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Webcor meets in Menlo Park

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Once was David Clinger?

Once was David Clinger? (Image credit: Christopher Norris)
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Time for a chat

Time for a chat (Image credit: Ella Lawrence)
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Ted Huang, Webcor's CEO Andy Ball, Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier

Ted Huang, Webcor's CEO Andy Ball, Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier (Image credit: Webcor)
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Webcor will be riding the Specialized

Webcor will be riding the Specialized (Image credit: Ella Lawrence)
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Lucas Euser kitted up

Lucas Euser kitted up (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Webcor will be riding the Specialized Tarmac frame

Webcor will be riding the Specialized Tarmac frame (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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The Tarmac with the Specialized Decibal helmet and SRM ready to go

The Tarmac with the Specialized Decibal helmet and SRM ready to go (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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John Kelly enjoys a cup o' joe, pre-ride

John Kelly enjoys a cup o' joe, pre-ride (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Road manager Roger Lee

Road manager Roger Lee (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Owen Laine keeping warm

Owen Laine keeping warm (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier getting ready to roll

Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier getting ready to roll (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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The Webcor boys rugged up for their ride

The Webcor boys rugged up for their ride (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Needed to slow down a little at this speed sign

Needed to slow down a little at this speed sign (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Time for a chat at the back

Time for a chat at the back (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Webcor pose with their team car all racked up with their Specialized bikes

Webcor pose with their team car all racked up with their Specialized bikes (Image credit: Ella Lawrence/CN)
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Ted Huang, Webcor's CEO Andy Ball, Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier at the Webcor headquarters

Ted Huang, Webcor's CEO Andy Ball, Charles Dionne and Dario Falquier at the Webcor headquarters (Image credit: Webcor)

Webcor Training Camp, February 18, 2005

Training in the Californian winter sun

Despite the loss of Chris Horner to Saunier Duval for 2005, the Webcor team are as fired up as ever to repeat their year of success from 2004. Ella Lawrence went out to Menlo Park to catch up with the team and find out their inspirations for the season ahead.

The team

The Webcor Builders Cycling Team is composed mostly of working guys with day jobs, in addition to being one of the most promisingly strong domestic teams in 2005. If its 2004 season was any indicator (which it most likely is as the team has many of the same members), Webcor will deliver some solid results again this year. "Starting at Pomona in 2004, riders stepped it up, rode off the front and delivered, which was pretty much how things went all year," one of the team managers, Frank Scioscia, says.

2004 was a dream season for Webcor Builders, which climaxed with a victory at the San Francisco Gran Prix (of which Scioscia was the event director in its inaugural year). "Webcor discovered in 2004 what it really meant to ride like a team," says Scioscia. "Although Horner is gone, there is no trepidation or doubt among the riders as to how they will perform in 2005; they already know how to ride at the front and will continue to do so this year."

Sport scientist Max Testa at UC Davis (former coach of '88 Giro winner Andy Hampsten and one of the head doctors at Motorola and Italian superteam Mapei in the 1990s) is providing the riders with fitness testing and all have training schedules which are individually tailored to suit their needs. Because so many of Webcor's racers are also working guys, not everyone races every weekend. Most racers live in the peninsula, with Santa Rosa being the furthest Californian outpost, and Davis the furthest east.

Who to watch

Although Chris Horner has left Webcor and the domestic racing world to fry bigger fish across the pond, Canadian Charles Dionne (winner of the 2004 San Francisco Grand Prix) is again riding for the team, and enjoyed his first outdoor rides of 2005 in gorgeous sunny peninsula weather. A true French Canadian, Dionne has no plans to defect from Quebec City, even if it is sunnier in California.

New to Webcor in 2005 is David Clinger, a sprinter who raced with Mario Cipollini on Domina Vacanze in 2004. Clinger's arrival at the camp dropped the team into unexpected and unwelcome controversy when it turned out he'd had the upper half of his face tattooed in a design derived from traditional Maori decoration. The team asked Clinger to sign a statement that he hadn't fulfilled his contract obligations and to find out if it was possible to have the tattoos removed (see sidebar).

Webcor has also added some promising young talent to their roster in 2005, including Marc Collard, the current collegiate national road champion. Collard is working toward his Ph.D. in mathematics at U.C. Davis and shows great potential for 2005. Another fresh-out-of-college racer is Lucas Euser, a "little light climber guy," as well as Andy Jacques-Maynes, who has left his evil twin Ben to race alone for Ofoto/Sierra Nevada and will probably be going very fast again this year, thwarting all rumors that he's retired now that he's got a grown-up job as a product-developer at Specialized.

The camp

Friday: Out-of-towners Clinger and Dionne arrive at Specialized to pick up their bikes, get fitted out and some product education. They spin around Morgan Hill for a couple of hours to test the bikes.

Saturday: An easy, social ride, get to know each other, hang out. Four hours ride time.

Sunday: Social ride with the Alto Velo/Webcor club team for a few hours, peeling off to head toward Boulder Creek and Big Basin, a solid 5 hours on the bike.

2005 target races

In 2005, Webcor will race a full national calenda, with the highlight of the season being the San Francisco Grand Prix. (Last year 300 Webcor employees, contractors and friends cheered as Dionne soloed to victory.) The team will focus on road races more than criteriums. Webcor will begin with the California swing: Pomona, Redlands, Sea Otter (the team's other favourite race), directly on to the Tour of Georgia. Then Arkansas, Connecticut, Philly week, Cascade Cycling Classic and Altoona as well as the US Pro criterium champs and hopefully, World's!

The bikes and equipment

The 2005 Webcor steed is an all-new Specialized S-works Tarmac, a stylishly-designed, full-carbon frame. The frame is a monocoque: one piece as opposed to several bonded pieces. Because the S-Works Tarmac is a production frame, Webcor's team bikes are exactly the same bikes available to the everyday consumer. Although Specialized does not guarantee riding a Tarmac will make you as fast as David Clinger, or as good-looking as Marc Hagenlocher, it just might help.The bikes weigh in at approximately 15.5 pounds, and the '05 full-carbon Tarmac is a direct descendant of Specialized's long lineage of racing bikes.

The wheelsets are Mavic Ksyrium SLs, long-proven performers of the pro peloton. Webcor will be rolling along with no worries on one of the most successful wheelsets of recent years. The team is running a Specialized finishing-kit as well: the handlebars, stems, and seatposts are all advanced-composite carbon. The groupsets are Shimano Dura-ace (10-speed). The Webcor guys are also sporting Specialized helmets and optics (the preferred fancy term this year for 'sunglasses'), and just when you thought they couldn't think of anything else to make out of carbon, Specialized went and put some in their 2005 helmets. The '05 Decibel boasts carbon sub-frames, which makes them the safest, lightest, and most aerodynamic helmet Specialized offers. In addition to their role as a key factor in the team's being able to say they're outfitted in really cool-looking carbon literally from head-to-toe, the helmet's sub-frame holds together much better in case of a crash.

Team roster

Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA)
Ben Haldemen (USA)
Ben Stafford (USA)
Bernard Van Ulden (USA)
Charles Dionne (Can)
David Clinger (USA)
Darren Baker (USA)
Dario Falquier (USA)
James Mattis (USA)
John Kelly (USA)
Lucas Euser (USA)
Marc Hagenlocher (USA)
Marc Collard (USA)
Owen Laine (USA)
Ted Huang (USA)