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Schroeder Iron Philly Preview
By Becky Leidy
Date: 6/2/2003
Schroeder Iron Philly Preview

Courtesy of Schroeder Iron Pro
Cycling Team

Schroeder Iron faces the tough challenge of coming into Philly week this year with defending champion, Chann McRae, on their team. Coming off of a series of races that include Husatonic, the CapTech Classic, and Capital Cup, how will this affect their chances? Who will be ready, willing and able to lead Chann out to victory? I asked these questions of new race director, but seasoned veteran of cycling, Frankie Andreu.

Courtesy of Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team.
Becky Leidy: So, who will be going to Philly to represent Schroeder Iron and help Chann keep his stars and stripes jersey?
Frankie Andreu: Chann McRae, Mike Tillman, Jacob Erker, Aaron Olson, Pete Knudson, Cameron Hughs, Adam Livingston, Jason Bausch, and Rigo Meza

BL: What races are you coming off of and how did you do in them?
FA: The team looks good. Theyre confident and riding well as a team. We just got done doing these criteriums, there was one in Arlington. The last couple of races, in each of the big breaks, weve had two riders represented. So, they are racing well. Before this, there was the Tour of Georgia and the South Carolina Heritage races.

BL: How about Chann? Will he be ready to hold on to that jersey for another year?
FA: While Chann did the Tour of Georgia and a couple of smaller races after that, he didnt come here for the criteriums, but he has been training. Hell be ready. Hes a professional and a National Champion. Im sure hes very, very motivated to defend that.

Mike Tillman and Jacob Erker, courtesy of the
Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team.

BL: So, I am assuming that the plan is to get him to the line on Sunday?
FA: Oh yeah, sure. Hes our leader and Jacob is the other. Chann and Jacob are both going good and will be protected for all the races. Except for Trenton and then Tillman will be our protected sprinter.

BL: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me Frankie. Ill see you in Philly!

So, it seems the man on the line here in a big way is duo sport athlete, cyclist one day and triathlete the next, new-comer to Schroeder Iron, Chann McRae. Read on to learn a little more about the man behind the machine.

Hometown: Austin, TX
DOB: October 11, 1971
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 145lbs

Reigning US Pro Champion Chann McRae has been a competitive athlete at an international level since the age of 17. Sought out by the USCF after impressive bike splits on the triathlon circuit, he started road racing in 86, finding a wealth of natural talent. To date, McRae has competed in 11 World Championship events, with the highest placing being 5th in the 1999 professional road race. The teams he has ridden for span the globe and include Mapei, Mercury/Viatel and US Postal. In his first year as the team leader of Schroeder Iron, nothing short of victory will satisfy Chann at the biggest races on the US circuit in 2003, the Wachovia US Pro Championship.

2003 US Pro Champion
2000 World Road Championships, 8th (top US rider)
2000 Int'l Hessen Rundfahrt, 2nd
1999 World Road Championships, 5th (top US rider)

BL: When your professional career is finished and you go back to college, what do you want to do?
CM: Id like start working on a degree in exercise physiology.

BL: You are a coach yourself, correct? Do you create your own training program?
CM: I actually use Mark Allen, 6 time Hawaii Ironman champion. We communicate frequently on the phone.

BL: How is your triathlon training coming along? How much emphasis are you putting on it vs. your cycling?
CM: My triathlon training is coming a long perfectly. It is just like the good ole times. My emphasis is on cycling until Philly is over, and then I will have a little more time to hit the triathlon race circuit.

Courtesy of Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team.
BL: What triathlons will you focus on? Will the Ironman in Hawaii be on your schedule again?
CM: Im doing the Capital Texas Triathlon Memorial Day weekend in Texas, then Buffalo Springs on June 28th, and Ironman Lake Placid, which is the World Championships, Hawaii Ironman, qualifier, on July 27th.

BL: Do you use an altitude tent? Have you found it helpful?
CM: I am sponsored by Hypoxico tents and I do use it off and on as necessary. Its pretty helpful. You do have to monitor right. It can definitely be to your advantage if you know how to use it properly. A lot of riders are using them now.

BL: Are you looking for coaching clients? What type of rider/triathlete would be the optimal client?
CM: I am taking clients. I actually want to start working solely with professionals. My wife [Jennifer Evans McRae] is coaching, too. She deal mostly with women, having ridden as a professional herself for Timex.

Courtesy of Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team.
BL: What has it been like riding for Schroeder Iron this past season?
CM: It was an exceptional experience to be able to compete with such a motivated team of young and hungry riders.

BL: Are you looking forward to the Philly week races?
CM: Yes, I am looking forward to Philly with a lot of enthusiasm, and determination to defend my jersey.

BL: What are your expectations heading into the USPRO? Do you feel prepared to defend your title?
CM: I expect to have fun out there, and ride every minute of the race with great motivation.

BL: Who do you feel will be the biggest contenders in defending your jersey, the hardest to beat?
CM: I think David Clinger [Prime Alliance] and Henk Vogels [Navigators] will be the ones to beat.

BL: Who on your team will be strongest during Philly week?
CM: I think each guy has their own great talent. I do not know who will be the strongest at Philly, but collectively we will be a solid team that will put 3 guys into the final selection.

BL: What has Frankie Andreu brought to the team? Has it been very different having him directing? If so, in what way?
CM: Frankie brings Tour de France experience to the team, with a great knowledge for US tactics and logistic operations.

BL: How does "top level" US racing compare to what you have experienced in Europe?
CM: The US is faster and shorter in terms of racing kilometers. For example, you only exceed 170 k one time in a race like Redlands or Sea Otter. I am not too impressed with all of the short races. The real race so far this season was the Dodge Tour of Georgia. Those guys did it right. Obviously in Europe, the races are longer and you have to have greater endurance.

You can visit Chann McRaes personal website here and the updated and revamped Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling website here!

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