Utah is filled with many talented cyclists, both pro and ameture alike. Some we've seen rocket to the pro ranks and others we've seen their steady rise from juniors who barely fill out their skinsuits to making waves in the U23 ranks and beyond.
The list of pros who hail from the Beehive State is long. My incomplete count of current pros includes Dave Zabriskie, Jeff Louder, Tayler Wiles, Chase Pinkham, Chelsea Bingham, Nicole Evans and Keegan Swenson. Levi Leipheimer lived in Utah early on and even Eric Heiden now calls Utah home. But what's caught my eye is a few who have been well represented in the cycling press recently. Here's a few of the highlights...
I don't know Tanner very well, but I have raced with his dad quite a bit. Tanner's been quite impressive this week with the National Team at the Vuelta Independencia and has been quite strong with the new BMC development squad. Remember this guy's name, as he's sure to become a well known name in the future.
Nichole Wangsgard and Alicia Welsh
Wangsgard and Welsh have been on the women's pro scene for a while and I've had the privilege of having both at races I promote. Their presence elevated the level of my events for sure. Nichole just came off a win at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race criterium and looks to continue the success of her long career. They're now on the same team, Primal/Map My Ride Pro Cycling and just concluded their team camp in San Diego.
While Sarah's a mountain biker, she's kicked some serious tail at one of my events as well. At 5 foot nuthin' her 29er MTB wheels look almost as tall as she is, but she continues in the pro MTB ranks with Stan's NoTubes Women's Elite team for 2012.
While there are surely more stories out there and much more to come, these are just some highlights. The racing season in Utah is about to kick in high gear with the RMR Crit series starting this weekend and it will be fun when some of these big names show up to play.