2015 racing announcement
“I speak JAMIS” is the JAMIS brand motto. So when people ask me what languages I speak, I say English, Hebrew and JAMIS. I find the JAMIS motto interesting because cycling is much like conversing. Last summer during my Italy training camp for world championships I experienced, once again, how much cycling is a global language. Twice during that trip I was riding with local Italians who knew maybe a handful of English words and my Italian vocabulary, well… it could be summed up in this funny scene from Inglorious Bastard (http://youtu.be/krtnt191Drg). Just like the fact that people all over the world speak different languages, cyclists all over the world ride different styles, different bikes, for various meanings and reasons. It’s pretty awesome to talk to cyclists using no language, just the common passion for the riding. And that is essentially what the JAMIS language is all about.
Half a year after my move to US and A, I was connected to the newly formed Team JAMIS Bikes in 2009 thanks to my college cycling coach at the time Matt Shriver. Since 2009 I’ve been racing along with the “big J”, and I’m more than excited to announce I’ll be racing with Team JAMIS Bikes in 2015 which will make it my SEVENTH (!!!) season with them. When negotiating my 2015 racing calendar with JAMIS, I mentioned to them that I think it’s time for my sabbatical year, just like a professor who gets to take off work, maybe work a bit on research and get paid doing nothing. I guess that doesn’t work in the cycling industry 🙂
It has been a great time racing pro with JAMIS bikes and I’m looking forward to our next campaign together of becoming the Israeli mountain biker in the Olympics in Rio 2016! With joined forces from the Israeli cycling federation, stronger riders and wiser support staff from Israel, chances are looking well, not to mention I’m in prime position in life to make this happen. Nobody said it will be easy, and I actually only expect racing to be even harder but also faster than ever before. The work and training that lies ahead of me really inspires me and my vision of a “faster Rotem” is growing clearer day by day. Obstacles are only opportunities to grow better, stronger and faster.
Keeping track on an Olympic path is always a work in process and is far more specific than just racing to improve, there are many things to balance between collecting points, traveling across the world, qualifying races, and most important is to keep having fun. My intense 2015 race calendar (link here) is made possible by loyal sponsors who share my vision to the Olympics:
JAMIS bicycles (www.jamisbikes.com) – it’s been my family and team home since racing pro in 2009, and I have learned to “speak their language”. They always keep innovating, whether with the 27.5″ wheel size or their awesome looking new frame designs. It’s been a pleasure working with them for seven years now.
Stan’s NoTubes – best racing wheels in the market, period. If you ever ridden the new carbon Valors you’ll never want to ride anything else – light, stiff on acceleration yet absorb bumps well, and real easy to mount tires on which is crucial when you travel around the world with minimal equipment and suddenly have to seal mud tires the morning of the race.
Vittoria tires (http://www.vittoria.com/tires/off-road-tire) – the Italian tire manufacturer has been in tire business for a long time, their knowledge and tradition combined with a new line of tire models, the Barzo and Peyote, really gives you the whole spectrum of tires you need for every ride or weather.
SRAM components (https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/family/xx1) – the XX1 just works wonders. Set it and forget about it. 1×11 is the way to go for XC racing.
Ritchey components – light carbon components, slick design and most importantly reliable. Coolest thing about their Trail Carbon handlebar is that you can flip the rise between +5 and -5 mm.
WTB saddles (http://www.wtb.com/pages/saddles) – as a Retul bike fitter myself, I know how important is a correctly fitting saddle. Saddle height and setback don’t tell the whole picture, of how your pelvis is rotated on the saddle and pressure points over soft tissues and bones. Saddle choice is important and I run the WTB Valcon on all bikes. Keeps my narrow butt comfy.
EVOC (http://www.evocsports.com/bike)- a new sponsor for 2015 and I can already see how it will save me hours of bike packing and mostly stress. I use to travel with a thin soft case travel case, basically a cardboard box with handles, and spent so much time and energy packing my bike. The EVOC travel case is amazing! Minimal breakdown of bike, everything fits secure in place, four wheels, lots of extra room (floor pump, foam roller, yoga mat, tires, tool box and more) and I closed that zipper easily. It’s a semi-soft bag with durable wheel base and zippers, wheels and equipment compartments. Best thing is that on my first flight with it all the way to Brazil I had to check it in twice and I didn’t pay a dime! So it does have some lucky airfare to it.
My first race will be March 5-8 at the Copa de International MTB in Araxa Brazil. It’s a three day mountain bike stage race to kick off the season. Stay tuned!