Gage Hecht was thrust into the international scene in 2014 when he took an astonishing win in the Junior Race at Koksijde. Now that he is moving into his second and final year as a Junior rider, expectations are high on the phenomenal athlete. Alpha Bicycle Company –Vista Subaru have now expanded their Elite Development Program, and Hecht will ride next year with plenty of teammates. The following is a release by the team:
Centennial, CO- Following Gage Hecht’s stellar 2014-15 cyclocross season, Alpha Bicycle Company –Vista Subaru has added four additional riders to its Elite Development Program.
Brannan Fix joins the team as a first year U23 after a successful season concluding with a Top 10 at US National Championships and 15th place finish at World Championships in Tabor. Evan Clouse also joins Hecht in the UCI Junior category after his Silver medal in the Junior 15-16 at US National Championships last season.
On the women’s side Ashley Zoerner will be looking for top results in the newly created UCI Youth Women’s category. For the past four seasons, Ashley has been a Colorado State Champion and a US National Championships podium member with one Gold medal along the way. Katie Clouse will also now ride in the team’s signature green kit that is a fixture in the Colorado cyclocross community. Katie is a multi-time US National Cyclocross Champion, Cycling Utah’s 2014 Cyclist of the Year and often finds herself on the podium in the Women’s Open category races that feature many of the professionals that call Colorado home.
“We are extremely lucky to have the support of such great partners that help our program continue to grow.” says Adam Rachubinski, the team’s founder and director. “The people at Vista Auto Group and Subaru have believed in our vision for the team since we launched it 6 years ago and they want to work with us to continue to grow the sport and help young racers reach all of their potential. They are truly a group of passionate cyclists. After all of Gage Hecht’s success, we sat down and wanted to help more athletes. Vista Subaru was immediately on board, no hesitation. Those are the kind of partners that help a program be successful and viable long term.”
The team also puts a large emphasis on working with local equipment sponsors. “It makes a big difference when you can just drive a few hours and have a face to face with our partners. We often have brainstorming sessions about what equipment makes sense and why, which races provide the exposure that is important, what we can do for each other. Last year when we agreed to terms with Gage really late in the summer, it amazed all of us how quickly local companies like Moots, DT Swiss, Clement Cycling, TRP, and Wickwerks joined in. I think that’s largely related to the fact that the riders and staff have personal relationships with the people at those companies.” says Rachubinski.
All of these companies are based in either Colorado or Utah. The team is still in final negotiations with many of its equipment suppliers but expects most if not all of the 2014/15 sponsors to return for next season.
The Alpha Bicycle Company-Vista Subaru Elite Development Team will travel to Pan American Championships, US National Championships, and UCI Junior races throughout the country with an eye towards the top step on the podium and Worlds Team selections. The team will fill in the remaining schedule racing Colorado’s highly competitive local series.
Follow the team on Facebook by searching Alpha Bicycle Co – Vista Subaru Cycling Team and on Twitter @alphabicycle.