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Vaughn's Excellent Adventure: T-Mobile Training Camp Part 2
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 12/18/2002
Vaughn's Excellent Adventure: T-Mobile Training Camp Part 2

This is Part Two of Vaughn's excellent adventure at the T-Mobile Fall Training Camp in Tucson, Arizona. Read Part One here.

T-Mobile Training Camp - Tucson, Arizona
21 - 24 November 2002


El Tour de Tucson

Good grief, why is it that mornings always come so soon! Up at five, the T-Mobile group shuttles in team vans to the start area at the convention center in downtown Tucson. The 108 mile Tour de Tucson is promoted by the PABA (Perimeter Bicycling Association of America). The tour is one of four  to "promote cycling as a means of recreation, good health, transportation and competition."  Today's race is raising money for the Tu Nidito Foundation; which in Spanish is "your little nest." The mission of the non-profit organisation is to provide support for children and their families as they deal with serious illnesses and death - a group certainly worthy of our support and cyclists have come from far and wide over 6,000 to ride in support of the cause.

Start of Tour de Tucson. Courtesy of T-Mobile
It is really something to see over 6000 cyclists start a race; the pro riders and elites powered through at a fast pace and then thousands more followed on every conceivable configuration of bike available: Tandems, mountain bikes, and recumbents. Some of the riders had decorated their helmets with fruit, flowers, Viking horns and champagne glasses - it was a twenty minute parade filled with smiling faces. Some obviously had never ridden in a peloton; as they wove in and out of their fellow riders pandemonium reigned, but somehow the pack was off without an accident.


The race was won by Robbie Ventura of USPS in 4:24:46 in a sprint finish against 2nd place Jame Carney, 3rd place Chris Beardsley, 4th Kent Bostick. Jean Longo once again finishes the womens class in first place in 4:24: 58 within seconds of the first placed men. The nearest women to Jeannie's finishing time is Nicole Habay at 4:39:10 with Melanie Shon in third with the same time. Having ridden a 70 mile training ride yesterday most of T-Mobile will use the ride today as a training ride and either stop when the peloton passes the hotel at 35 miles, or meet at the 70 mile point. Some brave souls, like Bob Stapleton, Chris Clinton (Mavic and and Deborah Engen (USA Cycling) were among others who rode the full course.

Later Bob would mention he was "stiff all over," which would have interesting results at the awards dinner. Hitching a ride in the Mavic support car, we took off to meet the riders at the 30 mile support point. It proved to be impossible to pass even a slow moving peloton of six thousand, so we opted to go around to the 70 mile point. It took an hour to get around and back on the course, where we started to see riders spread out in small groups chasing the lead group.

At the 70 mile point the lead group passed quickly with one lone tandem in close chase. One of three dirt sections of the course followed; a section of road that was in a paving dispute by neighboring towns, the others were dry river crossing with where the prevalent spectators were coyotes. Undaunted by the sand and perhaps encouraged by the watching fans (the coyotes), the riders on road bikes picked up their bikes and ran. Those riding mtn.bikes impressed their road brethren by flying through the dry sandy washes like it was a well worn single track.

Soon after I switched to the team car and returned to the hotel with Kirk, team soigneur and Mari Holden. And by the way, this year Mari's goal is to be at the Worlds in top condition, to podium as she has done before. Back at the Westward look, I hated to admit it but I needed a shower and a nap.

The Awards Dinner

At seven that evening there was an awards dinner. I was lucky to sit near the charming young Miss Sarah Hammer, a new addition to the team. Sarah is a 12 time Junior National Champion in several disciplines: Track, Pursuit and Criterium, and winner of the 2002 UCI Track World Cup #2 for Points race and 2nd for the Scratch race. Sarah is in the first phase of her winter training in the gym -  she looks to be a powerhouse and a great addition to the T-Mobile roster. The lovely Miss Hammer is our newest name on the Daily Peloton's "Young Guns" list of riders to watch.

Deborah Engen, the new communications director for USA cycling, also shared the table with us and was keenly interested in Sarah's weight training and the phases leading up to her road and track training for the new year. Deborah mentioned that she has some plans for some changes to the USA Cycling site which will bring more info to the riders and fans this year.

Bob Stapleton, left, and Herwig Reus right.
Herwig Reus, our charming host, began the evening by thanking all the media and sponsors for their participation in the camp. He then asked Bob Stapleton to join him, in spite of the fact that Bob said earlier he was "stiff all over." Double entendre be blessed, the house lit up in laughter. Good sports that they are, Bob and Herwig weathered the laughter with the panache of James Bond, and kept all of us laughing throughout the presentations.

Then came the awards - specially-designed certificates. "These certificates," Herwig explained, "are the result of exhausting research by my staff to find the right words to express what we feel. I expect, if I drop by your office someday, to see it displayed on your wall." He followed with a broad smile.

So on my wall as I write this tonight, Herwig, I see the special words on my certificate: "Congratulations...You survived." I expected no less from a team manager who has every intention to see he gives the best to his team and gets the best from them; for as we know survival is not just barely getting by, it is the criteria of success for surely those who survive best consider victory the only choice.

Scott Montgomery of Cannondale with his "certificate"

Here are links to the sponsors websites if you wish to learn more about the sponsors products and support the folks who bring you Team T-Mobile:

The T-Mobile Team
The Pink & Black Rockets

Mari Holden and Dotsie Cowden


Kim Bruckner, Sarah Hammer, Kim Anderson


Katrina Berger, Amber Neben, Stacey Peters


Kim Bruckner, Dede Demet Barry

Stacey Peters and Kristin Armstrong

Kim Anderson
Kristin Armstrong
Deirdre (Dede) Barry
Katrina Berger
Kimberly Bruckner
Dotsie Cowden
Sarah Hammer
Mari Holden
Amber Neben
Stacey Peters


Coaches and Staff:
Jim Miller, Directeur Sportif/Coach
Jean Paul Van Poppel, Coach
Michelle Jacques, Soigneur
Dave Pitts, Mechanic

USA Cycling Staff:
Steve Johnson, COO/ Director of Athletics
Jiri Mainus, International Competition Director
Sam Callan, Sport Science
Amy Zirneklis, Programs Manager
Alan Sekowski, Team Operations


Race Schedule

The T-Mobile team will be starting its second year of racing with a full schedule:

Primavera Rosa
McLane Classic
Solano Classic
Vuelta Castilla y Leon

Sea Otter
Tour of Willamette
La Fleche Wallone
GP Liberazione
Track-Worlds Qualifier
Tour de Berne
Tour of the Gila

Gracia Tour/Vuelta Mallorca
Tour de l'Aude
Montreal World Cup

Tour de Grand Montreal
Liberty Classic
Women's Challenge
World Championship Qualifier
Fitchburg Longsjo
Canadian Nationals

Cascade Cycling Classic
Tour de Toona (The International)

NYC Invitational
Tour de Feminine (Grand Boucle)
Saturn Cycling Classic
National Crit Championships
National Track Championships

San Rafael
GP Feminine
Coconut Grove

World Championships Time Trial
World Championships Road Race

Related Articles
Vaughn's Excellent Adventure: T-Mobile Training Camp Part 1
An Interview of Scott Montgomery: Cannondale

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