We’re a bit biased, but we think that Rally Cycling already had some of the best-looking race bikes in the pro peloton for the 2021 season. But after Joey Rosskopf scored the biggest victory of his professional career when he won the US National Championship road race earlier this year, we knew that we’d have the opportunity to craft something extra special in the form of a custom AR aero road bike. After all, in the pantheon of cycling iconography, few things are as special as donning a national champion’s jersey—except, perhaps, pairing it with a custom painted bike.
“Creating national or world champion bike artwork is always a super fun part of the job, and a great privilege for a dorky bike racing fan like me,” says Bob Thomson, Felt’s Creative Director. “For Joey's US Champ AR, I started with the Rally Team bike paint and graphics package, with the primary change being replacing the regular orange paint with the flag blue color. I wanted it to retain that clean and fairly simple aesthetic—with the half paint and half carbon scheme—keeping the team bike's look and attitude intact. I think that blue broken up with the white stars is the best feature of the flag, as far as graphic hooks go, so that became the primary painted area. I've done US National champ bikes before, and if you have too much white, it starts to look a little too Evel Knievel (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing), but too much red and it starts to look a bit too Canadian (also not a bad thing!). The white and red stripes trailing off the back create a speedy trailing edge to the design, and complete the US Champ theme.”
Rally Cycling has long been one of the top professional cycling teams in North America. And while the team has had numerous wins and national titles at various other events, its riders had never before taken home the victory in the men’s US national road race. Rosskopf’s win was one for the ages, breaking away from a small, select group of top riders in the closing kilometers and rolling across the finish line solo.
Rosskopf will be wearing his new jersey and riding his new bike for the first time at the upcoming Poitou-Charentes race in western France, which runs from August 24-27.
“Growing up as a casual cycling fan, one of the things that designated a rider as good, was a national champs jersey,” said Rosskopf. “They were the first set of riders that I looked up to because it’s an easy concept to grasp for someone new to the sport. Wearing the jersey means a lot to me, even more so being this far from home. It gives me extra motivation going into every race. I love the jersey and there will be eyes on it.”
Beyond his amazing success racing his bike this season, and in addition to US National Road Race champ, Joey Rosskopf has earned a new title: dad. He and his partner welcomed a healthy baby boy—Miles—into the world on August 1.
For everyone who is a part of the Felt Family, we want to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Joey Rosskopf and his family on both his racing success and new child’s arrival.
(Photos: Ethan Glading)
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