Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Speed Week Athens Twilight Pro Criterium ,first official USA crit race

2015 Speed Week Athens Twilight Pro Criterium ,first official USA crit race
Team Stradalli cycle went to Athens Georgia to make a statement, that they were a team to be reckoned with.
After lots of blood, sweat and tears the team left Speed Week having proven just that. Ruben Companioni  finished 2nd in one of the most competitive races of the year, but this was a win for the entire team as owner Tom Steinbacher discussed; “Look at the field, look at the course. You are going against the defending NCC Champ, Daniel Holloway, you are going against a fully stacked Pro field with world champions and Olympians. This is where you have to prove what you are made of and right now I’m completely ecstatic.”
Stradalli brought a full team including Ruben Companioni , Sebastian Morfin, Yosvany Falcon, Grant Potter, Cesar Grajales and Abel Quintana, a new rider to the team. This was the biggest group to go to any race this year and before the race Stradalli cycle received a special call ups for 2 riders, Ruben Companioni and Yosvany Falcon were among the call-ups to begin.
It didn’t take long before there were some fireworks first a 9 man break and then Olympian Bobby Lea went down in turn 1 causing several riders including Ruben Companioni to crash as well.
“My heart jumped in my throat when I saw Ruben go down. You worry about these guys like they are your own kids , they are going extremely fast and it’s not like they are wearing nfl football pads. Ruben hurt his lower back and got bad road rash but got up and got back in there.” He is a real fighter.
Following the crash, Companioni went into the Sram Wheel Pit to get his bike fixed before returning to the race. After 2 laps another break in the field formed with Holloway and Companioni  leading up front and with in minutes it was just 2 racers of the front alone .  Companioni continued to battle, rotating in the breakaway to finish 2nd with plenty of time left over to wipe the blood off and put on his Stradalli Cycle ball cap and ascend to the podium.
“What an exciting race. I never feel like an owner at these events, I always feel more like a fan ( and father )
but I am so proud of what we accomplished this weekend. Stradalli Cycle/ SAFETTI and Team Texas Roadhouse/Stradalli have been doing great this season and we wanted to come into Speed Week and make people realize we are contenders at every race.” Tom Steinbacher
Steinbacher wanted an “all hands on deck” mentality this weekend because of the competition. Speed Week is the first official USA Crit Race of the year and with brutal competition from all around the world it was important that Stradalli have an impressive showing. The sponsors; FSA providing their cranks, SAFETTI providing the uniforms, DIADORA providing the shoes and JACO Athletics providing additional athletic clothing as well as the new racers added to a team of veterans has played a major role in the early success of the team.
“I wanted this to be a team building experience and it was a great weekend. We stayed together, trained together and ate together and I feel that the younger guys all learned a lot from the veterans. I see a lot of teams out there with the next young stud of cycling but if you cannot surround that youth with veteran guidance and a “team” mentality it doesn’t usually workout the way you planned. This is such an exciting year and we circle races like these on our calendars because we know how important they are. The field was stacked but we left Georgia knowing AND proving we can compete with anyone and we raced and worked togther like a Family !” 

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