Denver, CO – Rudy Project North America, distributor of world-renowned endurance sports eyewear, helmets, prescriptions and gear since 1985, announced that Paul Craig, Co-Founder and President, will be leaving the company today to spend more time with his family and pursue several philanthropic interests.
Craig helped launch Rudy Project North America in 1998, spearheading the Company’s Denver office. Since then Rudy Project has grown into a powerhouse in the high-end sports market sponsoring tens of thousands of athletes, teams and organizations. Recently Rudy Project won its eighth consecutive helmet count in Kona at the Ironman World Championships.
“All good things come to an end, “said Paul Craig, and I look forward to hanging out with my wife and three young kids, scuba diving my bucket list and promoting awareness of several causes I am passionate about. Launching Rudy in the US, Canada and Caribbean and seeing it grow over two decades into the premiere brand has been about as rewarding as it comes. I want to thank everyone who was integral to Rudy’s amazing success along the way and know that the team in place now is ready to take Rudy to the next level.”
“We thank Paul for all his time and energy over the years. Everyone at Rudy wishes him well, said Brad Shapiro, Co-Founder and Principal of Rudy Project North America.
About Rudy Project Italian Crafted Sunglasses, Helmets, Goggles, + Rx/Prescription Eyewear Since 1985 • 7-Time #1 Most-Worn Aero / TT Helmet at IRONMAN® World Championships • Unbeatable Replacement Lens Guarantee • www.rudyprojectna.com
Notes from the track: IndyCar racer Charlie Kimball reflects on his 8th season.
CK: The IndyCar Series wrapped up its 2018 season in Sonoma which means I’m swapping my firesuit at the track for a business suit at sponsor meetings, and trading my racing helmet for a Rudy Project Racemaster on weekends. It’s also a good time to look back and take stock of the ups and downs of our 2,261 laps throughout the year.
Patience is a virtue
While it was my eighth season competing in the IndyCar Series, it was my first season with rookie team Carlin. Though Carlin has had a ton of success racing in the European formula series, taking on IndyCar was a true fresh start. The team received the chassis with less than two months to prepare before the first official test session. The majority of the crew members were brand new to the series, having never done pit stops during a race.
I had to adjust to a new aerokit and work through my driving style to suit the new design. Our engineers had little to zero track data at the start of each race weekend. We knew we had a lot working against us going into the season-opener, but we also had high expectations of our performance and ourselves. Did success happen overnight? Definitely not. But bit-by-bit and with some patience, things started to come together.
The perseverance of this team is unmatched by any other I’ve worked with, and I truly think that was the key to our first season together.
Teamwork makes the dream work
IndyCar is truly a team sport. I need an engineer on hand just to start the car. Pit crew members change four tires and add fuel in eight seconds several times throughout each race. A spotter is my ‘eye in the sky,’ giving me a heads-up on the radio when another car is nearby but out of my limited sightline. But it really goes deeper than that. It’s the relationships built while laughing together in the engineering office, or joking with my crew chief on pit lane about the World Cup. Sharing a drivers’ lounge with fellow Carlin driver Max Chilton meant I had a teammate who’d understand the frustrations of a certain turn, and maybe together, we’d come up with a solution. This season has proven to me that while every IndyCar team receives the same tires and fuel, it’s definitely the individuals that make the car run.
Pressure is a privilege
This lesson, borrowed from the legendary Billie Jean King, always comes to mind while walking through Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the first practice session each month of May. One of the highlights of our 2018 season was qualifying both Carlin cars for the Indianapolis 500, on a year when two entries were bumped from the competitive field. Indy 500 qualifying weekend is, hands-down, the most stressful two days of my year, every year. The pressure of those eight laps is what keeps me up at night in the middle of the winter and what keeps me motivated at the gym.But being one of only 32 other people on the planet on the starting grid of the Indy 500? That’s when I truly appreciate the privilege of working the countless hours, minutes and seconds of preparation to get to the green flag.
Live in the moment
Race morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always magical. Despite it being my eighth attempt at the Indianapolis 500, the pomp and circumstance never fails to give me goose bumps. It’s also a nonstop morning full of engineering meetings, meet-and-greets, fan photo opps, and track obligations.
But this year I was reminded to slow down and enjoy the present, walking to the pre-race grid with team owner Trevor Carlin. His first-ever Indy 500, a driving force behind his team’s entry into IndyCar and a longtime dream moments away from being realized. Seeing his eyes light up (and yes, tear up a bit too) reminded me just how lucky we are to participate in this extraordinary event and sport.
