BLUE Factory Team
2019 is the inaugural year for the BLUE Factory Team. To expand on its sponsorship and support of individual athletes at the grass roots level BLUE created the BLUE Factory Team to bring together a unique group of athletes with common goals. BLUE wanted to find a way to better support young, less-experienced athletes that have shown talent in the sport by bringing them together with experienced proven racers and providing them high-end equipment. The team is currently comprised of all women with four Jr. women, two collegiate women and an experienced pro. This group has a wide-range of cycling specialists from the 5 time Mt. Washington Hill Climb Champion, three National Jr. CX Champions to a member of the USA Olympic Jr. Track Development Team. With dipping their toe in gravel races this year they are truly involved with all aspects of racing bikes over all terrains and across multiple categories.
With the help from the Melton Design Build/Cari Higgins Real Estate Cycling Team out of Boulder, Colorado these girls were selected and race on the BLUE Factory Team along with their respective local teams including the Melton Team and CU Cycling Teams. This is a unique synergy and collaboration between teams that allows each team to get the exposure they need but at the same time provides a higher-level of support for the young athletes typically reserved for Pro athletes. The team is focused on comradery, individual progression in the sport of cycling, and development as athletes.
The team members’ profiles give you a glimpse into each of them on and off the bike.
Olivia Cummins, Age 16
Road and Track are Olivia’s main focus with cyclocross and mountain biking for fitness training. Olivia is on the USA Olympic Jr. Track Development Team, a National TT Champion and Colorado State Track Champion.
How did you get into cycling?
“My dad took me to watch a race that was going on near our house when I was 5. There was a little kids race and I wanted to do it, so my dad signed me up. I got 2nd in that race and wouldn't stop crying until I found out there was another race later, I then did that race and won.”
Taylor Johnson, Age 17
Taylor is an all-around racer including mountain bikes but really enjoys the speed and technical nature of criteriums and cyclocross. She is currently the Colorado State Jr. 17-18 TT Champion.
What is your favorite post ride food?
“One thing that everyone close to me knows about my racing strategy is that bacon is a key part. I eat it before after and even during races, it's my favorite fuel.”
Aimee Vasse, Pro Cyclist
Aimee returns to the professional cycling scene after taking an 11-year hiatus to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Seeking to return to cycling Aimee bought a low-end bike, joined a local team, and religiously did the 5 am group rides, even if it meant sleeping 4 hours after late nights at the vet clinic. Her fitness returned, and on a whim, she decided to race the Mt. Washington Hill Climb and won the race. Since then, Aimee has won or finished on the podium in multiple hill climbs and Gran Fondos, including winning her beloved Mt. Washington for a record 5th time.
What is your biggest fear? Criteriums
Tea Wright, Age 17
Tea rode bikes from a very young age following her father’s love of mountain biking. She did her first cyclocross race when she was 8 years old on an old mountain bike. She is a two-time Jr. Cyclocross Nationals Champion.
What lessons has cycling taught you, that you carry into everyday life?
“Biking has taught me to bounce back from failure and learn from my mistakes whether on the bike, at school, or playing the piano.”
Carly Wegren, Collegiate
Carly attends University of Colorado and is the CU Cycling Team President. She focuses on road racing but is giving cyclocross and gravel a try this year. 2019 is off to a good start and she has three wins already.
How did you first get into cycling?
“I'd go on little adventures on the gravel paths along the Des Plaines River trail, often bringing a book with me. In high school my dad convinced me to do RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) with him. My first ride on a road bike was 30 miles immersed in a sea of hundreds of people along closed highway! After I came to CU Boulder for school, I got into racing.”
Ashley Zoerner, Collegiate
Ashley attends University of Colorado and is on their cycling team. Her specialty and favorite racing is cyclocross. She is a Cyclocross Jr. National Champion and has competed in U23 CX World Championships.
What lessons has Bicycling racing taught you, that you carry into everyday?
“Being a part of the racing community has taught me so much about the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. I try to be the person that I looked up to as a kid. The biggest thing though as a person is the idea or symbol of: when you reach the top of the mountain, turn around and help the next person, because none of us got where we are without the ones who helped us too."
Lauren Zoerner, Age 16
Lauren’s specialty is cyclocross where she has a love for the sport. She uses road cycling to boost her fitness and is climbing the road category ladder. She is a multi-time Jr. National Champion in CX and twice won the Jr. Colorado State CX Championships.
What is your favorite post ride meal or snack?
“My absolute favorite race snack is donuts because at the national championship race in Reno, Nevada, I had my dad get donuts for after the race, and two laps in, I was trying to catch back up to the leaders, and I remember thinking, “the faster I go, the faster I can have my donut,” and I ended up catching back up to the lead group and having a very successful race.”