January 29, 2009
This New Year holds many new changes for me: A new team, improvements upon my performance group and, most importantly, a clean bill of health with my back. As I close a very taxing chapter in my life entitled 2008, I now can now confidently and positively look back on it as one consisting of invaluable lessons learned and one that will only make me stronger and faster as I prepare to set out on the road to London 2012. But of course I'm also looking forward to some track World Championships along the way!
To begin this New Year, I'm extremely happy to report that I'll have a new team! Hawk Relay, which is a company that supplies video relay to provide deaf and hard of hearing people with the necessary tools to achieve full telecommunications access, has come on-board with a well-funded team sponsorship. Hawk Relay, which is owned by Sam Hawk, is an extraordinary company that provides an incredible service to a community that has been historically limited with a service we all take for granted; using the telephone. It's great to be associated with a positive sponsor that makes a truly constructive impact upon society and it also really shows you how current technology can aid in bringing both the hearing and non-hearing community closer. So in short, I've got a great new sponsor for 2009!
And in addition to a new great sponsor, I'm also happy to report that I'm getting some new teammates as well. 2008 U.S. Olympian, Adam Duvendeck and Canadian Commonwealth medalist, Travis Smith, will also be flying the Hawk Relay Cycling flag. This is the first time for several years that I've had teammates so I'm looking forward to some fun upcoming team camps and training sessions where I can make the warm-up very uncomfortable for them (track sprinters hate fast warm-ups). Adding to the Pro team will be a development squad consisting of Southern California track junior cycling speedsters, Tara McCormick and Jessie Marans and U23 riders, Kristin Walker and Daniel Walker.
And besides the new team and teammates, I'm also happy to report that Andy Sparks of Empower Coaching Systems (my coach and fiancé) and I have added some mental horsepower to my performance team. In particular, one addition that I'm happy to report on is that we've brought on Neal Henderson of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Neal and Andy have a very similar philosophy on training and the level of thought and effort that goes into achieving a peak athletic performance, so I'm thrilled to have a new expert added to my performance team. Welcome aboard Neal!
Of course there are many great things from 2008 that I want to keep and continuing on with me in 2009 as both a great sponsor and partner will be Felt Bicycles. The team at Felt bicycles under the leadership of Jim Felt and Bill Duehring is nothing short of astonishing. There is simply not a better company out there. The Hawk Relay Cycling team bike will be the same Felt TK1 that Taylor Phinney and I rode at the Olympics. It is the perfect track bike.
I'm currently finishing up a training camp in Nederland, Colorado so look for an upcoming diary on my Colorado mountain exploits at 9,000 ft. They have a new crazy velodrome in Boulder which I'll report on as well. For now, you can follow all the Hawk Relay Cycling team reports at www.hawkrelaycycling.com and at my website: www.sarahhammer.us.
Thanks for reading!