Jamis-Hagens Berman’s long-time rider Tyler Wren plans to transition from a decade-long career in professional bike racing at the end of his contract in December. Although he is stepping away from the competitive side of the sport, he will remain a staple in the American cycling scene by focusing on building community-driven cycling events through his business, Wrenegade Sports.
“I am very proud of my achievements as a professional cyclist,” Wren told Cyclingnews. “Racing gave me the opportunity to travel the world, experience different cultures, learn new languages and live a very fulfilling, healthy lifestyle. It also gave me hugely valuable life skills like self-motivation, teamwork and a deep understanding of branding and marketing in an active-lifestyle venue.
“Now, what motivates me is thinking of ways to whip up the perfect combinations of health, social good, community and fun into unique and awesome events. Being a pro bike racer and an entrepreneur are both 24/7 occupations, and I am very appreciative of the support my family, in particular my wife, Jennifer, is providing me in this transition.”
Wren started his cycling career in 2002 with the Mercury Pro Cycling team. He followed that with 12 seasons, from 2003 to 2014, with Jamis - Hagens Berman and their previous iterations Jamis-Sutter Home, Colavita-Sutter Home and Colavita-Bolla, leaving the sport with the distinction of being the domestic professional rider with the longest tenure at his team.
During his career, he won stages at the Vuelta Chile and Tour of the Gila. He was also a four-time collegiate national champion, a two-time winner of the USPro Championships King of the Mountain competition, and this year he was the fan-favourite winner during stage 2 at the Tour of Utah. He also had podium appearances at several of the top stages race on the National Racing Calendar including Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour de ‘Toona and the Nature valley Grand Prix.
“I won't miss training and racing in cold and wet conditions, but I will miss the camaraderie of my teammates and the satisfaction of complete physical exhaustion at the end of a hard day on the bike. I've been very lucky to have worked with dozens of great sponsors during my career, and I am particularly thankful to Jamis Bicycles, Hagens Berman, Sutter Home and Colavita for their years of consistent support that allowed me to successfully and comfortably pursue my passion for cycling.”
Many of those years were spent under the guidance of Jamis-Hagens Berman's manager Sebastian Alexandre, who raced for the squad in their early days as Colavita before taking over a management role. Wren expressed his gratitude for Alexandre consistent support.
“My long-standing relationship with Sebastian has been a huge part of the success of my career,” Wren said. “I worked with Seba as a teammate on Colavita from 2003 through 2006, and then again as a director from 2008 through 2014.
“He took a chance on me in 2008 when he took the reins and I was uncertain about my future in the sport, and that was a turning point for me that began the prime years of my athletic career. In addition to working together, we're also close friends, and we look to each other for advice, guidance and support when we need it.”
Wren, a Princeton University graduate, organized his first community event on September 28; the Rensselaerville Cycling Festival in Albany County, New York, which featured the sold-out Team Jamis-Hagens Berman Gran Fondo. He is expanding in 2015 to include the Colavita-Fine Cooking - Farm to Fork Fondo scheduled for June 28 in Orange County, NY.
“What I am trying to do with Wrenegade Sports is to use my knowledge and industry contacts to create innovative and sustainable events that offer achievable challenges for riders of all abilities,” Wren said. “If I can create exciting events that encourage people to get on their bikes in a supportive environment, that can make a lasting, positive impact on local communities and provide immense value to my partners by bringing new consumers into the cycling industry.”