New Riders and Staff in 2020
New to the team in 2020 are riders Hayden Strong, Paul Hartner, Stephen Vogel, and John Heinlein III. On the management side, Joe Carpisassi will be coming aboard to share duties with our fearless leader Eric Hill.
Hayden Strong wins the 2019 Collegiate Varsity Points Race National Championship (Photo: Weldon Weaver)
Hailing from New Zealand and enrolled at Marian University in Indianapolis, Hayden Strong is one of the most explosive sprinters in the country and we welcome his unbridled and aggressive style. Strong single-handedly gave our squad a run for their money at the 2019 Intelligentsia Cup, winning three stages and narrowly succumbing to our veteran crit specialist Brandon "Monk" Feehery for the overall win. As they say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Paul, left; our fearless leader Eric on the right (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
We met Paul Hartner when he guest-rode for us at the 2019 Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. He certainly impressed, taking a top 10 in the U23 category, and later a 5th place finish at the U23 National Championship Time Trial. Also a sophomore at UC Boulder, Paul joins the team as a solid all-rounder with much potential for growth. We’re excited to have more youthful energy within the team, in addition to some fresh style and meme knowledge.
John, with perfect bike-modeling technique, logo unobscured and pointed towards the camera (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
John Heinlein III hails from Minnesota and is a regular figure in the Midwest cycling scene. He is a rider who excels in punchy sprint finishes, stage races, and criteriums. Also a married man with a full-time job, John brings a wealth of maturity and experience to the team (which can help balance out the youth and "meme knowledge" previously mentioned).
Dr. Vogel in full-flight. Take your FTP and add 100 Watts. The Doctor does that for five hours (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
Dr. Stephen Vogel is coming off a busy year of working in residency after finishing his PhD in Family Medicine, and is looking forward to tackling some big goals in 2020. He’s a powerhouse of a rider, specializing in time trials and breakaways. We first encountered Stephen at the 2019 Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Arizona, where he took 2nd in the Stage 1 Time Trial and 2nd Overall. He followed that up with similar results at the Chico Stage Race, a national-caliber stage race held in Northern California. He and his wife Zanna recently relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and he’s been afforded more time than ever to pursue objectives in sport. “I’m working with a new coach on a more traditional winter plan to build a larger aerobic base than ever before, as opposed to the shorter periodized training I had to rely on while working 80 hours a week in residency.” Stephen said.
We’re confident Stephen’s addition - as well as Hayden, Paul, and John's - will bring much value to the team, within racing and elsewhere.
Joe, the best-dressed director in the Domestic Elite peloton? (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
On the management side, Joe Carpisassi will be joining the Project Echelon Racing family in 2020 as the team’s Performance Director. Beginning in 2006 with the Capri Foundation Development Team, Caripisassi's management career spans nearly two decades and includes experience in various roles such as director sportif, supervisory board member, and asset manager. His 2007-2015 stint with Premier Sports Groups landed the most success, with his teams achieving top-level victories in the USA Crit series, NRC races, UCI stage races, and a national championship with Mountain Khakis and SmartStop Pro Cycling. Carpisassi's knowledge, experience, and leadership will be invaluable assets as Project Echelon continues to ascend the ladder of American cycling.
Tour of Southern Highlands
Zach Gregg, Stage 1 Time Trial (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
Project Echelon Racing lined up at Tour of the Southern Highlands with eyes on the top step of the podium. But with three new riders in a team of six, it can be hard to gel right off the bat. It can be. But this group of six exceeded expectations. After a solid round of time trials on Stage 1 which put three Project Echelon Racing riders into the Top 8, the team rode beautifully in the Stage 2 criterium under the lights. A messy final lap scoured their chances at a result, but the guys were determined to make up for it the next two days.
Stage 2 Crit (left to right: Ricky, Vogel, Monk). The unit within the unit (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
On Stage 3, Project Echelon Racing attacked and attacked and attacked until one of their men - Zach Gregg - was up the road with two other riders. Coming into the stage sitting Top-5 in GC, Gregg drove the break till the very end, finishing second the stage and taking the GC lead in the process. You might think that we would be done, proud, and satisfied with such as stellar result. We could mail it in on the last stage, ride defensively, and seal up the overall. You would be wrong.
Zach Gregg, enjoying a beer from City Lights Brewing after taking the GC lead on Stage 3 (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
Gregg did it again on the last stage of the Tour of Southern Highlands. After getting in an early breakaway with Hagens Berman Axeon rider Michael Garrison, the duo pulled away from the field until they wre out of sight, and then kept on going. In the final few meters, Garrison took the stage win ahead of Gregg who sealed up the GC win in dominating fashion - the next group on the road finished nearly three and a half minutes later. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the season.
Tour of Southern Highlands (left to right: Vogel, Strong, Monk, Gregg, Hartig, and Ricky) (Photo: SnowyMountain Photography)
New 2020 Sponsors:Argon 18 & Kask
Project Echelon Racing is privileged to be partnering with two new sponsors for the 2020 season. Canadian bicycle manufacturer Argon 18 and Italian headquartered Kask Helmets have joined us for 2020, providing our riders with top-of-the-line racing machines and sleek, life-saving head protection. Our riders received their new gear as an early Christmas present in mid-December. It was gratefully received and most everyone got aboard their new machines same-day. New Bike Day is an elusive holiday, and must be savored. The Gallium CS is Argon 18’s workhorse carbon fiber frame, and its bright red color will surely help our team visually stand out from the rest of the peloton. Our rider Evan Hartig paid a visit to Argon 18 headquarters in Montreal, Quebec over his Christmas vacation, toured the facility, and met with Alex Ratthé, Argon 18’s Sponsorship and Event Coordinator. “We’ve partnered with (Project Echelon) because we wanted to work with a team who provides a story outside of just standing on podiums,” Mr. Ratthé said. We’re privileged to be Argon 18’s only sponsored team in North America. We’re sure these Quebecois machines will carry us to many victories this season. Check out our race gear and more from Argon 18 and Kask below.
Project Echelon rider, Matt Zimmer, provides a detailed look at the new Argon 18 Gallium CS, as well as our full Jakroo clothing line-up, in his latest Vlog (below)
Matt said, "The bike is amazing and the clothing fits like a glove (no pun intended). Enjoy and please don't forget to leave a comment and thumbs up (or down) for feedback. Also let me know what you would like to see and I will see if I can make some good content out of the requests. Ride on!
New Partnership with BeachBody
Project Echelon's mission to educate, equip, and empower veterans through physical activity and self-discovery. is not limited to two wheels. Our support extends far beyond cycling, and into the worlds of running, walking, triathlon, and more. As such, Project Echelon will be working in collaboration with Emily Hill, Physical Therapist and BeachBody small business owner, to create opportunities for alternative fitness and wellness support for the people that we serve. Project Echelon will be supporting the enrollment of up to 10 veterans in the BeachBody program and engage them in the Refining Wellness accountability group to support personal growth in both physical and emotional wellness.
Follow Project Echelon on Social MEdia
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Thank You to All Our Sponsors