|Asheville, NC – Former UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team trainer and soigneur, Bill Haelsen, passed away on Monday, October 22, 2012, at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Haelsen was 45 years old.
The Team is greatly saddened by the loss of one of the cycling community’s most valuable and knowledgeable resources in the fitness industry. Haelsen, who was a professionally licensed massage therapist and certified physical trainer, worked with the Team’s athletes and sponsors for more than two years. All the riders are benefited from the strengthening and stretching practices Haelsen put in place.
Team UnitedHealthcare’s General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, said, “Bill worked for us for two plus years and he was passionate about making our riders physically and mentally stronger, especially with the core training programs he developed. At the races, Bill was always the last one standing when work had to be done and incredibly passionate about his riders and their performances.”
Tamayo continued, “I remember many times when one of our riders would win a race and Bill would be more excited than the athlete himself. He took just as much pride as the riders in their results. He will be greatly missed on the racing scene, in the cycling community and in the City of Asheville. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family right now.”
Known for the rigorous training regiments he would put himself and those he trained through, Bill would often guide others through his infamous core training sessions. Bill could be seen frequently riding up some of Asheville’s biggest mountains towing a trailer full of weights, and the muscular, 200 pounder’s strength and ability to climb simply baffled people.
Lesli Andrews, Haelsen’s best friend and the owner of Asheville Fitness Club and Asheville Medical Aging Prevention, reflected on the life and loss of her loved one. “Losing Bill is just devastating and my heart is broken right now,” she said. “Bill’s heart was bigger than his body. He was such a loving and wonderful man. We were great as a team and he was a fantastic trainer. He touched so many in the cycling community and worked with me with all of the special clinics and seminars we did at the gym.”
“Bill also did a lot of work in the Asheville community. I had no idea how deeply he touched people until this happened. Bill had a gift. He could help anybody with any issue and he gave so much of himself to so many others. He was constantly helping other people and was selfless. From our Asheville Youth Cycling junior team to our elderly community, Bill was just amazing in the way he worked with and treated everyone,” Andrews said.
There will be a memorial service for Haelsen in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, October 28.
tagged: Bill Haelsen