Editor's Note: This post was originally published October 9th, 2018 and has recently been updated and revised for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
A series of recent articles and social media buzz surround a development in the North American skiing scene - the rise of independent race teams.
Ski Racing.com's Connor Davis published an article detailing SYNC supported teams Team X-Alpine, Redneck Racing, and Team America. Programs like these, built to support athletes looking for avenues to keep improving and aiming at World Cup Racing after college or outside of the national team program. SYNC has supported these programs from day one with equipment, coverage, and most recently, the Elevate the Athlete program where customers can chose where SYNC donates 10% of the purchase value.
These 4 teams provide valuable input to our products, from suits to training wear like the new Pano Jacket.
For 2018/2019, TA is relaunching, an independent Alpine Ski Team as an alternative to the US National Team for NorAm and World Cup level post-collegiate alpine ski racers. The original Team America was founded in 2007 by Bode Miller when he left the U.S. Ski Team to build a program he felt would better suit his specific needs. Though no longer associated with Bode Miller, Team America continues in the spirit of independent athlete development. The 2018 version of Team America is privately funded in the spirit of giving underdog athletes and those whose needs were not met by U.S. Ski and Snowboard a chance to compete at the Continental and World Cup level and compete for coveted World Cup spots.
Team America currently consists of 22 year-old Garret Driller, former athlete for the Montana State Bobcats, 23 year-old Alex Leever, former captain of the University of Denver Ski Team, and 25 year-old Dartmouth graduate Brian McLaughlin. Alex and Garret were All Americans at the NCAA Championships, as well as consistent high performers at the NorAm level, while Brian won the NorAm GS overall title and was the NCAA GS Champion in 2018.
Consisting of Tucker Marshall, Robby Kelley, Tomas Woolson, and Sandy Vietze, Redneck Racing is a group of alpine ski racers from Vermont.
In their own words: "Redneck Racing is a professional alpine ski racing team that provides its athletes with appropriate resources to excel at the top level of competition. Our funds are allocated in an efficient manner, in order to optimize our personal athletic potential by allowing us financial flexibility. We are a network of dedicated athletes that apply connections to leverage resources for further development of its members.
Our goal as a group is to compete at the highest level of our sport and advocate for the pursuit of athletic achievements in a viable and effective way."
Team X- Alpine
The newly created “Team X Alpine” (X for females two X chromosomes) is a small, elite, female post-graduate team, committed to taking a “best practice approach.”
As a team, all athletes will target the NorAm circuit, however each skier has individual goals and races they will attend on their own. Consiting of Madi Hoffman, Katie Fleck, Benni Lyche, and Foreste Peterson, Team X Alpine is definitely underselling themselves when they say they are "Just a group of girls and coaches trying to tackle the world of ski racing." Keep an eye out for them this year!
Clif Bar Factory Team
Recently, SkiRacing.com posted a story about Clif Bar and the formation of a factory team. SYNC is also proud to supply suits to this team. Keep an eye out for more info coming soon!
SYNC - supporting independent racing since 2014