by Chris Brewer
If you have been thinking about coming to the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge, this announcement could be the final push you needed!
Some very special guests will be joining the thousands of runners and riders supporting the 28 million people around the world living with cancer at the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge here in Austin, Texas October 22-24. While you may never get to ride in the Tour de France, you will get the chance to join some Tour veterans as well as some of the best up-and-coming riders as they roll into Austin for the big weekend!
Starting with Team RadioShack, Challenge participants will get the chance to see Levi Leipheimer, Markel Irizar, Jason McCartney, Bjorne Selander, Jani Brajkovic, Yaroslav ?Popo? Popovych and newcomer to the team Ben King. King is joined by his fellow Trek-LIVESTRONG teammates Nate Brown, Lawson Craddock, and Gavin Mannion, part of Lance Armstrong?s Under-23 development squad.
RadioShack is not only the prime sponsor of the cycling team, but a great LIVESTRONG friend too. Since entering into this special partnership last year, RadioShack and its customers have generated more than $4M for the Foundation and its mission to support people with cancer.
Levi is a veteran leader and one of the best time trialists in the world (Bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics, as well as winning numerous other TTs). He has won the Tour of California multiple times, and placed in the top 10 overall at four Tours de France, recording a stage win in 2007 on his way to a final podium third place showing.
Jason – an all-around support rider – is also a Tour of Spain stage winner (2007), two-time winner of the mountains classification in the Tour de Georgia, and winner of the mountains classifications at the 2009 Tour of California.
Jani is the 2004 U23 World Time Trial Champion and wore the leader?s Gold Jersey at the 2006 Vuelta a Espana during 2 stages. Most recently he completed his first Tour de France and was one of the prime animators in the finale of the World Championships in Geelong, Australia.
Markel is a proud cancer survivor as well as solid pro rider, treated for testicular cancer in 2002; a disease that he describes as first being thought of associated with death but is now focused on survivorship. His comments about the trials of cancer are full of acknowledgements of support from his family and close friends and he is convinced that the experience has made him stronger, wiser and more focused.
Always smiling, Popo is an another all-around rider, performing well in the Classics (U23 Paris-Roubaix winner and world champion) and notched a stage win in the 2006 Tour de France. He now prefers to work for other riders (called a ?domestique,? like Jason) and is an indispensable teammate, especially in the mountains.
Riding for Trek- LIVESTRONG, Ben King recently claimed the USA road race National Championship and will wear the stars and stripes kit in 2011 while making his professional debut for Team RadioShack. Ben attacked in the first two kilometers of the race in what has been called ?one of the most inspiring human dramas cycling has ever seen,? soloing into victory in an amazing show of personal strength and commitment. At 21-years-old, his win made him the youngest national professional road race champion in American history, as well as the first rider to ever win both the U23 national title and the elite title in the same year.
The good news is there?s still plenty of room to join this amazing group of riders as we explore the beautiful Texas hill country in support of the 28M people living with cancer, and you can get all the information at www.LIVESTRONG Challenge.org.
Hope to see you out there ? ciao for now! ? Chris