|Ben King laying it down during the Mont Saint-Clair Time Trial (Photo RSLT)|
Benjamin King (Radio Shack Leopard Trek) is a professional cyclist who is now in his third year of racing in the elite World Tour ranks. Over the years, we have gotten to know Ben pretty well and we have nothing but respect for his work ethic. At the core is a commitment and dedication to his team, the sport of cycling, and the greater global community. Ben has done some pretty incredible things both on and off the bike. In 2010, at 21 years of age, Ben won the US National Pro Championship (the first rider under 23 years of age to do so). In his first year as a professional, he won the best young rider competition at the 2011 Tour of Beijing. During the off-season you won't find Ben on the couch. He spends his fall breaks volunteering his time for mission-based charities in Mexico and Central America. Ben has a long term approach to his life and training which has turned this Virginia native into not only one of the strongest cyclists on the planet, but also a humanitarian who is out there making a real difference in people's lives.
|Last 100 meters of the Tour Med TT|
Back in the beginning of February, Liam and I made the trip down to Cap D’Agde for the 2013 Tour Mediterranean Time Trial. Ben was racing the Tour and we wanted the chance to get to see him in action. It was a very cold and windy day and the finish was at the top of a killer 2k climb up Mont Saint-Clair with sections over 19% grade. It was so windy, in fact, that Liam almost got blown off his bike a few times as we rode the 24k point to point circuit in the morning just before the pros. Coming that early in the season, it was a tough time trial course to race. Ben’s performance was fantastic. He finished inside the top 20 in 17th place. It was amazing to watch Ben fly up the mountain and incredible how deep he was going into “the pain cave” pulling off that effort. It was too cold at the top of the mountain to catch-up so Ben invited us down to the team hotel at the base of the climb for a coffee after the race. Back at the hotel over coffee and hot chocolate, we talked about the day’s race, the upcoming season, the off-season, and how training was going so far. It was really fascinating stuff - we wanted to know more, but it was getting late. Ben had things to take care of (he was two days and 171k into a five day 700k stage race) and we had to ride back to the car in the cold and wind before it got dark.
|Ben and Liam post race|