There are just so many thank you’s to say.
Thank you to all the athletes who trusted themselves this weekend.
Thank you to all the teammates who supported each other, believed in each other, and challenged each other to be their best.
Thank you to all the parents who trust this coaching staff and their kids, and for all the help and guidance you provided this weekend.
Thank you to all the co-workers who come through and coach with their passion for youth development.
So many thank you’s as it is the most humbling of jobs to work with young people and to be supported to do so.
Please take time to read what Coach David had to say about the 24 Hour race and look out tomorrow for news about the Valley Of the Sun Crew.
24 HOP Weekend
Wow, what an amazing weekend!
I’ve been to this event with El Grupo 5 times now and I don’t think I have ever experienced such an awe-inspiring coming together of the team. Everybody gave their all!
The riders… we are so proud of you all. You worked so hard personally, as teams and as a club. Each and every one of you pushed yourself, worked hard for your team, and rose to the challenge that is 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. I’m so proud of each of you!
Julian, Elliot and Kai. The newest members of El Grupo. These guys were left short a couple of riders who couldn’t make it, but it didn’t faze them. Julian gladly volunteered to run at the race start – bravo. Elliot and Kai, who have only been on the team a couple of months, were so brave. They rode numerous night laps without chaperones and put in some great lap times.
Lucy B, Lucy D, Mia and Rosalie. These amazing young ladies were superstars. Eager to keep riding all the through the night. They put in great times for their first 24 HOP and I am excited to see what they will achieve next year! They were also the winners of the ‘how much swag can you get’ contest from all the 24 Hour Town Expo and came back with stickers, water bottles, rock shocks hoodies and socks!
Sam, Liam, Jess, Dom and Evan. You all rode an amazing race with numerous fast laps. Even though you were plagued by mechanicals and flat tires, you all kept going in the face of adversity and you made your teammates proud!
Daniel, Kaiden, Leo, Taryn and Ben. 1ST Place podium finish!!! What an effort to keep banging out super-fast laps. you were racing against some pretty competitive teams and you continually worked together to figure out how to stay ahead. Awesome racing!
Nathaniel and Myles. 4th Place Solo Male. Nathaniel rode 15 laps, about 245 miles, which earned him a place on the podium alongside some very respected professional endurance athletes. As a coach and as his dad, I’m completely in awe of Nathaniel’s courage and mental strength that enabled him to take on this challenge. Nathaniel may have been riding the bike, but Myles was just as an important part of the team. Myles’ commitment to his friend was evident throughout the race: He fed him, lubed his chain, filled his water bottles, and said the right things that kept Nathaniel going through the night. The friendship and commitment between these two friends is a testament to what it means to be on Team El Grupo.
Behind the scenes are some essential roles and amazing people who need to be thanked…
Chuck Barclay, this year’s Camp Sheriff. Chuck’s experience and knowledge of this event gave us all the confidence to believe in ourselves and achieve our best.
Sean Pantellere, our executive director. Sean’s unwavering calm kept us all grounded through the race – especially through the night when Sean was the nighttime handler on the fast team, probably the busiest job in the camp.
Shannon Walker, head chef of the Grupo Kitchen. Shannon has been the Super-Mom who has taken care of the kitchen at the event for many years. This year with the help of Mary Belle and many other moms, Shannon made sure there was always enough healthy, hot burritos, soup and sandwiches to keep everyone going.
The gratitude keeps coming… Richard Knutson for his unparalleled expertise with bike maintenance. Mark Millar for riding 6 night laps with the girls. Keith for taking care of the lights and keeping our kids racing. Alex, Ryan and Linda for handling the teams and ensuring the riders were ready to ride the next lap.
We all poured so much emotion into this weekend for months now, that we need to reset. We need to ground ourselves again. We need to bask in the achievement, revel a bit, before we start the new chapter. I want everyone to really just enjoy the process that they went through and enjoy a very calm week. We only have so much emotional capacity and we need to recharge that well this week.
TUESDAY- Please I want super attendance. We are going to talk about the weekend, hear stories and laugh with each other. There are some jerseys to give out and want everyone to be their to cheer. NO BIKES. However we will have a bike cleaning lesson and party.
WEDNESDAY– 24 Hour Racers NO RIDING. You all will still be exhausted on many levels, so please just bask in your amazing achievements. No practice
VALLEY RACERS– Gravel Ride at 2:30pm.
THURSDAY– NO RIDE. This is the start of Rodeo Break and I know that many folks like to travel. Please do so. This is a perfect time to recharge with some different activities.
SATURDAY– Ride with your friends. There will be no structure. However if you are getting excited to ride, then by all means enjoy a day out.
Tucson Bicycle Classic. https://tucsonbicycleclassic.com/
I want to sign everyone up who is on the team. I really want everyone to try this experience.
Please note the race is over three days with three different road bike events.
March 4th, 5th and 6th.