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Genesis of Team Gary Fisher

How often in life can you witness a true beginning? For Team Gary Fisher, it was a weekend of firsts. The Great Dane Velo Club Gregg Bednorski Memorial Criterium held on April 11, 2010, marked the first day of the first race for the newly formed road cycling team – which raced in new kit on entirely new team bikes.
 
Heard from a distance, the sound of the peloton resembled steady rain – but this was only an auditory illusion, for the conditions were perfect. With light winds under brilliant sun and temperatures in the mid-70s, the racers shifted deftly through the course like a school of minnows.
 
“The team is all about real people racing and having fun,” said team president David Blomme. The Gary Fisher brand, now owned by Trek Bicycles, is far more famous in the mountain bike scene than road racing. But Blomme and several other members of the team are Trek employees and intimately familiar with the new line of Gary Fisher Cronus road bikes…because they developed them.
 
“It’s been about a year and a half that we’ve been launching [new models] from the road side,” said Blomme, also the industrial designer who developed the new Cronus model. “It’s been fun doing that, and we thought – what a great opportunity to promote the brand. And Fisher himself has been a very big proponent of grassroots teams.”
 
Several team members had good fortune at the crit. Eric Knuth, attacked twice in the Master’s 1/2/3 race. “It was a good race”, he said. “I was in the first break that lasted for four or five laps. Unfortunately the group came back and caught us. And then I saw another couple of guys go later in the race and decided that they were a couple of strong guys to follow, and so I bridged up to them. That one stuck.”
 
That breakaway survived for the next 40 minutes and was never caught by the main pack. “We used up a lot of energy and didn't have much left at the end”, Knuth said. But it was enough for him to place 10th overall.
 
Earlier in the day, team member Greg Ferguson placed seventh in the Master’s 3/4 race. Blomme netted the team’s highest-placed finish of the day, coming in second in the Master’s 4/5 race – even though his usual lead-out man, Barney Sheafor, was blocked in during the final approach. “I saw another guy with big legs come around the corner and I said, eh, that's a guy to follow. So I went around him and got second”, said Blomme.
 
All of the team members were outfitted with new Cronus bikes – and “new” was not an exaggeration, as the frames were delivered a mere two or three days before the race. “I wasn't sure whether I'd race on it today”, said Knuth. “I just finished building it up this past week and rode on it yesterday for the first time.” But despite the fact that the paint had barely dried, the team didn’t have a single mechanical. “The bike is great, very stiff”, said Ferguson. Smiling broadly, Blomme indicated deep satisfaction. “People are really happy about the performance, making comments like, ‘the bike went away, the bike went on rails’”, he said. “It's a good way to start the year.”
 
With plenty of racing ahead of them, team members are focusing on several upcoming events – most notably the Trek Waterloo Classic on June 23rd. Competitive goals aside, it was clear from the good-natured banter between races that the guys were simply enjoying a fine day of racing in good company. With a ready grin, Sheafor summed it up: “Yeah, we're just having fun.”

See all the images from the day in the portfolio section.

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