And now? While it’s called the ‘off-season,’ it’s anything but downtime for us. Sponsor meetings, public appearances, training, and come November, baby Kimball, will take up the majority of my free time before the 2019 season kicks off next March.
Lead Image: A Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank rider finishes a climb in the Redlands Cycling Classic. Photo: @dmunsonphoto
TEAMS GIVE 110% DURING TOUR DE FRANCE
Rudy Project teams brought home a stage win and two top ten placements in the points classification, with 5 consecutive stages in the polka dot climber’s jersey for Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujns. Rudy Project provided the three teams with the limited edition Tralyx Fade in this historic Grand Tour, as well as top of the line helmets in exclusive colors for Team Bahrain-Merida. Read the full race recap here.
WINNING ONE OF A KIND
A big congrats to @xdillonx82bx for winning the limited edition Tralyx Fade! Thank you to those who participated, you'll get another shot soon, we promise. Follow @rudyprojectna on Instagram for more contests and gear giveaways!
KONA 2018 PREVIEW
Get ready to rumble on the Big Island this year! On the men's side, Ruedi Wild, Andi Dreitz, and Matt Chrabot will be rocking Rudy Project all the way down Ali'i Drive. On the women's side, champions Mel Hauschildt, Meredith Kessler, and Heather Jackson will go toe to toe with Sarah Piampiano, Rachel McBride, and Jodie Robertson. Stay tuned for more Kona updates, and don't forget to swing by the Rudy Project Village at Uncle Billy's Kona Bay Hotel the week before the race.
RUDY PROJECT: OFFICIAL EYEWEAR OF USA PENTATHLON
USA Pentathlon Multisport is the umbrella organization which provides US national governance for a variety of multi-sport disciplines including the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon as well as Obstacle Course Racing, Biathle, Triathle and Laser-Run competitions. And now elite pentathletes and organization members all have access to exclusive Rudy Project pricing and frames! Read the full announcement here.Shown here: 2017 National Champion Samantha Achterberg.
PODIUM ONE WINNERS
Congratulations to the 41 age group triathletes that have redeemed their PODIUM ONE rewards! (Shown here: Klodian Mitri) It's no easy feat to win your age group in an ultra distance triathlon, and they've earned their free Boost 01 helmet and Tralyxsunglasses! To find out full details and qualifying races, visit our website. Winners to date: Allison L., Alysha K., Amy H., Amy J., Arthur H., Bill H., Bob M., Brenda B., Chris D., David L., Derk de K., Frank G., Hilary F., Jackei D., Jayden., Jen K., Jeremy B., Julia S., Julie K., Kateri P., Kella M., Kelly W., Kiah W., Kristin L., Larry L., Leah R., Maggie P., Mary M., Matthew P., Megan P., Meghan F., Michael D., Nancy P., Natalie G., Peggy Y., Ryan G., Sean F., Tom M., Victoria., and Zuzana T. Congratulations!!!
HOW TO PICK A HELMET: RACING
Road. Aero. Road-aero? How do you know what helmet to wear on race day? Do you go with something more ventilated, more aero, the best of both worlds? We tackle the age-old question and tell you how to make the best choice for race day. Read on...
BEST SUNGLASSES FOR RUNNING
The Spinhawk SLIM gets major props from Women's Running as one of the best frames to wear while running. Listed as 'Best for Small Faces,' the popular style tones down the bug eye look for those with narrower faces, and can be ordered with prescription.
THE MANUAL REVIEWS THE SINTRYX
Called 'the best outdoor sunglasses of 2018," the Sintryx has been racking up accolades since it launched. The Manual says: "If you’re looking for performance, specifically on the bike, look no farther than Rudy Project. If you’re heading into variable light, then the ImpactX-2 photochromatic lenses are the ticket. Quickly changing from 9 percent to 74 percent VLT, the glasses allow you to ride from the dark to bright sunlight without the need to take your shades off." Read the full review.
TOP PICKS FROM SUN VALLEY
Editors fromMTBR.com riding single track in the playground that is Sun Valley got to try out the brand new Protera mountain bike helmet and Sintryx sunglasses with ImpactX-2 photochromic lenses. To say they liked them would be an understatement: "These shades are a one-stop shop with maximum adjustability." Read on...
Worn by cycling legend Miguel Indurain, the Aggressor was the first pair of performance eyewear to bring ergonomic temple tips, aggressive styling, and vented lenses onto the pro cycling scene. If you like what you see, you'll love what we've got coming out... Stay tuned!
