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      Rudy Project Teams Give 110% During Epic Tour de France

      Rudy Project Teams Give 110% During Epic Tour de France

      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.

      LOTTO-SOUDAL

      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.

      BAHRAIN-MERIDA

      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.

      TREK-SEGAFREDO

      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!”

      All Images Courtesy of Bettini Photo

      How to Pick a Helmet | Blog | Rudy Project

      How to Pick a Helmet | Blog | Rudy Project

      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.

      Rudy Project athlete Heather Jackson out having fun in the Airstorm helmet.

      Fit

      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.

      Ventilation

      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.

      Weight

      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.

      Warranty

      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.

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      Degenkolb Rides Cobbles to TDF Stage 9 Victory in Rudy Project’s Tralyx Fade

      Degenkolb Rides Cobbles to TDF Stage 9 Victory in  Rudy Project’s Tralyx Fade

      On a day filled with crashes and mechanicals, sprinter John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo rode clear of the infamous Paris-Roubaix cobbles in Stage 9 of the Tour de France to take an epic stage win. The German sprinter made the move look effortless with the final few hundred meters to go, outsprinting yellow jersey wearer Greg Van Avermaet of BMC Racing Team with a burst of energy to take a photo finish win.

      The stage win marks Degenkolb’s first World Tour win since the final stage of the 2015 Vuelta a España.  His career was derailed after a 2016 training camp accident resulted in Degenkolb and 5 other teammates being hit by a driver on the wrong side of the road. Degenkolb was hospitalized, and almost lost a finger due to his injuries.

      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 streaked 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.”

      Trek-Segafredo teammate Jasper Stuyven took 6th, grabbing Peter Sagan’s wheel in the final sprint and finishing strong. Another Rudy Project athlete sporting the special edition Tralyx Fade, Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal, took 8th.

      “The Tour this year is on a whole other level,” said Chris Lupo, Director of Sports Marketing for Rudy Project North America. “And this was an amazing day for Rudy Project.  With three riders out of the top ten wearing the Tralyx Fade, we couldn’t be prouder to be supporting world class teams like Trek-Segafredo, Lotto-Soudal, and Team Bahrain-Merida.”

      Rudy Project introduced a limited edition Tralyx Fade color to celebrate the three teams wearing the award-winning Tralyx in the peloton. The white and red frames feature an RP Optics Multilaser Orange lens, ideal for increased contrast and reducing eye fatigue. The Fade color also comes in a Gold/Blue with Multilaser Ice lenses, and a Yellow Fluo/Green Fluo with an RP Optics Mutilaser Blue lens.

      All photos courtesy of Bettini Photo.

      Project Podium renamed to PODIUM ONE

      Project Podium renamed to PODIUM ONE

      Rudy Project’s Age Group Racer Rewards Program Undergoes Name Change

      Rudy Project is announcing that they are revising the name of their age group winner rewards program, formerly known as ‘Project Podium,’ to simply ‘Podium One.’


      “In order to prevent confusion between our age grouper rewards program and USA Triathlon’s new men’s elite development program based at Arizona State University, also titled Project Podium, we’ve elected to alter the name of our program,” said Paul Craig, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Rudy Project North America. “We value our relationship with USA Triathlon, and look forward to partnering with them to better promote the Podium One rewards program and ensure the best are rewarded with the best.  The name also created some confusion with some Age Group winners assuming all three podium spots would receive gear -in reality it’s just the winners of each age group in eligible sanctioned races of 140.6 miles or longer.”


      Podium One is an initiative that rewards North America’s fastest age group triathletes with award-winning Rudy Project performance eyewear and helmets.  Age group racers that take first in their age group in any eligible ultra-distance sanctioned triathlon in the United States and Canada can earn a free, top-of-the-line Rudy Project Boost 01 road aero helmet and a pair of Tralyx sunglasses. Athletes must be a permanent resident of the USA or Canada in order to qualify. For a complete list of program rules please visit www.rudyprojectna.com/podium-one.


      “A significant percentage of our most engaged members compete in ultra-distance triathlons,” said Chuck Menke, Chief Marketing Officer for USA Triathlon. “We believe these athletes will jump at the chance to qualify for Podium One rewards, and we’re throwing our full support behind the program and our partner, Rudy Project.”


      Rudy Project North America and USA Triathlon have a long-standing relationship that spans almost two decades. As the Official Helmet and Eyewear of USA Triathlon, Rudy Project promotes helmet and eye safety, as well as product education, to USA Triathlon’s annual membership of over 140,000 triathletes. Rudy Project also provides performance-elevating gear to athletes on the USA Triathlon National Team and the USA Paratriathlon National team.


      Such support doesn’t go unnoticed by USA Triathlon’s membership – in results released last year from a member survey Rudy Project helmets were ranked the top-rated helmet in terms of quality. More than 90% of survey takers wearing, training, and racing in Rudy Project helmets rated them a 4 or 5 (Very Good, Excellent).  The findings underscore the Italian brand’s reputation as the #1 Helmet at Kona for the past 7 years running. Rudy Project’s performance sunglasses came in a close second with 83 percent of respondents rating the quality of Rudy Project’s sunglasses a 4 or above out of 5. Among the survey’s 14,786 respondents, Rudy Project received the highest rating overall out of 20 helmet brands. The nearest competitor lagged 15 percentage points behind, with only 75% of wearers rating it 4 or above.


