Thursday, December 31, 2009

Person of the Year

Elliott Craddock and Tyler Karnes are bikevoice's 2009 persons of the year.  Elliott (18) landed a slot on Team Garmin-Transition's U-23 team and T. Karnes (19) is headed to Marian University, Indiana on a cycling-academic scholarship.  Elliott is flying out this week to Tucsan to train with his team for 3 months, and T. Karnes is beginning his first semester at Marian next week.

Inspired by locals Paul Ward and Mike Stoop who spent time on professional teams, Elliott and T. Karnes have trained and raced together for five years.  Elliott said that they are always pushing and motivating each other, and that there have been times that one would say, "I am not letting you go home" if the other faltered half way through a training ride, or one would call and say, "I ate a cheeseburger today, what am I going to do?" while the other picked up the pieces. 

As high school seniors, they raced locally and nationally in 2009 to set themselves up for call ups. Since they raced on different teams, if one made the break in a road race, the other would bust a gut to join in the same break, no question. A successful race for both was the South Carolina State Road Race where T. Karnes won the 17-18 road race, and Elliott placed 8th in the Pro 1-2 field.  T. Karnes will race the collegiate circuit for most of 2010, whereas Elliott will enter the big pro races as a U-23 rider, including Tour of the Bahamas happening January 22-24 and Tour of Gila, Mexico in April.

Elliott used some old fashioned job search persistence to land his spot on Garmin in the tight economy of pro cycling.  He sent resume and results to Garmin, and despite being told in October that "the roster is full," he continued to send management information and data from his races and training. They tested his VO max, heard about his bridge jump, and started to see that Elliott was not kidding when he told them, "I will be the most dedicated and happy person on the team."   He got the Garmin call up in November. 

Previous bikevoice persons of the year:

Wes, 2008

1 comment:

Kevin said...

That's My Goonz!!!
Good call Liz!