With the excitement of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicking off in Colorado this past Monday, we caught up with Ben King of Team RadioShack, the 2010 USA Pro National Champion and one of Team RadioShack’s brightest young stars. King is looking forward to helping continue his team’s domination of the ever growing array of premier cycling events in the US. Team RadioShack has already taken three of the biggest wins available on US soil with Chris Horner winning at the Amgen Tour of California, Matt Busche at the US Pro Championships, and Levi Leipheimer last week at the Tour of Utah.
This week, as King helps his team in their efforts to win the final race in the unofficial Grand Slam of US bicycle races, he will be getting the word out about a second Grand Slam along with RadioShack director Johan Bruyneel and teammate Chris Horner: the Grand Slam for Zambia. A couple weeks ago, King announced via Twitter of his plans to donate a special prize to the Grand Slam for Zambia, a fundraising effort for World Bicycle Relief that boasts quite the prize list already, including an Africa Rides trip to Africa, a Trek Travel trip to watch the finale of the 2012 Tour de France in Paris, a SRAM Red Group, Team RadioShack Trek Madone, iPhone 4, autographed Lance Armstrong yellow podium jersey and much, much more. The Grand Slam for Zambia aims to raise $134,000, a sum that will provide 1000 World Bicycle Relief bicycles to students in rural Zambia. These bicycles will become crucial parts of these student’s lives, breaking transportation barriers that keep children from school and changing 1000 lives along the way.
As the Grand Slam for Zambia concludes along with the finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, King is adding one of his 2010 US Pro National Championship jerseys autographed by the ENTIRE Tour of California RadioShack team to prize list. If prizes aren’t the only things that interest you, we asked King a few quick questions about what World Bicycle Relief means to him.
Road Diaries: What made you decide to get involved with World Bicycle Relief?
Ben King: Fans of cycling are the most apt to support World Bicycle Relief. They understand the power of a bicycle and how much it can aid transportation. A bicycle can help people break out of the cycle of poverty that hampers their ability to achieve a better future. As a professional cyclist, it makes sense to be involved and I am honored to do my part to help share World Bicycle Relief’s mission.
Road Diaries: What is your favorite part of World Bicycle Relief’s program?
Ben King: My favorite part of World Bicycle Relief’s program is the fact that it uses bikes to make positive changes in the world. Bikes are a simple and sustainable form of transportation that can have an incredible impact in a person’s life, particularly in rural Africa.
Road Diaries: Does SRAM’s support of World Bicycle Relief add value to the componentry that you ride?
Ben King: For SRAM to use their resources to make a lasting impression in the fight against poverty and change lives, speaks to the character of the company. This type of integrity carries over to the quality of their products.
Thanks Ben! We wish you, your teammates and World Bicycle Relief the best this next week as you reach for the Grand Slam. And don’t forget to donate for a chance to be a part of the Grand Slam yourself. 1000 bikes. 1000 lives changed.