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Oak Ridge senior shocked to be racing abroad

Torey Philipp to race against the best in Italy
By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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El Dorado Hills will be proudly represented at the Junior National Cycling Championships in Italy next month. Torey Philipp, 17, was recently chosen to compete for the U.S. team in what some call the “most important stage races of the Junior World scene.” Philipp, a senior at Oak Ridge High School, was selected among five teens from across the nation to race against the top junior cyclists from around the world. “I was just shocked when I heard (that I was selected),” said Philipp, who didn’t start racing competitively until just a few years ago. “It’d been such a long time trying to work for this spot. It was just amazing.” Philipp started out riding his father’s old bike that had been worn down and shacked up in the garage over time. He carved brake pads out of wood and molded them to fit into the calipers on the old bike just so he could take it out and ride. “The reason I rode that bike was because my parents wanted to make sure I stuck with the sport before they invested money into a new bike for me,” said Philipp. Philipp, who doesn’t turn 18 until January, gives much credit to his neighbor, Richard Sandness, for his success. Sandness played a part in putting Philipp in touch with people from the world of competitive cycling. “I saw (Philipp) riding in the pouring rain on a miserable day,” recalled Sandness, 56, a registered nurse at Mercy Folsom Hospital. “He had a look on his face that told me that even though he was riding on the street by himself, he was still competing in his mind.” Since that “miserable” day, Philipp has developed his skills in the USA Cycling Junior Training Camp as well as with Team Specialized. “Torey has given every indication that he can compete with local professionals and his peers,” said USA Junior Cycling Camp manager Larry Nolan. “If he continues to progress with his fitness and abilities, he will do very well on the international scene.” Philipp and his national teammates left for Brussels, Belgium, Sunday to begin some training runs to prepare for two four-day stage races in Italy; the Giro di Basilicata and the Giro della Lunigiana. Philipp has come a long way since that first hand-me-down bike with wooden brake pads. “It’s a great honor and (Philipp) deserves it,” said cycling coach Billy Innes. “He’s worked incredibly hard this year to improve and it shows in both his race results and the way he interacts with his team.”