All Photos: Ethan Glading / @thepenultimatestage
It was a wild weekend in Dubendorf, Switzerland for the UCI World Cyclocross Championships! Gage Hecht lined up for his final race in the U23 category and also his final race of the season. He has been training and racing in Europe for more than month now in preparation for the season finale. After a string of consistent results, Gage had his sights set on a top 15 finish which is no small feat against the best in the world. The course and conditions at Dubendorf did not necessarily cater to Gage’s strengths, but he also knows a race is a race and you have to be ready for anything. Gage rode strong and left everything he had on the course He would finish 16th, just a few seconds short of his goal. We could not be more proud of Gage’s drive, focus and determination to represent Donnelly, our sponsors and USA Cycling to the best of his ability. Congratulations on an incredible season!
Dream big. "I came to Worlds hopeful I could finish in the top ten, but I knew I would be happy to finish in the top 15. I got close, but not quite close enough."
The start is key. "As with any race, the start is super important. I had a decent start and was in the top ten for the first lap or so. It was right where I needed to be."
Find the line. "Overall I think my start was good and it put me in a good position to achieve my race goals. I also felt like I had some really solid line choices which was key."
Damage control. "On the opening laps I may have been a bit too eager as I tried to hang on to the leaders. I really dug myself into a hole."
Back on track. "After I recovered from the opening laps I finally got back to pushing hard. However, it was much slower than I could have gone if I had paced the start better."
HIndsight. "If I could do it again, I should have stuck to my original pre-race plan, which was to hold back a little on that first lap and settle into a pace I I knew I could hold for 50 minutes."
Home sweet home. "I now fly home to Colorado and go right back to school. I will take a break from riding for a couple of weeks in order to recover and prepare for the road racing season. I'm already looking forward to it!"
A season to remember. "I am super proud of the team’s accomplishments this year. Lance and I really fought hard all season. It would not have been possible without the staff and support from Donnelly, Aevolo and all the other awesome sponsors. It’s crazy to think this was my final age group ‘cross race, but I look forward what the future has to hold as I compete as an elite from here on out!"
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