The Wattie Ink. Team Revealed Part Three
Ed. Note: we've arrived at the end, where we introduce some of the newest and oldest members of the Wattie Ink. family. The brand was born through the Elite Team, whom we introduce today, along with the most recent additions of our gravel riders.
Want to learn more about our World-Tour-turned-Gravel-Racer Ian Boswell? Head over to our announcement about him that we posted earlier this month, or simply take what he had to say about our G.O.A.T. Thermal Line: "The one thing I noticed with the entire thermal line was how comfortable and flexible it is. I never felt like my movement was limited or restricted (which isn’t always the case with winter gear). It’s not easy to find that balance of protection and comfort and you nailed it! Living in Vermont, having kit that can perform in all kinds of weather is of paramount importance, and the Wattie Ink. thermal line is the best and most thoughtfully designed gear I have ridden to date."
"My racing lineup is pretty much the same as last year (Belgian Waffle Ride, Dirty Kanza, SBT GRVL, RPI), but I’m excited to go back and experience them all again. I started racing gravel last year knowing a handful of people in the sport. By the end of the summer, every event was like a reunion. My biggest endeavor of 2020, though? Seeing my twin daughters off to college on the other side of the country. Mile 180 of Dirty Kanza seems like a breeze by comparison."
“I’d known Heather from years ago, when she worked with GU, but I only met Sean this past year in Kona. We had a positive meeting, and then when I came to visit the factory, I saw what makes the company different. When Wattie showed up at the factory, every single person—whether it was a seamstress, the guy running the laser cutter, the warehouse manager—stopped what they were doing and came over to him and shook his hand or gave him a hug, and he had time for everyone. He treated everyone the same way, and he treated them well. I knew then that this was a place with a culture of working towards a shared goal, and that’s really rare these days. I instantly wanted to be a part of it.”
Image courtesy of LiFT Creative Studios
Image courtesy of LiFT Creative Studios
The Gravel Collective Project
The GCP had its nascence last year, in the character of the Caffeine and Watts team, a joint venture between Wattie Ink. and Moxie Multisport. The GCP sent riders to the Belgian Waffle Ride, Dirty Kanza (putting two riders in the top 25 there), the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder, SBT GRVL, and Rebecca's Private Idaho, establishing a presence at some of the biggest gravel events in North America. This year we build upon that success with an expanded roster of elite riders (James Walsh, Chris Bagg, Claudia Behring, Jeremy Russell, and Neil Bray) and a robust crew of club riders, akin to the Hit Squad on the triathlon side of things.
What hasn't Tony Kanaan done? What began as a parking lot conversation between Wattie Ink. founder Sean Watkins and INDYCAR great Tony Kanaan grew into a long term relationship, with the decorated rider (winner of the 2013 Indianapolis 500) rocking the W at triathlons all over. This year, which he's announced as his final racing INDYCAR, he's looking forward to sharing the experience with his fans as he says farewell to the circuit. On the triathlon side? He says "Being part of the Wattie family has helped getting more motivated to train harder and represent the family well. A new kit is the best motivation to train, and Wattie makes the best of them. I couldn't be happier to continue working with Wattie Ink."
Justin Allgaier is one of those "all-in" athletes, starting his career at the ripe age of...five. The NASCAR driver keeps to the grueling schedule of stock car racing, winning the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series 2018 regular season, but somehow finds time to train for triathlon as well. “I absolutely love being part of the Wattie Ink. family," Allgaier says. "The materials and fit are second to none and the designs are fantastic. I never feel like I blend in while riding in a sea of boring. To top it off being made in the USA makes it a winning combination."
Photo courtesy of Dylan Haskin
Wattie Ink. Elite Team and Hit Squad
It all started in 2009 with the Wattie Ink. Elite Team and Sean Watkins' dream: build a company that made the best triathlon and cycling apparel in the world, made in the USA. As we've said before, the team IS the Wattie Ink. brand, as they carry the message of inclusiveness, excellence, and family to races throughout the world. In 2016 the Hit Squad joined the family, expanding our reach to athletes eager to rock and rep the W. These two teams are the lifeblood of the company, always providing us a population to bounce ideas off of and get feedback. "The goals and aspirations for the team are—simply put—Be Better Together," says Tu Tran, director of teams at Wattie Ink. "We seek to continue our success in racing, but we want to enrich the lives and communities that support us through service initiatives and projects. Better together doesn't simply mean us, the three teams under Wattie Ink. Better together means that we can help grow and support the sport at all levels in all communities, and we look forward to executing our mission in 2020 and in years to come."