AUSTIN AMBASSADORS

Austin Bicycle World Ambassadors

Our BW Ambassador's are like family to us. These are fans of the shop, athletes and all around good people. Being the fastest isn't a job requirement, but having an infectious love of the sport and a willingness to share that love is.

We rely on our area ambassadors to help us build relationships with local organizations and we draw inspiration from their exploits. From the Olympics, to local 5k's, our ambassadors represent everything we love about endurance sports.

OUR AUSTIN AMBASSADORS

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David Garza

David Garza is one of the most positive natural ambassadors you'll ever meet. Whether he's competing in an Ironman, or teaching spin classes at his LOVE Cycling Studio, David is a natural leader who is always willing to share his passion for the sport. A friend of the Austin shop for several years, we're pleased to welcome David to our 2017 Ambassador Program.

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Rolando Roman

Pretty much everyone who races cyclocross in Texas, knows Rolando Roman. When he's not managing the Texas Cyclocross Project, or putting on races, Rolando is competing for himself. In fact, Rolando just came back from a trip to Belgium, where he competed in the Amateur Cyclocross World Championships. We're happy to have Rolando as a BW Ambassador, because he truly cares about growing the sport of cyclocross in Texas, and is willing to put in the work to do so.

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Todd Sapio

Growing up playing football in the Texas heat taught Todd early on that sweat was his friend. Trading pads for a guitar after college he moved to LA to pursue music. He continued his career moving to Austin in 2006 where he released multiple albums and toured the country. In 2013, no stranger to exercise and sports, Todd found triathlon. After a few local races the hook was set and he again made a life change, trading his guitar for a tri bike. "Being successful at music means others have to like what you're making," Todd says, "Triathlon is completely internal, between you and your own will power. If you don't put in the work every day, you don't get better and only you know if you gave it your all at the finish line. "

In just his third season, Todd has already become a recognizable name within the triathlon community. With the support of great companies like Bicycle World, New Balance and Restore Cryotherapy along with his wife Jennifer and two kids, Simon and Charlotte, Todd is making a run to become one of the top athletes in the Austin area. He trains at Austin Aquatic and Sports Academy under Natasha Van Der Merwe and Brendan Hansen and is racing both Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston and Ironman Texas 140.6 in the Woodlands in April as well as Ironman Arizona in November.

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Lewis Tsai

"My experience in triathlon and endurance sports began almost 4 years ago right here in Austin. During undergrad, I joined the UT Tri Team and I’ve been swimming, biking, and running ever since! I was a little late to the game, joining up in the closing weeks of my 3rd year with almost no experience swimming or cycling, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. After training over the summer and becoming more acquainted with the sport, I came back for my last year ready to throw down. All throughout my 4th year at UT, I raced and trained like a madman. I was hooked. Numerous races, countless hours spent training, and a team environment that felt as if it were an extended family, helped push me and my abilities to levels I had never before even dreamed of. And even though I’ve only been racing for a few years, I have experience with the wide array of triathlon and endurance sports offerings; from super sprints and cycling criteriums, to marathons and ironmans.

Being a triathlete is still as fun and entertaining as when I walked into my first team practice. It’s hard to explain, other than the fact that, it just feels right. Like a glove that slips on perfectly. I’m definitely not the fastest person out there, but I still have that feeling I had when I first started, which is an unquenchable thirst to get faster and better. With that being said, training and racing isn’t only about how you develop as a racer. Experiences I’ve had in these few years have taught me lessons about myself and have bettered me as a person in more ways than one. In addition to this, the people I’ve met along the way are some of the best that I have the privilege of knowing or have met. Because of the decision I made almost 4 years ago, I’ve established lifelong friendships and gained lessons and discoveries about myself that will endure until the day I kick the bucket.

In addition to training and racing, I’m currently attending medical school at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, Round Rock Campus. If you ever see me around the Austin area, whether it’s in a healthcare setting like the hospital, splashing around in a pool, or running around Town Lake, feel free to say hi!

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Natasha Van Der Merwe

Born in Kimberley, South Africa, Natasha comes from a family of athletes and sports lovers. As a junior, Natasha competed at the highest levels in swimming, cross country, field hockey, biathlon and tennis. Of those, tennis became her focus and she was the top-ranked junior in South Africa and ranked as high as top 50 in the world before becoming a professional tennis player when she was 18.

It was a career in tennis that brought Natasha to Texas in 2003. In 2008, a friend introduced her to the world of triathlon and she hasn’t looked back since. In 2010, she turned professional. In 2014, she placed in the Top 8 of all her races, including a Top 3 at Challenge Atlantic City.

She has an Olympic PR of 2:06, Half Ironman PR of 4:27 and Ironman PR of 9:29.

In addition to racing on the professional circuit, Natasha is the Director of Triathlon at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy, is a Tridot Coach and had a daughter in August of 2016. She will be back racing professionally in 2017 for Bicycle World.

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