Team HORST Sports

I often mention Team Horst Sports in race reports, but I don’t often talk about the history of our squad. Last night, we held our 2019 kickoff party, which has been a tradition. For many years, we held a holiday party in December to celebrate the current season, but in recent years, we have done a January event that celebrates the prior year and kicks off the new year.

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The team was founded in the fall of 1997. It was born at the Killington Stage Race. Several of us were staying together and competing together, but we were technically on different teams. I recall one evening discussion in particular. It was after the day’s stage and since we were split between four or five teams, we didn’t have the numbers to control the race. We were technically racing against each other, but would have rather been able to work for a common goal. Teamwork in road cycling is vital, but at the time in the New England amateur ranks, it wasn’t common.

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The upgrade system forced individualism. The best riders would zoom through the ranks and end up in the next category on their way to the elite ranks. In those days, it went 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and if you were good enough, you could go pro. We were just weekend warriors, racing as Cat 3’s, but we wanted to keep getting better. That first discussion led to the formation of the team. There were some doubts about the organization and financing, but we resolved those issues without much of a fuss. Arlen Zane Wenzel volunteered to lead the effort, and I said I would speak with my family about throwing their support behind the team.

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All of these years later, HORST Engineering remains the lead sponsor and AZW is still the Directeur Sportif. That continuity has sustained the team over a period of time that has seen so many other teams come and go. We formed the squad, placed our first clothing order, and had a fantastic 1998 season in which we were voted New England team of the year. With excellent teamwork, we helped three of our members upgrade to Category 2 and though it had an impact on the team (splitting us between categories), it didn’t hurt us. We adjusted and that was the first of many evolutions.

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In the early years, there really was a “season” because we had a more narrow focus: road cycling. Now, we are a broad-based endurance sports team with year-round training and competition. We compete in road cycling, cyclocross, mountain biking, gravel riding, trail running, snowshoe running, skiing, triathlon, obstacle course racing, and many variations of these sports that involved cycling, running, and swimming.

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We started as group of “mostly single” guys racing in their 20’s and 30’s and are now a group of “masters” athletes in their 40’s and 50’s. We even have a few members whose racing age is 60+. Also, we are co-ed. We have had several women members over our history. In addition to the adult athletes, we also have the CCAP Team Horst Junior Squad with member children between the ages of 8 and 16.

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The team has evolved since our founding in 1997 and those of us who have been around since the beginning are older and wiser. We are better athletes than the one-dimensional competitors of those early days. We are proud of our history and appreciate the longtime support of our sponsors, particularly, HORST Engineering, the family business that I lead.

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We have reduced our “sponsors” to a small number of organizations that share our core values. Bicycles East came aboard three years ago and it have been valuable partners. They hosted party we had  last night. J. Rene Coffee Roasters and their VICTUS Coffee brand has supported us for many years.  Our uniforms are from VERGE Sport. We also get a little support from Rudy Project and Picky Bars. We have had other fantastic sponsors over the years.

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Over two decades, we have had many great teammates. Some folks have retired, and some folks have moved to other teams, but they will always be part of the Team HORST family. There has been very little drama, and that has allowed us to maintain relationships for a long period of time.

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We have been involved in a lot of events. For years, we promoted the Frank-N-Horst Cyclocross in Keene, New Hampshire. We held the first ever cyclocross race in Hartford, Connecticut with the 2003 Connecticut Riverfront Cyclocross. We did a race in Rockville called the Fox Hill Cyclocross. For years, we helped Benidorm Bikes with the Chainbiter Cyclocross. Our team members have been involved in the cycling in running communities in so many ways.

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Our orange and black “kit” is very visible. I don’t go a week without someone telling me that they saw a team rider on the roads of southern New England. Our riders have been spotted all over the country, and we aren’t that big of a group! The team has been good for our business and our business has been good for the team. We first developed Cross Spikes for members of the team. Our teammates did the research and development.

We will continue to evolve in 2019 and beyond.

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Yesterday, members of the @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad toured @seven_cycles It was a great experience for these young rippers! #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #mountainbiking #cyclocross #manufacturing #bicycle #titanium #madeinusa 🚲 🇺🇸
Lots of fun and suffering at today’s #traprock50K @trailrunningmom and I spent most of our 6 hours and 35 minutes in the woods together. Even Shepard got into the act...running the one lap 17K race. #shenipsitstriders @shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports @ultraspire #ultraspire #bbtrs19 @blue_blazed_trail_series #trailrunning #ultrarunning
I was on an early morning run 🏃🏿in #blueash Ohio and came upon a town line sign indicating their sister city is #ilmenau 🇩🇪 Germany. My late grandfather, Harry Livingston (aka Horst Liebenstein) founder of @horsteng is an alumnus of @tu.ilmenau and native of #badliebenstein He earned bachelors and masters degrees 🎓in Mechanical Engineering from that school. Several years ago I visited his former home 🏠 but didn’t make it to Ilmenau. At least I’ve been to Blue Ash! #horstengineering
Sunday Livingston Family #quadrathlon #mountainbiking 🚵‍♂️ #trailrunning 🏃🏽‍♀️ #swimming 🏊‍♂️ #rockclimbing 🧗‍♀️ #teamhorstjuniorsquad #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but...I disagree. Build More Bike Paths! $$$$$$$$$ #carfreecommute #bikepath #railtrail #eastcoastgreenway #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #crossspikes #trails 🚴🏽🏃🏽‍♀️
@troop25ct held another successful annual Joining Night open house highlighting the learning, leadership, and adventure that define Scouts. #skiing 🎿#snowboarding 🏂#mountainbiking 🚵‍♂️ #hiking 🏃🏾 #camping ⛺️ #rockclimbing 🧗‍♂️ #firstaid #cooking #canoeing 🛶 #leathercraft #swimming 🏊🏽‍♀️ #cycling 🚴🏽 @boyscoutsofamerica @thecubscouts #boyscouts #cubscouts
Just happened to be walking by the restaurant where @trailrunningmom and I had our first date in 1999! We dropped off two-dozen old pairs of #trailrunning shoes next door. I eat a lot less pizza these days, and when I do, it’s #vegan so we are headed to @floraweha for dinner instead. 🏃‍♀️ 👠 ☔️
#happynewyear @shenipsitstriders #shenipsitstriders #trailrunning #teamlivingston 🏃‍♀️
So content after our first family #skiing and #snowboarding #adventure in nearly two years. I missed last season with a bum leg. It was great to see that the kids progressed nicely during my absence from the slopes. We are looking forward to more mountain fun. @jiminypeak #jiminypeak #jiminypeeks #familybusiness #berkshires 🎿🏂 🏔

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