Team 7-Eleven (eBook)
In 1980, there were exactly four professional bike racers in America. Six years later, an American cycling team would wear the coveted yellow jersey of the Tour de France. And that same team would go on to win Italy's greatest race—the Giro d'Italia—only two years later. Team 7-Eleven is the extraordinary story of how two Olympic speed skaters, Jim Ochowicz and Eric Heiden, pulled together a small group of amateur cyclists and turned them into one of the greatest cycling teams the sport has known. From humble beginnings in a barn in Pennsylvania to soaring victories in the French Alps, Team 7-Eleven is the complete history that has never been fully told—until now.
The 7-Eleven Cycling Team—Team 7-Eleven for short—launched the careers of American cycling superstars Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, Bob Roll, Ron Kiefel, and many more. It also changed the cycling world, creating a new team structure based on multiple stars, unified goals, and personal sacrifice for the greater good. And yet at the time it was formed, the number of American cyclists with world-class experience could be counted—literally—on one hand. And the number of American teams that competed in Europe's biggest races was exactly zero.
Team 7-Eleven is the amazing story of how two cycling fans found one exceptional sponsor and created the greatest American cycling team of its era.
Written with the enthusiastic cooperation of the team members, Team 7-Eleven will impress cycling fans with behind-the-scenes stories of the team's founding, its growing pains, and its lasting success as the team that established America as a powerhouse in the world of professional cycling.
About the Author
Geoff Drake is the former editor of Bicycling Magazine and VeloNews, and has covered cycling events worldwide including the Tour de France and Olympic Games. During his tenure at VeloNews, he covered Team 7-Eleven during it most important years. He also writes regularly for national motorcycle magazines and is the author of Smooth Riding, a motorcycling book. He is an avid cyclist, a Category II road racer, and an Ironman triathlete. He lives in Aptos, California.
Jim Ochowicz is a two-time Olympic cyclist and former speedskater who cofounded the 7-Eleven cycling team in 1981. He managed 7-Eleven through 1990 and its successor, the Motorola Cycling Team, through 1996. He served six years as president of the board of directors of USA Cycling, and is currently the manager of the BMC Racing Team. He was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1997.
Praise for Team 7-Eleven…
“The new Team 7-Eleven book brought back great memories.” — Eric Heiden, 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Team 7-Eleven cofounder
“[Team 7-Eleven] catalogues every episode, from the colorful characters to the shocking successes, in a methodical chronology of the team's decade-long run.” — Podium Café
“What wonderful and painful memories Och and Geoff brought to life in the new Team 7-Eleven book! From the early ‘Ranch Dog’ days to the Tour de France victories, the stories and level of detail are spot on. Och provided the opportunity for us cowboys to show the world we had the mettle.” — Ron Kiefel, Team 7-Eleven rider
“I greedily read Team 7-Eleven and discovered some new nuances to stories I thought I knew. Drake and Och captured the spirit of the team and brought it back to life.” — Alex Stieda, Team 7-Eleven rider and the first North American to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey
“I thought I knew a lot about the riders and their famous victories, like Andy Hampsten’s remarkable Giro d’Italia win in 1988 and Alex Steida, Jeff Pierce and Davis Phinney’s stage wins in the Tour de France. But [Team 7-Eleven] is so full of fascinating details and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that I couldn’t put it down.” — RoadBikeRider.com
“For me, Geoff and Jim’s book Team 7-Eleven passed that fact-check test. What I didn't expect was that I would get drawn into remembering the amazing bike race battles that Sergent Rock van Och lead us into. And to think that we followed him!” — Tom Schuler, Team 7-Eleven rider
“Team 7-Eleven is a true joy to read…It is an essential read if this period of cycling is one that passed you by or one that is before your time.” — TheWashingMachinePost.net
“I thank Geoff Drake for the honest way I think things are written in the book. Team 7-Eleven is very accurate. Drake puts history in a perspective that made me sentimental about what we did as a team. At the time, we didn’t know whether we were part of a vision, an impulse, or a youthful dare!” — George Taylor, 7-Eleven cycling team sports sponsorship agent
“[Team 7-Eleven’s] history is chronicled in great detail. Longtime cycling journo Geoff Drake and Jim Ochowicz (one of the team’s co-founders) highlight the trials and tribulations of putting the team on an international stage.” — NBCSports.com
“Team 7-Eleven is a lively, easy read…The kit is iconic, the team was featured in "American Flyers" and at this point are not only an important piece of cycling history, but a slice of Americana as well.” — NYVelocity.com
“The [Team 7-Eleven] book is rich in details, well-paced and very entertaining…Team 7-Eleven is an excellent addition to the history of the sport.” — Pezcyclingnews
“Team 7-Eleven is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the history of U.S. racing and how the groundwork was established for the eventual domination of Lance Armstrong and the current crop of top U.S. pros.” — RoadBikeRider.com
“The Team 7-Eleven book is an essential history for anyone who has ever swung a leg over the top tube of a racing …Of note, though, is how gratifying the actual reading of the book has been. For a book gourmand such as your author, Drake serves up fine writing fare by the fork full.” — Le Grimpeur