Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nationals countdown - 12 days to go

Twelve days before the 2011 USA Cycling Junior Road Nationals in Augusta, Georgia begin. We’re taking a closer look at the fourteen teammates that make up Team Specialized over the final two weeks leading up to Nationals.

Diego Binatena (racing age 15), hometown: Playa Del Rey, CA

Diego Binatena attended the 2010 USA Cycling West Coast Development and Talent Identification Camp. As the camp manager/ head coach Diego quickly caught my attention. Diego can climb like an angel, and sprint like a demon. This is a powerful combination to take into any event. His time trialing has improved so much over the past year that he is catching the attention of all of his rivals. Seeing his time trialing improve is not a big surprise to us as we witnessed his solo breakaway victory at the Sea Otter road race. That was impressive!

Diego is generally a quite person in a large group. When you get to know Diego you realize how thoughtful and analytical he is. He can replay specific details of the last lap of any event he’s done and is always appreciative of his teammates. In fact, Diego, Phil, Jack and Matt have shown impeccable teamwork when they raced together at Valley of the Sun, San Dimas and Sea Otter.

Team Specialized believes in learning from your race experience. Do a lot of racing and you will gain more experience than one would simply talking about racing. Live the experience. In that regard, we also love to see riders prioritize races. We’ve been working on this with Diego. You see, he wants to win every race he enters! We love that about a rider, but to best prepare for the important races we want to see work on specific skills and tactics in less important races. For Diego it turns out to be a relief because he was putting pressure on himself to win every race. Better to learn a new trick every event and have fun than to be disappointed in losing more than you win (a harsh reality of our sport).

For Nationals we are looking forward to seeing what Philip, Diego and Matt can do against eight Garmin Holowesko teammates and 100 other top USA riders. Sacrifice for the good of the team and the ability to deliver the win are of high importance with our team. We look forward to the show!

Good luck in Augusta Diego Binatena! Cheers, Larry Nolan, Team Specialized Director

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