Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Once Was: Wheaties - Schwinn


There once was a team known as Wheaties - Schwinn. They were a domestic squad during the 1988 and 1989 seasons, and succeeded the Schwinn - Icy Hot Team. Combined, the two teams contained many of the top racers in the United States, in both road and mountain biking disciplines, from that era. The latter included Julia Ingersoll, Tim Rutherford, and Johnny Weissenrieder, the former included Jeff Pierce, Thomas Prehn, Steve Speaks, Danny Van Haute, Mark Whitehead, and Alan McCormick, among others.

The 1989 team contained Frankie Andreu, Thomas Armstrong, Tom Broznowski, Chris Carmichael, Thomas Craven, Volker Diehl (GER), Michael Engleman, Gibby Hatton, Tim Rutherford, Doug Smith, Steve Tilford, Michel Vaarten (BEL), Shawn Wallace (ENG), and Mike Carter. Wins that year came for the team at the Coors Classic (Stage 2), Cascade Classic, the Georgia Cycling Series (Stage 2), Tour de Trump (Prologue), Charlottesville, and at Destelbergen in Germany. 

The years of Wheaties - Schwinn were an unquestioned high point in American racing. Considering the strength on the team, one might be surprised that they aren't more widely recognized; much of this can be attributed to the success that Greg Lemond, and the 7-Eleven Team were having in Europe. The Wheaties - Schwinn's greatest claim to fame may be that so many of their riders would accomplish so much more over the next few years with other teams. That or that Doug Smith was the first cyclist to be featured on the cover of a Wheaties cereal box.

Anyway, what brought this little reminiscence up was finding the photo above in one of those cycling training logs, the kind you can still buy these days. I only bought this one (copyright 1990, used it in 1993), but all the older historic photos inside (by Rich Cruse and Jim Safford) make it an interesting piece of cycling ephemera.

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