The tail end of the season is where the going gets tough and the tough get going. In true Project Echelon fashion, the team and the veterans we serve did not miss a beat, always looking forward to new heights and opportunities for personal growth.
For the Project Echelon Racing Team, September marks the end of an incredible season, which is highlighted by 64 podiums, including 21 wins and a National Championship (Click here to see this year’s complete results). This year, we were able to take our community outreach and veteran mentorship program to new heights, thanks to our successes and the platform in provided us. Learn more about what we have been up to below:
Connecting in DC
With Amateur National Championships being hosted in Hagerstown, MD, the racing team took the opportunity to head to the Nation’s capital and visit the array of historical sites and monuments. This experience was especially rewarding and special because we were able to connect with a few of the veterans we serve through coaching and mentorship. This experience gave deeper meaning to the trip for everyone involved.
Forward Thinking with Our Active Duty Ambassador
Recently, we had the unique opportunity to connect with Josh B., our new Active Duty Ambassador. Josh is in a unique position where he was medically discharged from the military after and IED explosion, which almost claimed his life and resulted in several severe and life threatening injuries. Josh struggled with the the transition back to civilian life and found himself needing the structure of the military once more. When Josh re-enlisted, he did so with a different perspective and purpose. Stationed in Italy, Josh was introduced to cycling, which has since become a major part of his life and helped him find the balance he was seeking. Recently, Josh completed his first bike race, a successful and empowering experience that Josh accredits to the mentorship he received from one of our Elite riders.
Josh is serving as an ambassador with Project Echelon to help facilitate the transition from life in the service to civilian life, prior to discharge, and to help Project Echelon share the power of physical activity.
You Are an Ironman!!!
On Sunday, October 9th, three Project Echelon supported individuals, including co-founder Eric Beach, competed in Ironman Wisconsin and got to hear the words “You are and Ironman.” We are so proud of these athletes and their dedication to their physical activity, self discovery, and self empowerment journey! For more insights on the athlete’s experience, tune in to our podcast and listen to their stories, insights, and what they learned about themselves during this amazing feat.
Project Echelon Racing Team
This year’s Amateur National Championships was hosted in Hagerstown, MD, a beautiful and historic part of the country. The team kicked off the week of racing by making a statement, with Cory Lockwood claiming the Time Trial National Championship, winning by over a minute to 2nd place, and placing 3 additional riders in the top-15. The following day, the team rode an impressively in the 96 mile road race, representing itself in each of the major moves of the day and setting up teammate Tim Savre perfectly for a podium finish. Unfortunately, lady luck was not on our side and Tim was involved in a crash in the final 50 meters of the race that resulted in him walking his bike across the line. While it was disappointing to not have the opportunity to take step on the podium, the efforts of the team were widely noticed by our competitors and spectators. As they say, we live to fight another day
Project Echelon Omnium
The 5th edition of the Project Echelon Omnium presented by Anton’s Salon and MSpa was a great success. With over 250 different competitors from across the Midwest competing in the event, it was a great opportunity for the team to highlight the Project Echelon mission and vision, as well as the amazing sponsors who make the work that we do possible. One of the highlights of the event was that we supported the participation of 8 veterans in the event, 3 of which had never raced a bike before!
As far as the racing, the courses were exciting and challenging, which resulted in some explosive racing, a point of discussion covered from a unique perspective by the hosts of the Bike Race Weekly blog episode. As a team, we split the squad in half, which led to some fierce competition between one another. In the end, the Project Echelon Racing Team took 7 of the 9 stage podium spots and swept the overall podium!
Green Mountain Stage Race
The Green Mountain Stage Race is one of the most high profile and difficult stage races in the second half the road calendar. Taking place in the Green Mountain of Vermont, the race features a great deal of climbing and exposure to the elements. As always, our crew was up for the challenge.
After a disappointing Stage 1 Time Trial, the team set out to race aggressively and play its cards in Stage 2 in order to get back into the race for the overall. This ultimately led to Tim Savre getting into the break and taking 3rd on the stage. More importantly, Tim also secured the King of the Mountains Jersey AND the Sprint Points Jersey. With a strong field of climbers, which included several World Tour Riders, the team decided to protect the Sprint Points jersey, which Tim successfully held on to through the final stage! The team also notched 3 additional top 10 finishes on the weekend.
Supporting Women’s Racing
No, we haven’t started a women’s cycling team (yet 😉), but we are extremely proud to have had the opportunity to support Emma Lujan in her efforts to earn a ride at the professional level next season. We have been watching her and her development throughout the year and believe she has what it takes… The proof is in the pudding! Emma raced under the Project Echelon flag at both the River Gorge Omnium in Georgia and the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. At River Gorge, Emma won a stage and earned the overall title and at Green Mountain she took 3rd on the Queen Stage, earned 3rd in the overall, and took home the Queen of the Mountains jersey!