Laurel Rathbun kicked off the nationals week representing Marian University in the women's race, which she finished sixth. This was followed by the team relay where her crew got fourth place and took home the overall title! Not a bad way to end her collegiate cyclocross racing career.
Unbeknownst to most, this weekend would also mark the end of Laurel's pro cyclocross career. "It's time to take a step away from the sport and deal with issues I’ve been struggling with since a really bad crash a couple years ago. I'd like to think maybe I could come back to the sport in a few years, but one never knows." Laurel went on to say, "I'm only 22 years old. I started racing at age 7 and won my first national title at age 12. I’ve represented the U.S. at Junior Track Worlds and U23 Cyclocross Worlds twice. I’ve raced World Cups in both cyclocross and road, and competed in the second biggest women’s race in the world- the Women’s Tour of Britain. I’ve won 18 National titles between junior and collegiate racing and medaled 52 times. I’ve been on the podium at U.S. Nationals for track, road, cyclocross and mountain biking. Through cycling I’ve made wonderful friends around the world and also a surprisingly amount of fans! I don’t regret any past decisions to pursue cycling at its highest level. It has given me a lot."
"I have to give a huge shoutout to Donnelly and everyone who is part of the team. I am so grateful for each and every person involved especially Donn Kellogg for being the first to give me the opportunity to pursue cycling at the highest level. To my parents for supporting me and being at every single Nationals. To my best friend Emily Neice for seeing all the behind the scenes suffering that nobody else does and helping me through it! And, to my coach Chris McGovern for really understanding all the inner demons I face, for never letting me feel bad and for keeping me sane and motivated!"
Laurel has signed with Team Colavita-Bailetti for one more criterium season which she is very excited about. Training camp starts in February and racing begins in March. She will also be collegiate road racing during her last semester at Marian ending with Nationals on May 10-12 in Augusta, Georgia. Laurel will then begin her finance and accounting career at Ernst & Young in Winston Salem, NC in September.
Lance Haidet came to Louisville with one goal in mind: to win the Men's U23 race. With the conditions the way they were, the start was a full-fledged battle to get to the mud first. Because the course was so slow and mistakes were bound to happen, being on the front was definitely fastest and safest place to be.
"I was third after the first lap, but I started to make a ton of mistakes and was working harder than I should have been. I was running well, but would lose time in the riding sections, which typically should not be the case," said Lance. On the final lap, the fatigue really set in. Lance went on to say, "I was all over the place. I was washing out on almost every corner and could barely keep my feet under me when running. It was honestly one of the most physically and mentally demanding final laps I have ever raced."
Lance would settle for fifth and later reflected on the race. "I truly believe that my weak point was my mental game. Going into it, I overthought so many aspects of the race, that I honestly overwhelmed myself. In the conditions we had, it was unrealistic to expect a perfect ride, but I made the mistake of starting with a plan contingent upon having everything work out perfectly. When things started to go a bit sideways, which was almost immediately, I started to tense up, and panic," said Lance.
Lance will spend the holidays in California preparing to compete in the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bogense, Denmark.
Rider Tire Selection and Pressure
Lance Haidet (Sun.)
Front: PDX / 17 psi
Rear: PDX / 18 psi
Laurel Rathbun (Sun.)
Front: PDX / 19 psi
Rear: PDX / 19 psi
Donnelly Professional Cycling Team Sponsors
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
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Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
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Cincy CX Festival - Cincinnati, OH
Silver Goose CX Festival - Midland, ON, Canada
Major Taylor Cross Cup - Indianapolis, IN
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Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK
USA National Championships – Louisville, KY
UCI World Championships – Bogense, Denmark
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Team Mechanic and Product Manager James Sullivan