The second new addition to the 2010 Gear West Bike and Triathlon Development Team is former MJET’er Devon Palmer. Devon (aka D.P. ; aka Devox), who won the MMA award this year for ‘Triathlete of the Year’, is just 22 years of age and is finishing up his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Coaching at the U of M before starting his M Ed in Sport and Exercise Science. He is also starting his coaching career as a coach with SCS Multisport. His progression over the last 2 years has been nothing short of amazing, and it was no surprise to us when he decided to get his pro-card for 2010. In addition to being one of the most approachable, genuinely nice people you will meet, Devon has also worked out at the shop the last 2 summers, so after his tenure with the MJETs, we jumped at the opportunity to get him in the Gear West Bike and Tri colors.
CW: Why did you choose to race for Gear West Bike and Tri?
DP: I’ve been watching the guys in red and black win all the races for 4 years so when I was presented with the opportunity to race with them it was a no brainer.
CW: What’s your athletic background, and how did you become involved in Triathlons?
DP: I’ve been swimming for a while but didn’t start trying until high school – picked up running during high school as well. Enjoyed training and racing quite a bit but my ambition far exceeded my ability. I went to a Big 10 school so there was no chance of swimming or running for the team. Did my first tris after my freshman year of college and it felt like coming home.
CW: You really took it to the ‘next level’ this past year, especially on the bike. What do you think are the factors there?
DP: I’ve gotten smarter about both my training and racing. I know my bike is a strength so I can go really, really hard. A combination of aggression and confidence have really brought me to where I am now as opposed to a year or two ago.
CW: What would you consider the highlight of your “career” so far?
DP: I have been fortunate to have several stellar days of racing, the type of day where the engine is running 100%. Each of these days has been memorable and it was great to have 3 such races this season (Manitou, Heart of the Lakes, Turtleman if you were wondering).
CW: Ok, so I have to bring this up. You raced in a women’s tri suit for USAT Nationals this year. What’s the story on that?
DP: Absent-mindeness is an unfortunate trait. The MJETs drove down to Alabama for the race, straight down overnight that is, so at about 4am I spontaneously thought of my race suit hanging to dry in the basement. I simply could not remember packing it. After checking in the morning I sheepishly told everyone – planning to just buy a pair of tri shorts at the expo and call it good enough. Luckily we were traveling in good company and Cathy Yndestad happened to have an extra GW fastskin with her. It fit remarkably well and the race went just fine.
CW: Describe a ‘normal’ training week during the summer?
DP: Ideally swim masters at TWIN Cities Swim Team mon, wed, fri morning. Long run tues morning, hard run workout thurs, ez runs a few other days. Bike hard Tuesday evening (TNT or other workout) and ride however I felt most other days. Race Sunday.
CW: So we’ve been lucky enough to have you work here at the store the last few summers. Did you take anything away from your experience here? Any memorable moments (humorous or otherwise)?
DP: Working at Gear West produces plenty of memorable moments, mostly good since it is a pleasure to talk about triathlon stuff with nice folks. However, the day Hannah made me do an inventory of the kid’s bikes was awful. Also, one Friday morning Becky Lavelle snuck in the back door before we were open to get some work done on her Felt. I basically told her to beat it since we were closed – fortunately Drew was there, recognized her, and gave her the appropriate star treatment.
CW: Now that the race season is done, what are you up to these days?
DP: Finishing my undergrad degree at the U of M and coaching high school swimming. Also starting to coach triathletes with SCS.
CW: What are your plans for next year in terms of racing?
DP: Do 3-4 pro races and 8 Midwest Multisport Series races.
CW: What’s your nutritional weakness?
Eating is definitely a strength of mine. Discipline when it comes to what and how much I eat is more of a weakness.
CW: Anything else you’d like to add?
DP: If you work at GW being of average height makes you look short. For the record, I am not short I am perfectly average.