After introducing the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team in the “Hollywood Style” Team Launch at Paramount Studios on Saturday night, Cannondale continued their global launch of the Team to journalists from around the World on Sunday and Monday in the cycling friendly community of Westlake Village.
Upon arriving to the host hotel, the media was greeted with a demo area that featured sponsor booths and product to check out from SRAM, FSA/Vision, OSMO and Muscle Milk. In addition, a stable of high end Cannondale road bikes were prepped by Cannondale’s mechanics for the media to ride in the afternoon on the Media Ride.
Earlier in the day, the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team got the opportunity to log in some miles, while the media had the opportunity to tag along to get some action shots and video. The International Media and US Media each spent two hours with the team, which let the Team get in four hours of saddle time in as a warm up prior to the Media Ride.
After a break for lunch and a chance for everyone to refuel, we got ready for the much anticipated ride with the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team. You could feel the excitement in the air with the chance to ride with the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team as a group of about 75 riders from the media and local clubs gathered in the demo area. When the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team arrived ready to ride, cameras flashed and everyone cheered as Peter Sagan entertained the crowd with some bike tricks.
Once the ride got underway, it was obvious that this was not going to be a Sunday Stroll and a pretty brisk pace was set from the get go. The ride consisted of a popular 21 mile loop that went up the Rock Store Climb, which was a climb featured in the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. A few miles into the ride, Sagan stopped for a nature break, then easily rejoined the front of the group after a display of his amazing bike skills in which he navigated up the narrow right side of the pack instead of going up the wide open left side.
As we went by the famous Rock Store and headed into the 3.5 mile climb, we were greeted by loud cheers from a large crowd of Harley riders that lined the road. Sagan entertained our new found fans and popped one of his patented wheelies as he rode by! Once the gradient hit 7 %, the peloton split apart and I watched the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team ride away. It was fun while it lasted!
Back at the hotel, we had the opportunity to get a one on one interview with Ivan Basso and Ted King that we will run soon on SoCalCycling.com. In addition, Peter Sagan graced us with his autograph for a Photo Giveaway which features him winning in Los Angeles at the 2012 Amgen Tour of California.
After the interviews, Cannondale hosted a nice dinner that gave everyone a chance to catch up from the day’s activities. You could feel the passion and excitement for the sport of cycling from everyone in the room as we embark on the 2013 season, which was refreshing with the current events going on.
In addition, the chemistry, sense of humor and bond that the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team has with each other was palpable. If the Team’s chemistry is this good off the bike, you can only imagine the great things that will come on the bike for the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team in 2013!
Check back to SoCalCycling.com for our upcoming interviews with Ivan Basso and Ted King and be sure to participate in our current Giveaway of a Photo Print Signed by Peter Sagan!
Report & Photos by Christy Nicholson / SoCalCycling.com