The Wattie Ink. Professional Triathlon Team, Part Two.
Ed. Note: last Thursday, we formally introduced the first half of our 2020 professional triathletes, and today we follow up with the other half. This Thursday tune back in as we roll out the gravel riders and our teams: The Wattie Ink. Elite Team, Hit Squad, and Gravel Collective Project.
Photo courtesy of Korupt Vision
Coming off an early season victory just this past weekend at Geelong 70.3, Josh Amberger never ceases to delight and surprise. The best-coiffed athlete in triathlon (at least by this editor's estimation) not only decimates the field at any race he enters, he also knows how to brew a perfect cup of coffee AND set up a tent on a sand dune. If Rachel McBride is the most interesting woman in triathlon, Amberger makes a strong claim for the most interesting bloke, and we couldn't be more pleased to have him back rocking the W in 2020.
Image courtesy of Nils Nilsen
"I'm very excited about debuting my Wattie Ink kit at 70.3 Texas and then head on to Ironman St George. I've really been working on my strength these past few months and look forward to seeing how the change in approach affects my results come race season. I’ve seen how much the Wattie Ink. community has grown over the years and I really wanted to be a part of that. I love Wattie and Heather, and to me it is important to partner with companies that you believe in, want to be successful and grow with, and where you feel like family.”
Image courtesy of Korupt Vision
The man they call Appo made Geelong 70.3 a Wattie 1-2 this past weekend, coming across the line a scant 30 seconds behind fellow Wattie Josh Amberger. Appo is coming off a year in which he broke his collarbone, but then came back to put together a string of impressive results in the fall, including a 4th place finish at Ironman Western Australia in his long-distance debut, a sign of things to come? "I’m super excited to be back on Wattie Ink for 2020 and working with a passionate family to make the best triathlon apparel out there. 2020 is going to be a big year for me with a lot of races planned and I am excited to take the journey with Wattie Ink."
Forget "Amy"—everyone who knows her just calls her "VT." The long-distance specialist drops down in distance in 2020, focusing on several Ironman races throughout the year: Texas, Mont-Tremblant, and her fave: Ironman Cozumel. Not to stop there, the Portland, Oregon native will also give some graveling a shot: “I’m super excited to get to race more gravel events this year. I’ll be focussing on full iron-distance races, but alternative genres like gravel are a great way to spice up the training. I feel super lucky to race with the Wattie Ink. family, and am grateful to HJ and Wattie for making this dream a possibility."
"With some of my favorite pro triathlon races disappearing this season, I'm stoked to add in more gravel racing and cross country mountain bike races. I think the gravel and cross country marathon races really help add a 'fun' factor to the season, and the duration and intensity of the races helps prepare me for the dynamic aspects of 70.3 racing. Wattie Ink has shown me that you don't need to go with the grain to be successful in sport. Vanilla isn't necessary; you can be as wild or unique as your heart desires, and set your own path. There's no reason to limit yourself because "it's what everyone else is doing." Incorporating a few local gravel/MTB events to test my endurance and technical skills in the early season are getting me jazzed up! I'll also be going to some new 70.3 events this year that I've always been keen on racing (Eagleman 70.3) and will be going back to some of my favorites, including the return of Ironman Canada to its original home in Penticton, BC.
Image courtesy of Wattie Ink.
We introduced one of our newest triathletes only a few short weeks ago, the Great American Hope Sam Long. Long arrived in 2019, adding victories at Chattanooga 70.3 AND Ironman Chattanooga to his already impressive palmares. The Boulder, Colorado native is also a triplet: something that should strike fear into the the rest of the men's circuit. "It all goes back to being a unique individual, having fun, and getting away from that Type A thing we see so much of in our sport,” Long says. “That’s the same with Wattie Ink. It’s totally counterculture, a total disrupter, and that’s how I see myself. I mean, I’m just 24 years old, have 15 Ironman races, I race on instinct and don’t follow a group mentality. I love to have fun, work my ass off and go out in the race and rip the thing. I’m not afraid to be different, and it’s clear that’s how Wattie sees this sport."