We're now well into the 2016 racing season and Blue's athletes have started off the year with top placements on their Blue Competition Cycles around the globe in both road racing and triathlon. We're very excited to have such a talented group of athletes riding our bicycles and representing our brand throughout the world. Though we're still early in the year, our athletes have already seen success. Look for Blue athletes on podiums at races near you throughout the rest of the year.
The newly formed Happy Tooth Dental Professional CyclingTeam right away made their mark by taking 5th and 6th places at US Criterium National Championships. They followed this up several weeks later with a big week of success at USA Crits Speed Week, a six day event with criterium throughout the South Eastern US. The team won two of the six races. Team member Tina Pic took the overall win for the week and Christina Gokey-Smith finished the week with 3rd place overall. Happy Tooth Dental won the overall team competition for the week. This has been a great start for 2016 for the women of Happy Tooth Dental riding their Blue Axino road bikes.
In triathlon, new Blue professional triathlete for 2016, Sarah Crowley has started off her year with a bang winning Ironman 70.3 Taiwan, taking 4th place at Ironman 70.3 Geelong in Australia, and 2nd place at the Noumea International Triathlon in New Caledonia. Sarah is focused on Ironman Cairns Asia-Pacific Championships in June to solidify her spot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October. The land down under has also been kind to another new Blue athlete Clayton Fettell who took 3rd place at Ironman Australia. This gave him valuable points towards his World Championship qualification. Like Sarah, he is focusing on Ironman Cairns in June to take a spot to Kona. Aussie Ironman 70.3 specialist, David Mainwaring started off his year with early successes by taking 4th place at Ironman 70.3 Taiwan and 8th place at Ironman 70.3 Busselton in Western Australia. David's focus for the year is a top placement at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia in September.
Probably the biggest story for Blue this year has been the success of our Paratriathlete, Kate Doughty. Kate's dominating performances earned her a spot on the Australian Paralympic team for the Paralympic Games in Rio in September. Kate won the Australian Paratriathlon Championships as well as the Penrith and Yokohama WPE paratriathlons. She also won the Devenport Oceania Paratriathlon Championships. We are so very proud to sponsor Kate and be part of her team as she prepares for and races in Rio!
The young, up and coming Ellie Salthouse made the switch from short-course triathlon to long-course this year. It's safe to say she's found her home by winning the Challenge Melbourne triathlon and taking 5th place at Ironman 70.3 St. George US Pro Championships. Ellie also won the Gatorade Sprint Triathlon Series in Australia this winter. Second year professional Chris Leiferman added to his top placements from last year by taking 3rd place at the Wildflower Triathlon as well as 6th pace at Ironman 70.3 San Juan. Ironman distance specialist, took 3rd place at Challenge Taiwan full-distance race. This was his 9th podium at Ironman distance races and plans on going for more at Ironman UK in July and Ironman Taiwan in October. The veteran Richie Cunningham started his year by taking 6th place at Ironman 70.3 Panama Latin American Championships as well as 6th place at Ironman 70.3 Galveston. This 40-something year old has showed that he still has a lot of fight left. Always a Blue fan favorite, Dede Griesbauer also had a successful start to her year by taking 2nd place at Ironman 70.3 Buenos Aires, 10th place at Ironman 70.3 Panama Latin American Championships, and 10th place at Ironman South Africa, African Championships. Both Richie and Dede are looking towards summer races to add Ironman World Championships points to qualify to race in Kona this October.
Although we're less than 5 months into 2016, we're already proud of the accomplishments of Blue's athlete's top accomplishments. Check back here, our Facebook page, and twitter to keep up to date on how our athletes are doing and where they're racing the rest of this year. Here's to a great start to 2016!