The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge
TB & PC at the top of Maroon Bells with Team Exergy Twenty12
One great benefit of sponsoring a cycling event, is getting to hang with the athletes. For the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge (BRAC), PC and TB flew out to Aspen to watch the women’s race, took a bunch of pictures, rode with Team Exergy Twenty12 and even scripted the following post (!). Thanks Peter!
Tom and I stood off to the side of Main Street, admiring the muscular limbs of beautiful women, glistening with streams of sweat as they pumped up and down, at over 100 rotations per minute.
In all shapes and sizes, they sported little clothing…all very short and absolutely skin tight.
Crowds of people craned their necks and pointed camera, hoping to catch just a glimpse of these fine ladies in action.
Pulses thumping, chests heaving…Oh calm yourself…It was a women’s professional bike race!
The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge
Tom and I headed west a few weeks ago to support our sponsorship of The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge, in conjunction with the title sponsors, our great friends, Bruce and Eric Bromberg and their Blue Ribbon Restaurants.
It was an amazing spectacle to witness as we, along with thousands of cycling fans, curiosity seekers, Aspen locals and a world-wide internet audience (who watched courtesy of Tour Tracker and NBC Sports) watched 60 of the fastest women on the planet rip through the streets of Aspen on their slick, sleek racing machines, speeding around the 1K loop course at speeds of over 40 mph.
Separated by only fractions of an inch, spinning at high speeds, the riders’ nerves, courage and concentrations were seriously tested with every pedal stroke. There was cash on the line–along with mags of Billecart and Vineyard 29–and some big-time bragging rights for the winners.
PC, TB, Holly of Vineyard 29 & Eric Bromberg
It was sweet!
The BRAC was a raging success by all standards, and that is in no small part thanks to the planning and ridiculous effort put in by our new (and best) friend, Jessica Phillips and her team of just two others (plus her dog, Manzo).
Jessica, a former racer herself, organized a world class race in her hometown of Aspen as a labor of women’s cycling-love and as a strong show of defiance against the big boys, to prove that professional women cyclists should be just as well known as their male counterparts.
Even the most casual of cycling/sports fans have heard of George Hincapie with his 19 years of pro racing and his 17 Tour de France finishes (holy shit, by the way), and of Tejay Van Garderen (Jessica’s husband, and at 24 years of age, the winner of this year’s White Jersey in the TdF, as the best young rider), and many others…But do people know of Lauren Tamayo? Well they should! And if we have our way…you will.
Lauren is a Silver Medalist in this summer’s Olympic Games, where she rode track for Team USA, taking the Silver in the Women’s Team Pursuit. Currently, she rides for Team Exergy Twenty12, managed by Nicola Canmer, a tireless and relentless worker for her team and her sport.
Zach with Silver Medalist Lauren Tamayo
I dare you to spend 10 minutes with either them and not want to support their efforts in anything they do, and in every possible way.
Along with Blue Ribbon, T. Edward Wines was a proud sponsor of this race, as was The Little Nell, Bumsies (an organic clothing for kids company started by Jessica), Primal Cycling Wear and Ajax Tavern.
We did not jump in as sponsors for glory, glamour or recognition; nor did we go into it thinking that we’d make a few bucks. We simply wanted to support our friends, both old (Bruce and Eric) and new (Jessica Phillips and Jan Koorn from The Little Nell.) And while doing so, we met some incredible athletes, some incredible people, and we came away struck with awe at how beautiful this sport is up close.
Podium Boys PC & TB with BRAC Winner, Jade Wilcoxson, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies
Tom and I both have some great stories to tell about our trip to Aspen, including our ride with Jessica, Lauren, Tayler Wiles and Nicola (all of Team Exergy Twenty12) up the 8-mile climb of The Maroon Bells, and our brief stint as Podium Boys at the conclusion of the race, handing out the prizes.
We are looking to expand our involvement in cycling– Pro Women’s and our own– in the very near future. File this one under “to be continued”.