UCI Continental team Kelly Benefit Strategies has concluded two days of testing at the A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina. For a team which found much success against the clock in 2009, it's apropos that eight Kelly Benefit riders, team staff, aerodynamic consultants and equipment reps convened in a locale also known as Race City, USA on Monday and Tuesday in the heart of NASCAR country, where the quest for speed and optimal aerodynamics is serious business.
Performance Director Jonas Carney has ambitious goals in 2010 for the Kelly Benefit Strategies team, with six international races in the Dominican Republic, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Uruguay and France on tap prior to May's Tour of California. Wind tunnel testing for eight of the team's 15 riders is a means to ensure that every possible avenue for elevated performance has been explored for the fourth-year UCI Continental team.
"I have a good relationship with Mike [Giraud] who runs the tunnel here and I've been in touch with him for a couple of years," Carney told Cyclingnews. "We felt like the best way for us to win more races and take our team to the next level wasn't necessarily to go out and buy a star rider but to invest in the athletes that we have. We have a lot of great time trialists on the team: David Veilleux, Zach Bell, Scott Zwizanski, Reid Mumford and Ryan Anderson."
The 2009 season was a breakthrough year for Scott Zwizanski who won time trials in the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay and Canada's Tour de Beauce, key performances in leading to general classification victory in each race. The 32-year-old Zwizanski also finished on the podium at last year's USA Cycling Pro Time Trial Championship and notched a seventh place finish in the Tour of Missouri time trial stage. Teammate Reid Mumford finished second to Zwizanski at the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay time trial and finished fourth in the USA Cycling Pro Time Trial Championship. Canada's David Veilleux is another strong chrono rider, with three Canadian U23 time trial titles in his palmares.
"Since winning races comes down to the time trial a lot, we didn't want them losing 10 seconds here and five seconds there," said Carney. "That's really what our team has been about from the beginning, trying to maximize what we can get from each rider and I think we do a really good job with that. Taking guys that were maybe underrated as riders and make them into new champions.
"This is the first time we're bringing eight guys in, but I think it's going to become the norm for us from here on out to look for every possible advantage over the other teams," said Carney.
Anderson, Bell, Mumford, Veilleux and Zwizanski were joined by Andrew Bajadali, Guy East and Neil Shirley for the team's wind tunnel session. Zwizanski was the sole team member to undergo wind tunnel testing in 2009, which took place prior to the US Professional Time Trial Championships. A return to the wind tunnel in 2010 has provided peace of mind regarding his position on the time trial bike.
"We didn't change a whole lot from what I was doing last year," Zwizanski told Cyclingnews. "We did change some things, but nothing big. We just kind of reaffirmed what I had.
"It helped me with the confidence part the most and some of the other guys said that as well. Like Neil [Shirley], he's not a time trialist but he's confident now in what he's got with his position."