As we now head full steam into the 2011 racing season, with several major races, and victories already in the record books, it seems a good time to provide a brief overview of the 29 riders making up this year’s Team RadioShack roster and compare some of their statistics. You can always find more in-depth profiles for most of these riders by clicking on the “ROSTER’ tab at the top of this site (a final few to be posted soon, and rider no longer on the team will be removed). But here’s a brief compilation of some slightly more obscure stats you might not find elsewhere.
This diverse team is made up of 29 cyclists from 15 different countries (USA represented most, with 6) from 4 continents, and they have compiled a total of 241 years of professional racing experience. The youngest member of the team, Michal Kwiatkowski, is almost 19 years the junior of the elder statesmen, Lance Armstrong and Chris Horner. The shortest is more than 7 inches away from the tallest, and the lightest is more than 50 pounds from the heaviest (if that adjective even exists in professional cycling!).
This widely varied group has amassed approximately 750 individual and collective victories all over the world for approximately 42 different professional teams. Name a big team and one of TRS’s riders has probably pulled on that jersey in their career.
2 members are in their first year as a professional as opposed to one (guess who?) who is still going strong in his 20th year! The number 20 pops again when you tally the riders who have gained invaluable experience on cycling’s biggest stages – the grand tours in France, Italy and Spain – a large portion of the team. A full 21 of them have been National Champions at some point– besting everyone in their country on a given year in a variety of cycling disciplines. 7 riders have been World Champions. And 9 have had the honor of representing their country in the Olympics, some, multiple times.
It takes a highly gifted athlete with amazing discipline and commitment to reach the top ranks of this sport. Each TRS rider has an extraordinary tale to tell regarding their personal climb up the ranks of amateur and college cycling, to semi-pro level, to arrive at the pinnacle of their sport as one of the elite among the UCI Pro Team of RadioShack. Any list of their individual achievements would literally take several pages to print and still likely miss being complete. Suffice to say, they’ve won just about everything there is to win in the professional sport of cycling. And it’s pretty safe to predict that each rider’s catalog of accomplishments is far from being finalized.
By George Hurst, staff writer