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Celebrating the 2019 Season

By Sofia Marin | In General | on September 29, 2019

It’s hard to believe the 2019 season is coming to a close for many of our athletes. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and recognize all of the incredible accomplishments our athletes have achieved.

We also had the exciting addition of Jackson Duncan to our coaching staff this year!

The Disciplines

Achieve athletes compete across a variety of disciplines, and we were especially excited to see the expansion of gravel racing and events in 2019!  Athletes participated in seven disciplines including: Gravel, Road, Track, Cyclocross, Cross Country Mountain Bike, Downhill MTB, and Enduro.

While cycling and bike racing goes far beyond results, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recognize the incredible success our talented athletes had on the bike. 

The Highlights

1 World Championships Team Selection for Team USA
1 USA National MTB Championship Title
1 Zimbabwe National Championship Title
1 Single Speed Cyclocross District Championship Title
1 Signing with a National Racing Calendar Team in 2020
25 Victories
32 Podiums
50 Top 10s
5 Category Upgrades
5 UCI events raced
2 Babies born
1 First-ever bike race
1 Healthy recovery from surgery

The Athletes

What better way to celebrate the year than to hear from our athletes as they reflect on their seasons.

Bright Chipongo, Zimbabwe National Road Champion
Like father, like son. Andrew Waite’s son participating in his second-ever MTB race.


“Racing with my 14 year old son and seeing him place 3rd in his second-ever race was the highlight for my season.” – Andrew Waite, MTB Cyclist

Stephen Vogel showcasing his time trialing abilities.

“My 2019 season was filled with personal and professional achievements. I was guided by Coach Sofi into my first winter of training on a time trial bike that led to podiums in the TT and overall at Valley of the Sun and Chico Stage Race Pro/Cat 1 Races. I tapped into my aerobic engine more than ever before and realized my potential in gravel events like the Grasshopper series and Belgian Waffle Ride. I developed into a rider valuable for personal and team accomplishments which opened the door to joining a national-calendar team next year. Plus, I completed my medical residency.” – Stephen Vogel, Road & Gravel Cyclist


“I got over the fear of riding with no hands!” – Clara Wang, Road Cyclist

Blake Harper was no stranger to the top step of the podium this year.

“Coach Ryan guided me into the sport with empathy, encouragement, and a whole treasure-trove of NCNCA insight. From the very beginning he listened well, understood what I wanted to achieve in the sport, and helped me to see my potential. I honestly cannot imagine what the season would have been like without his support.” – Blake Harper, Road Cyclist

“My first season as a Cat 2 racer was humbling and motivating. I’m most proud of my work bring a group of 5 Cat 2’s to Tour of America’s Dairyland as a composite team under the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club banner. We learned a ton, and brought back our learnings to the NCNCA. I also experienced a 24% jump in VO2Max, 32% jump in watts/kg, and a 20% jump in Anaerobic Threshold.” – Haley Nielsen, Road, Track & MTB Cyclist

Teamwork. Team Dolce Vita rode like a well-oiled machine year round.

“I’m super proud of my team Dolce Vita’s results, camaraderie, and overall ethos  Personally, I improved my nutrition and achieved target weight by working with Coach Sofi, as well as increased my 20-minute power to 394 watts.” – Trevor Gilmore, Dolce Vita Team President, Road Cyclist.

Young 16-year old Haley Randel celebrates one of many victories on the MTB this season.


“The whole season was so amazing. Being selected for the Worlds Team has been the biggest highlight.” – Haley Randel, Junior MTB Cyclist

“The last seven months have been such an eye opener. My expectations have been met and then some! Communication, motivation, inspiration, and a good amount of ‘Steve you got it bud!’ It’s those little things that make me excited to get on my bike and believe in the process. Coach Ryan has a bottomless pit of knowledge.” – Steven Tortorelli, Road & Track Cyclist

“Above all, we had a new addition to our family in May, our son Brendan born on May 9th.  Coach Sofi has been amazing! Her guidance this year has launched me into the next level. The nutritional support is top-notch, I lost 16 lbs and kept the weight off without any emotional suffering or power loss (I even improved my FTP and sprint power during this time).  I have a much better concept of choosing the right foods to eat on and off the bike.” – Marco Lei, Road Cyclist

Fatherhood and racing. Rafael Garcia earns a spot on the podium at the San Rafael Sunset Crit after balancing cycling and being a new dad.

“It was my first full season racing on a team (Dolce Vita), as a parent, and as a Cat 3. Overall, I’m really happy with how the year went!” – Rafael Garcia, Road Cyclist

Rapha North America crew at the inaugural Grinduro Canada, won by Ryan Rinn.

“I’ve made a goal of having more fun on the bike and taking some pressure off myself when it comes to racing. I knew I was going to be a dad all of 2019 so the goal was to try to do as many rides and races as I could. I rode away with another District/State Cyclocross Title, my 5th or 6th title. I also won the inaugural Grinduro Canada and overall Grasshopper Series. Ryan has been an amazing coach and helped me through some stressful times this year to help me keep perspective and focus. I’ll be looking forward to balancing riding and fatherhood and continuing to share the love of cycling with my wife Erin.” – Ryan Rinn, Cyclocross & Gravel Cyclist

Jamie Knowlton rode his way onto the podium at Downieville All Mountain World Championships, Lost & Found Gravel Grinder and the Grasshopper Adventure Series in 2019.

“One big accomplishment was sticking with a good rehab routine that my coach helped me with and recovering from a difficult ski injury. My year will get better from here on out.” – John Esterkyn, Road Cyclist

Stuart Watson and Coach Sofi Marin celebrate at the San Rafael Sunset Crit.
Vignesh Shanmuganathan & Trevor Gilmore of Achieve-sponsored Team Dolce Vita.

“I had a blast with my new team Dolce Vita this year, starting with the Coast Ride. I’m really pleased with how the season started off and my performance at early season stage races, followed by getting my Cat 2 upgrade.” – Stuart Watson, Road Cyclist

Raymond Rodriguez shows his form at the Oakland Grand Prix.

“Seeing the progression of my fitness riding against and with stronger riders has been the fun part. Being able to try different tactics and play around on the bike is the best measure of success.” – Raymond Rodriguez, Road Cyclist

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James Grady enjoys a week-long cycling camp in Yosemite.


Team SheSpoke and Coach Sofi get together for a team training camp.

Congratulations to our Achieve athlete community! We are proud to coach you as you work toward your goals and dreams, and enjoy the ride.

Want to join the Achieve athlete community? Contact Head Coach Dana Williams at: danawilliams26@gmail.com or visit achieveptc.com

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