      “It’s that kind of feedback from athletes that goes to show how popular a program like Podium One will be with USA Triathlon’s membership and beyond,” said Craig. “Our helmets are aerodynamically engineered, race-tested by tens of thousands of athletes all over the world, and that produces a product that we’re incredibly proud of.  We’ve launched Podium One, because we simply want the best racing in the best and reward the time, energy and dedication needed to win an age group in an ultra-distance triathlon.”


      The prize pack offered through Podium One is worth up to $625 USD, and triathletes that win their age group can submit their results online for verification at www.rudyproject.com/podium-one to redeem. Athletes will be able to choose from the entire Boost 01 road aero (without visor) color line up, which includes Stealth Black and eye-popping Pink Fluo. To complement their helmet, athletes can also select a frame from the award-winning Tralyx family, including the regular Tralyx, Tralyx XL for additional coverage, or the new Tralyx SLIM, designed specifically for athletes with narrower faces. That, coupled with customer-forward warranties like Rudy Project’s 6 Year Crash Replacement Guarantee and Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee, make this an unbeatable prize package for the age grouper at the top of their game.
       
      Winning athletes can submit their information and race results for verification online at www.rudyprojectna.com/podium-one. Athletes that won their age group in any 2018 ultra-distance triathlon prior to the announcement of the program are also eligible to redeem retroactively. Full terms and conditions of the initiative can be found online at www.rudyprojectna.com/podium-one as well as a full list of eligible races. The program will run through December of 2018.

      Charlie Kimball: Elevating Your Performance is in the Details

      Charlie Kimball: Elevating Your Performance is in the Details

      I grew up as the son of a racing engineer, so from very early on I was conditioned to pay attention to the details. My dad’s meticulous and methodical approach—from his previous work at the race track to his current challenges of navigating life as an avocado farmer—has given me insight into how focusing on the details can bring success.

       

      In the ultra-competitive world of the Verizon IndyCar Series, getting the details right or wrong could mean starting the race from P1 or P15. We’re constantly searching for hundredths of seconds from the car on the time sheet. The competition is just that close.

       

      It starts with the setup sheet. There are almost 200 items and settings engineers can change on the car. Putting all of those variables together, there are virtually trillions of possible combinations! No two cars are identical, even if they look alike on track to the naked eye. A reasonably small change to the wing angle could have a big effect on downforce levels. A big part of the car setup depends on the specific track. While the setup for a road course and oval car are quite different, each individual track also has its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. During setup day at a street course, we’ll take a walk around the entire circuit to determine what changes have been made since the previous year. We’re looking at curbs, grooves in the pavement and any spots where water could pool in case it’s a wet race. Making note of the details could save us crucial time during qualifying.

       

      Once we’re on track for practice, qualifying or the race, the car is linked up with telemetry, which relays information from the car on track to our engineers on pit lane. This helps the team monitor the details—engine, tire, steering, brake and throttle performance—from the pit stand so they’re constantly making decisions and improvements based on instant feedback. At times, the engineers can use the data to identify and diagnose issues before they even show up on track, saving precious time and avoiding costly damage.

      My steering wheel’s dash display also shows me the tire pressure, brake and oil temperatures, fuel numbers and other car data. As soon as I pull into pit lane after a practice run, the crew members are checking tires for abnormalities or punctures, meticulously looking for any sign of damage to the body of the car and checking fuel numbers to align with the car data system.

      The attention to detail never stops.

       

      Before we even strap into the car, we’ve already prepared our bodies to race at speeds of 230 mph. Drivers are professional athletes; we've honed our ability to cope with high G-force loads, make quick decisions while driving three-wide through a turn and building the muscle to maneuver 700 horsepower (without power steering!) is all part of the equation.

      My trainer has years of motorsports-specific experience, working with drivers and pit crews, so he knows what we need to do during the week at the gym to be successful on race weekend. A small tweak in training could mean big gains once we hit the track. It also comes down to details in the food we eat; like we fuel the car, we must properly fuel our bodies.

      I eat a very basic meal during every on-track day—just plain pasta, plain chicken breast, salad with no dressing, and fruit. It’s weighed and counted for carbs and protein, so I’m giving my body the best opportunity for consistency and performance before I put my helmet on for a two or three hour race.

       

      As drivers we understand racing can be a dangerous sport, but taking the right precautions is a good first step. From a highly-tested helmet to fire resistant undershirts, getting the right gear is just as important as the right car setup in order to take the checkered flag.

      For me, it’s about finding the highest quality products possible. Like the folks at Rudy Project, I appreciate seeing effort put into the details. The research, testing and tweaking of a piece of gear, whether that’s the fit of a race boot or my Rudy Project Tralyx and Spinhawk sunglasses, are the special factors in separating good enough with superior products.

       

      All of the bits and pieces of a race weekend add up. As we hit the halfway point of the 2018 IndyCar season, I’m really enjoying being a part of the Carlin race team as they tackle the details during their first year in the series. And now it’s starting to show in our performances—stronger qualifying sessions and consistent top-10 finishes. Like the lesson I learned from my dad, success can be traced back to those little details.