GEORGE CESPEDES of TRIANIMAL ENDURANCE
The founder of TriAnimals and TriAnimal Endurance, George started racing triathlon in 1989 and won a lottery slot to Kona in 1991. A USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, his coaching philosophy focuses on having fun, communication, and "planning your race, and racing your plan." Why does he love Rudy Project? "They offer top endurance helmets and sunglasses - you can't beat them." Pictured here with Rudy Project NA Events Director Johnny Vu.
KIKKAN RANDALL: LIVING LEGEND
As a young girl living in Alaska, Kikkan Randall wanted to be an Olympian. Now, having gotten the gold, and more importantly, having been a key part of getting the women's US ski team to the world stage, she talks about how important it is to give back. Read the full article here frominnervoice.life. And stay tuned for more from Kikkan, and how we're teaming up with her to give back this October.
FOR INDY CAR RACING, ELEVATING YOUR PERFORMANCE IS IN THE DETAILS
Paying impeccable attention to detail pays off, especially at 200+ miles per hour. Learn how Charlie Kimball's method brings more top 10 finishes and major success on the track.Read on...
ALISON JACKSON: I BELONG HERE
Canadian, yogi, pro cyclist - Alison Jackson's inspiring story of going from a big fish in a small pond to an Olympian, and how she knows she's right where she wants to be. Read the full profile.
THE BACK AND FORTH: FRIENDLY RIVALRIES
Supporting some of the best triathletes in the world means that sometimes we see them competing against each other. But the friendly rivalries and competitiveness are what make this sport so enjoyable. Upstart Ben Kanute vs veteran Cam Dye, Kona legend Heather Jackson vs the Queen of Taupo MBK. How do they manage it? Read on to find out...
Rudy Project North America, exclusive distributors of Italian-made endurance sports gear, are proud to have supported teams Bahrain-Merida, Trek-Segafredo, and Lotto-Soudal with award-winning helmets and eyewear through the 2018 Tour de France. Cyclists battled the elements, the road, and each other through the intense three-week race that saw grueling climbs, challenging cobblestones, and even unruly and careless fans. Rudy Project provided the three teams with the limited edition Tralyx Fade in this historic Grand Tour, as well as top of the line helmets in exclusive colors for Team Bahrain-Merida. In total, Rudy Project teams brought home a stage win and two top ten placements in the points classification, with 5 consecutive stages in the polka dot climber’s jersey for Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujns.
Going into the Tour de France, Lotto-Soudal was hungry for stage wins. With the legendary Andre Greipel and Thomas De Gendt leading the charge, the team led surprise breakaway efforts and fought hard for podium finishes.
Greipel came down hard in Stage 4, taking third place. De Gendt roared back with a solid effort in Stage 13, leading the breakaway off the start line and took the first intermediate sprint of the stage, even after three grueling days in the Alps that forced several of the race’s hardened sprinters to abandon the race.
Vincenzo “The Shark” Nibali came out strong and confident throughout the opening stages of the Tour, maintaining a presence near the top ten in the General Classification even after a cobble-ridden stage 9 split the peloton and resulted in lost time for several riders, including 2017 Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin. After the first rest day of the race, Nibali displayed his trademark tenacity and began to chip away at the GC contenders, climbing from the bottom of the top 20 to within striking distance of the malloit juane, with the mountains looming in the distance. Team Bahrain-Merida looked confident, with Sonny Colbrelli targeting stage wins and pushing hard to the finish line.
As the peloton climbed the legendary Alpe d’Huez, Nibali accelerated up the punishing grade through raucous crowds and smoke. The course was lined with fans on both sides of the road cheering on the riders, and then disaster struck. As Nibali pursued defending champion Chris Froome with less than 4km to go, a bystander’s camera strap caught his handlebars, sending him crashing into the pavement. Helped up by fans amid the chaos, Nibali mounted his bike, gritted his teeth, and finished the stage in 4th overall. A post-stage medical examination revealed that Nibali had fractured a vertebra and would be forced to return home for further examination and surgery. “It was confirmed that I had suffered a fractured vertebra, and tomorrow I will return home for a period of recovery,” said Nibali on Twitter. “Thank you for all your affection shown to me! Until next time…”
Even with their GC leader gone, Team Bahrain-Merida refused to throw in the towel and continued to fight hard for stage wins, with sprinter Sonny Colbrelli coming in second twice and the Izagirre brothers putting in solid performances in three mountain breakaways.
Nibali’s crash served to highlight the sport’s need for high quality helmets – the RaceMaster features dual-density Hexocrush foam and a nylon scaffolding frame, designed to absorb impacts and reduce rotational damage to the head and neck. In what is only Bahrain-Merida’s second year on the Grand Tour circuit, they performed admirably, sporting Rudy Project the entire way.
