It was a disappointing week in California for the Axeon development squad.
First, in high profile news reported all over the celebrity blogosphere, the riders failed to hit teen heart-throb entertainer Justin Bieber while out riding the roads of Malibu.
The team did secure a few iPhone selfies and a short vid with Bieber but it was an opportunity missed. Bieber emerged from the encounter unscathed.
While that hit-and-ride failed to happen, the team also endured a series of near misses with hot, young teen celebrities.
The very next day while rolling down the famed Sunset Boulevard, the squad narrowly missed knocking over Bella Thorne, a star in the Disney series Shake It Up.
Not to be deterred, Axeon attacked Los Angeles again the next day with a series of fast circuits up and down Melrose Avenue. Several riders just missed Ross Lynch, the favorite TV actor two years in a row at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Quick reflexes by Lynch, who was exiting a Porsche Cayman, apparently saved the actor from the Axeon onslaught.
While events were taking a downward turn, spirits remained high at the Axeon squad led by team boss Axel Merckx. “The only pressure we have is the pressure they put on themselves to make it to the WorldTour,” said Merckx.
Still, the run of bad luck continued late into the week, as the team missed a golden opportunity to hit 14 year old star, Kieron Shipka, who played the daughter of Don Draper in the long-running TV series Mad Men.
Shipka was crossing Rodeo Drive in the luxury shopping district when rider Owen Logan barely missed her by mere inches. The team did stop and share an energy drink and Honey Stinger waffle with Shipka, who counted herself lucky to have avoided being taken down by a speeding Specialized race bike.
It remains to be seen whether the Axeon riders will be able to crash into a young Hollywood star or not. They’re scheduled to leave Southern California in a few days and another target may not present itself.
Nevertheless, Merckx is confident in the abilities of his young riders, despite the Bieber miss and several others. “This is a major step forward for us and a groundbreaking one when it comes to our development of young riders,” said Merckx.