Words & Photos: Nelson Queralta Jr
On the recent Vuelta a Miami annual race, we got a chance to take some photos of the Rush Racing Team race machines. One is a Giant TCR belonging to Fabian Garcia, and the other is a Custom Painted Trek Madone belonging to Ivan Castillo.
Let’s start with Fabian’s TCR. This bike has always reminded me of the term “function & form”.
That term comes from the fact that something, anything, needs to look good but also perform good. At first sight, the first thing you notice on the bike is a Shimano Dura Ace 9000 crank. Expecting to see a full Dura Ace group set, upon further inspection you notice that it’s not.
That’s where the function aspect comes in. The TCR is Giant’s all-around bike, it’s always been praised as a bike that can do it all. Sprinters, climbers, roleurs and puncheurs all love it. The bike does anything you throw at it, this one is particularly is Fabian’s training/race bike.
Dura Ace is the high-end component group offering from Shimano, since they’re built with such top of the line construction they tend to be a bit fragile and also expensive to replace. So Fabian opted to go with Shimano Ultegra to finish off the group.
Up front, the cockpit’s got a Ritchey finishing kit with Ultegra 11-speed shifters, along with Ultegra brakes.
From afar one can easily be deceived in thinking these are just regular training wheels, but upon closer inspection that couldn’t be farther from truth. These are Dura Ace 9000 wheels, perfect balance of carbon fused with aluminum. Shimano actually carefully trimmed the aluminum’s thickness from 1-1.3mm to .6mm, it was then fused with carbon fiber to maintain strength but enjoy maximum weight loss. The perfect race and training wheel.
Small finishing touches to differentiate this bike from the rest, and you gotta have the the name tag to complete the pro look.
Ivan’s machine is a completely different monster. I had a chance to catch up with him and talk bikes.
Nelson Queralta: So, how did you get this bike, and why?
Ivan Castillo: I got the frame as a trade on OSM (Online Swap Meet). I gave the guy an old complete CX bike and he gave me this custom painted Trek Madone. I got it clear coated by Yosvany Falcon and it just glitters in the sun I love it.
NQ: Why did you go with Ultegra on the build?
IC: I threw Ultegra on there because it’s the working man bike racer’s groupset. I like having a bad ass bike I can afford to replace, this build really encompasses that idea. Bike racing is a full contact sport.
NQ: Totally agree with that last statement, did you have the wheels already or did you get them separately?
IC: The wheel set I bought from Team Elevate Pro Cycling also through OSM.
NQ: Tell me about the rest of the parts?
IC: BB and Pulleys were given to us (RushRacing Team) by Kogel bearings, they’re THE bearings for bike racers, awesome and affordable.
NQ: Very nice, I noticed an “Andrew” sticker on the seat tube. Is that for your team captain Andrew Geffner?
IC: The Andrew sticker, that’s a skate shop owned by one of my boys, I love supporting my friends and their endeavors, it also happens to be the name of our captain for the Vuelta a Miami so it was a lucky coincidence.
NQ: Gotcha, lastly. Who built the bike?
IC: It got built by Luis Ramirez of Mack Cycle.
The bike was involved in a crash at the ’17 Vuelta a Miami. But Ivan is currently rebuilding it and replacing some parts that were damaged. Like he stated in our conversation, bike racing is a contact sport. Accidents will happen and it’s not a matter of if, only a matter of when. But having the right attitude towards them is key, taking what happened as a learning experience in order to avoid the same mistakes in the future. We wish Ivan the best on the re-build of this beautiful custom machine.
To stay in touch with Rush Racing Team, follow them on Instagram @rushracingteam