the new Mayor of Tucson (Jonathan Rothschild).

As the economy turned in south in 2008 we forged on and were able to stay focused on the first core value in our company – Sustainability.  Here are some facts on our system:

  • 128 kW powered by 416 SunPower panels.
  • Produces the equivalent energy of 20 average sized homes in Tucson, AZ.
  • Saves about 9,000 gallons of water every month that would otherwise be used to make energy in a coal fire plant.
  • The system is currently producing 120% of our power requirements (this will go down during the summer months and we should net out 90-100%) and has produced a total of 51.2 MWh of energy since we turned on the system.
  • In the first three months we have saved the equivalent of:
    • 3,960 Gallon of Gasoline
    • 1.86 Tons of Methane
    • 39 Tons of Carbon Dioxide

A glimpse of the dashboard that monitors all aspects of our solar and water harvesting systems.

Swim, bike, run, powered by the sun.

Leanda Cave the Nanny

March 15, 2012 on 4:00 am | In Employee Adventures, Life at TriSports.com, Races, Sponsorship | No Comments

TriSports has been sponsoring Leanda Cave for the last three years.  Over this short time she has accomplished numerous athletic feats in the world of triathlon.  One thing she hasn’t yet mastered is the handicapped bet with the staff at TriSports.  In July of 2010, she lost a bet to our sponsorship coordinator and had to put in a long day of work at TriSports.

Without a doubt one of our BEST employees!

Fast forward to November 2011 at the Ford Ironman Arizona and we were both going to be on the starting line.  Two days before the event, I had breakfast with her and she said that we should have a friendly wager.  The bet: I would get a 20min handicap.  She wins and I shave my head (a real problem because I don’t think it would grow back).  I win and she has to babysit my 3 and 6 year-old kids.  My goal for IMAZ was 9:30 and the fastest Leanda has ever gone was 9:20’ish. I took the bet.

Race day dawns and it is going well for both of us. I see her on the run course at about mile 6 (the pros left 10-15 min before the age groupers) and did a time check…she had 6 min on me so I thought all was fine. Mile 16 comes and I find myself stopped in front of hundreds of people under the Mill Avenue Bridge, unable to move because my legs are locked down from cramps.  I finally got going again and had one more time check on her that was north of 20min.  I should have been jumping for joy because I was about to crush my IM PR that I set 10 years earlier, but noooooooo, all I was worried about was having to shave my noggin.  I went 9:14, Leanda went 8:49.

I arrived at my hotel that night, got the kids down for bed, checked my Twitter account and found this message:

Yes, 26 minutes.  Look who’s babysitting now!

Leanda, the consummate professional, lived up to her word and in December she came over and watched the kids for a solid 5 hours.  When we got home at 10:30PM, Leanda was on the couch (reading Lava magazine) and I asked how the kids behaved.  Before she could answer, our 3 year old jumps up from next to her, yelling “mommy, daddy!” “Leanda, ummmm, bed time was 8:30PM.”  Her response: “Your daughter has a lot of staying power.”  I will take that as a compliment coming from one of the best athletes on the planet.  I guess her idea of pumping the kids full of candy didn’t pay off too well!


March 13, 2012 on 4:21 pm | In Races, Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments

By Andre McNulty

The Elite men’s team went to Murrieta, California this weekend to test our legs against the best of Southern California at the Tour of Murrieta and came home with the team victory.

Our team was represented by Brian Ellis, Ben Lair, Andre McNulty, Justin Orkney and two composite riders Michael Dziedzic and Christopher Chase.

Friday’s time trial was like nothing we had done before.  It was a 6.5k rolling course that ended on a climb up an unpaved road with several challenging switchbacks.  Brian, Justin, Andre and Michael had impressive showings.  They scored points by placing 5th, 7th, 10th and 15th respectively.  Though we all managed to stay upright and upbeat, we were losing the team competition to the California based Team Revolution.

Saturday’s race was a fast and furious 6 corner criterium in downtown Murrieta that was made especially challenging by strong winds.  Multiple attacks were attempted but nothing stuck until the teenage phenom that dominated the time trial got away solo for the win.  With 6 laps to go, Andre jumped across to two riders from Team Revolution and Team Clif Bar Cycling.  With three riders in the break representing three of the bigger teams, the break was successful.  The three riders worked well together and Andre placed second of the breakaway for third overall and a place on the podium.  With strong finishing sprints by Michael, Ben and Justin, we were able to take the lead in the team competition.

Our spirits were high going into the final day of racing despite strong winds and a stacked field.  The cat 2 men set a blistering pace finishing the 56 mile circuit race as fast as the pro field.  Midway into the race, after a flurry of attacks and a crash, the field split in two.  Justin and Michael made the split of 16 riders.  Realizing, we had numbers in the break, Brian and Andre were able to discourage chase efforts.  In the break, Justin took monster pulls to ensure they would stay away, allowing Michael to unleash his killer sprint.  Michael won the bunch sprint, placing second to one rider who attacked late in the race.

Knowing we had a 7 hour drive home, it was tough to stand around in our racing kits.  We had goosebumps from the chill in the air as the sun was setting. The wait was well worth it when we stood on the podium hoisting the crystal team award above our heads.

Ah, the sweetness of victory!!!!

A special thank you to Danny Munson who provided race photography!

Thank you to California Pools and Spas for putting on an awesome race and to The Bike Shop of Temecula for sponsoring the Jorge Alvarado Team Competition.

A huge thanks to our  generous sponsors Orbea, Zipp, SRAM, Pyramid CoachingTechnicians for Sustainability, R&A CPA’s, and TriSports.com!

Angela Naeth gets Second at Abu Dhabi International!

March 6, 2012 on 4:24 pm | In Athlete Profile, Sponsorship | No Comments

Congratulations Angela! After a stellar 1st place finish at Panama 70.3 a month ago, she follows it up with a 2nd place finish in Abu Dhabi! Looks like it is shaping up to be a great season! Check out what gear Angela is using in 2012!

Swim faster in a Nineteen Wetsuit.

Angela rides one of the fastest bikes on the market a BH GC Aero, with Shimano Dura Ace Di2 and Dura Ace wheels.

Angela hit the run course and held off the super speedy former steeple chaser Melissa Rollinson in her Pearl Izumi Iso Transition Triathlon shoes.

Look like a pro on the podium with a TriSports.com visor!

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