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Sitting In with Super Squadra

January 4, 2013

With the buzz surrounding our new Cycling Clubs, it might be easy to overlook one of our biggest assets in terms of folks flying the Bicycle Sport Shop flag: Super Squadra, our elite men’s road team. The guys had another solid season in 2012. While there were plenty of changes for team members this past year, they found new ways to win. We sat down with the guys and looked back at 2012, and forward to the 2013 season a bit.

In general terms, how was the season?

Ian Dille: The 2012 season was a successful year, and a transitional year. Prior to the start of the season, we created the Super JETS (Super Junior Espoir Team Squadra)—who brought a lot of youthful enthusiasm to the team, and a whole lot of speed. We’ve always had developmental riders within the team, for example Shane Haga will be starting his third season on Squadra, but now the younger riders outnumber the old guys. We’ve learned a lot of new slang. #YOLO

What were some of the highlights for the team?

Ian: Everyone on the team had a break out ride during some point in the season last year. At the Pace Bend road race, one of the Texas “Classics,” David Wenger beat some of the best racers in the country in a thrilling field sprint finish, and Alec Aldape, a junior in high school at the time, placed second in the Cat 2s.

In March, Michael Pincus, only 18, won the state’s biggest Pro-Cat 1 stage race, Fayetteville, by making the break in the first day’s road race with the help of Steven Wheeler, killing the time trial, and then trusting the red Squadra train to deliver him the win in Sunday’s 95-mile road race.

In April, Phil Wikoff, our team’s go to sprinter, proved he can go uphill, too, and won a mountainous road race at the Fort Davis Stage Race.

In May, the team lead out Shane Haga on his 21st birthday at the Driveway, and he won the field sprint by a dozen bike lengths. Then, he scored a silver medal at collegiate criterium nationals a couple weeks later.

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Shane takes the win at the Driveway. Photo by DCM Photography, courtesy of Super Squadra.

Over the summer, Steven Wheeler had a great ride in his first trip to the road race national championships, and proved to himself he’s competitive against the best amateurs in the country, and Kevin Fish, a freshman at UT-Austin, placed second at the Waco downtown criterium in a pouring rainstorm.

In the fall, Dillon Fowler, who was also a junior in high school, racked up a number of podiums in the Cat 3’s and earned his Cat 2 upgrade. We’re excited to have him competing in more Pro 1,2 races with us in 2013.

Super JETS, what were some of your highlights from last year?

Michael Pincus: Lining up the whole team at the front on that at the Tour of Austin to bring back a late race break, and having each team member blow up over the course of a single lap, to put Dave in a winning position was just the coolest thing ever.

Dillon Fowler: Riding the State Team Time Trial with the guys was a learning experience and I loved every minute of it, even though I was just hanging on for dear life!

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Dillon and Kevin ham it up for the camera at one of the team’s 2012 skills clinics, which will return for 2013.

Shane Haga: At the Alsatian Country Omnium in February, I learned that I can be competitive in time trials, long road races, and roll a move with some heavy hitters. That was a big confidence boost going into the season. Also, Fayetteville, it was awesome to be a part of a total team sell out for Pincus to get the win.

Alec Aldape: On the last day of the Hotter ’n Hell I was beyond exhausted, but we raced like a team and the whole weekend paid off.

Ian, last year you co-authored your first book. And, Phil and Steven, you both have young children. How have growing families and shifting responsibilities changed the racing for you guys?

Ian: Our passion for riding and racing remains the same, but our definition of dedication and sacrifice has certainly changed. We used to think of epic, 100-plus mile rides as hardcore. Now, it’s doing intervals on the trainer before the sun is up, or hill repeats on a Sunday evening, or sneaking in rides on a work trip.

Steven: Without as much time to dedicate to training consistently, I’ve definitely changed the way I race throughout the season. There are only a few times during the year where I know I’ll at be at my fittest. So, instead of being able to attack at will, I’ll race more conservatively and look for a certain point in the race to go all in. With our team’s focus on developing younger riders, I also focus on working for teammates and ushering them into position where they can succeed.

The Super JETS obviously had a lot of success last year, what do you anticipate from them this season?

David: We fully expect the Cat 1 JETS, Michael and Shane, to be leaders before, during, and after the races. We’ll be working for them at a number of races throughout the season. Kevin Fish is blazing fast, too, and him, Dillon Fowler, Michael, and Shane, have the potential to be one of the best espoir squads in the country, which is really exciting. Alec Aldape races super smart—and tough! He placed top ten at junior nationals last year with a separated shoulder. Look for a Squadra leadout train for him at the Driveway next year.

What do you think the future holds for those guys?

Ian: We’ve already had two young riders who took separate paths but are doing amazing. Chad Haga won the Fayetteville stage race on Squadra in 2010 and is now one of the top pros in the country on Optum, and Alan Ting, who is a two time junior national champion, just graduated from the UT-Austin school of business, and is hoping to work internationally. So, the sky is the limit, the world is their oyster—Wear sunscreen. If I could offer them only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.—all that graduation ceremony stuff. It’s really rewarding to feel like we’ve contributed to their success in some way, but ultimately everything they accomplish will be through their own talent and determination.

Thanks for letting us sit in guys. We’re looking forward to seeing your successes continue this year!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2017 8:15 am

    Good point. I hadn’t thhogut about it quite that way. 🙂

  2. August 30, 2017 6:28 am

    Como no conozco ninguno de los dos… Samsung! Son una pasada, muy intuitivos, y cada vez que he tenido en mis manos un iPhone no he sido capaz ni de llamar!Porque los HTC ni los contemplas, no? 😉

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