Preferred Member and Red Rush Athlete Kai Applequist is the director of the Mercedes Benz presented by George’s Cycles bicycle racing team based out of Boise, Idaho. It’s the only elite cycling team in the state, composed solely of cyclists who have achieved the highest amateur rank, a mere notch below pro.
Formerly a professional cyclist, Kai’s career as co-captain of the Exergy racing team came to an abrupt halt in 2012 after the front wheel of his bike detached and he was flung face first into the asphalt. It took months for him to recover, and he wasn’t sure if he’d ride anymore. Kai took up the much safer running for a very short while, but when he got back on a bike, he was hooked all over again.
Founded in 2012, the Mercedes Benz p/b George’s team has accumulated over one hundred podium finishes and six state titles in that relatively short time. Kai credits organization as the key to the team’s success. Cyclists and cycling in general, tend to be individualistic, so when forming his team, Kai wanted to focus on planning, preparation and teamwork while downplaying those individualistic aspects.
“The thing I like about my team is that they all have their own businesses or they’re highlevel CEOs. They’re good at cycling because they do everything with the same purpose. When they show up to a race, their bike is clean, adjusted and ready to go. They behave the way you’d imagine adults would behave,” Kai said.
Cycling strategy is deceptively complex and teamwork is of paramount importance. It seems like the strongest guy should win every race, but wind, terrain and psychology all play factors. It’s why you see cyclists riding in formation like migrating birds. They’re drafting. It’s a way to block and manipulate air currents so that the team’s “best” rider, i.e., their sprinter (fast rider) or their climber (good at hills), is fresh for the final stretch. However, sometimes a team will have a strategic or psychological advantage and will break away from the pack or “go on the attack.” That’s exactly how Kai and his team won a race earlier this spring.
“I had three teammates with me, so I attacked and nobody chased me. It was a total psychology thing. The other guys in the group could have tried to pull me back, but they knew that my teammates would have attacked. So they didn’t chase me down,” Kai said.
Another part of their strategy is the good nutrition from AIM products like Red Rush®, Peak Endurance® and ProPeas®.
“Red Rush plays a factor in preparation. The guys on the team who don’t normally use supplements have been using it and seeing results, even the old-school guys who bring ham sandwiches on their rides. Red Rush as well as Peak Endurance and ProPeas are integral in having a healthy and balanced nutrition plan. I really like the Peak Endurance. It has a good electrolyte profile as well as the B-vitamins for breaking down those carbohydrates during exercise. ProPeas is a very natural and usable protein for athletes and individuals.”