In a performance that was called the highlight of the entire Tour de France, German rider John Degenkolb stole the show with an emotional win at the end of stage 9. After a 2016 crash in which Degenkolb and five of his teammates were seriously injured, this year’s win marked the official turning point of his triumphant comeback.
In an emotional post-race interview, Degenkolb dedicated the win to a deceased friend. Struggling to stay composed, he said, “I’m so happy to dedicate this win to one of my best friends, he passed away last winter… this was really something for him. Everybody said I’m done, after this accident, and I said no, I’m not done. I have to make one big victory for this guy.” Still dusty and sweat drenched from the cobbles, Degenkolb turned right around and thanked his team, saying on Instagram, “This is a win of the whole Trek-Segafredo team. A great day for all of us.”
Latvian rider Toms Skujins had an excellent race in his own right, sporting the climber’s polka dot jersey for five stages over some of the toughest terrain the Tour had to offer. The hills came easily for him, and Skujins was overcome with joy upon getting to sport the dots for as long as he did. “The best thing is definitely the recognition,” he said in an interview with Peloton Magazine. “Not just the recognition that I am getting, but the recognition that the team is getting and that Latvia is getting… And of course it is great for the team. Everyone is excited.”
The remainder of Team Trek-Segafredo was less fortunate – Bauke Mollema dropped out of GC contention after a very painful crash but continued to stay aggressive throughout the race with the help of his team. The spirit of the team never faltered – at one point through the dust-streaked stage 9, Toms Skujins gave his special edition polka dotted Rudy Project sunglasses to team leader Bauke Mollema just so he could see past the dust, while Degenkolb thanked his team effusively for his epic stage win.
“This entire Tour was one non-stop rollercoaster ride,” said Paul Craig, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Rudy Project North America. “It goes to show that carefully engineered and tested protective equipment is critical for our riders. I am always amazed at conditioning, commitment and endurance needed in one of the hardest races on the planet. Chapeau to all the riders!”
When it comes to looking for a new helmet, your choices will be vast and numerous. As cycling becomes increasingly popular, the specializations have diverged and multiplied. You can now get helmets with integrated lights specifically for commuting, or personalized graphics, or even a helmet masquerading as a scarf until it senses acceleration and inflates protectively around your head (yes, it's real). The options can be overwhelming, so how do you know what to look for in a new helmet?
The kind of helmet you get depends in what kind of riding you’ll be doing. A lot of mountain biking? Full coverage, a big visor for sunny days, and good ventilation for strenuous climbs. Looking to set records at your lunch ride? Maybe opt for something more aerodynamic. Or, are you looking for something that will stay cool and ventilated for a long gravel ride? Beyond that, there are a few fundamental factors to consider, regardless of your two-wheeled pursuit of choice.
The single most important element to consider. When you try on a helmet, make sure you try it on like you’re going for a ride: If you wear a cycling cap, put the cap under the helmet; If you ride with your hair in a braid or ponytail, pull your hair back into your style of choice and make sure the retention system fits around your ponytail or sits on your braid comfortably. Play with different pad configurations—Rudy Project helmets come with a bug net and extra pads—and find what’s most comfortable for you.
Simulate your riding position: if you ride in your drops often, make sure that you can comfortably and easily keep your head in a position like you are looking up the road, without the helmet slipping down.
Some heads are more circular, some are more oval, but a good wraparound fit system can accommodate big variances so you won't notice any uncomfortable pressure points on your forehead and temples while maintaining a secure fit.
Look at the number of vents in the front of the helmet, and the size and shape of vents in the back – that’s where warm air will exit. Are the vents large or small? Small vents in road and mountain bike helmets typically mean a lower grad of EPS foam (more foam = fewer vents). We also incorporate an Internal Airframe in a number of our helmets to help accentuate airflow from the forehead up through the helmet. The goal is to keep your head cool and comfortable so all you think about is how much you're enjoying your ride.
As you move into higher end models, you’ll find helmets are much lighter due to higher quality materials, like lightweight EPS foam, and use an internal structure, like the Spectrum, which features In-Mold Construction. This safety feature enhances the protection provided by the helmet, while maintaining a lightweight and superior ventilation.
Does the helmet manufacturer stand behind their equipment? Up-front savings can translate into costs down the road: if something on the helmet breaks, and you have to pay for a replacement, or buy a brand new helmet, you’re not saving money. Rudy Project helmets are covered by a 3-year manufacturing warranty, and a 6 year, industry-leading crash replacement guarantee. If you crash in the helmet within 6 years of purchasing it, we’ll replace that helmet at a very competitive price.