Crossing the line

Cyclocross athletes train for the road ahead

Chloe Knue | Editor
Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer

spencer petrovPhoto contributed by Roxanne King

The wheels are turning towards professional cycling aspirations for junior Mackenzie Green and freshman Spencer Petrov.

Green and Petrov, who train almost every day year-round, had the opportunity to travel to the National Cyclocross Championship in Boulder, Colorado, to compete in an off-road cycle race against almost 70 of the best cyclers from around the country. Petrov won the championship in the ages 15-16 category.

Cyclocross isn’t your typical sport, according to Green.

“[Cyclocross] is really unique because not a lot of people do the sport,” Green said. “Everywhere you go there are different courses you ride and there are different aspects of that course, so every race itself is unique. It’s fun too because it’s a mixture of all the different disciplines of cycling.”

According to Petrov, preparing and competing against the best of the best at Nationals is very nerve-wracking.

“I went out two weeks before [the competition],” Petrov said. “The week before I did a professional race to warm up and then I raced in the national [competition]. Competing is very  stressful.”

Despite the stress of competing on a national level, Green said she finds it fun to meet people from across the country.

“A lot of us compete in the same races, so you start to meet people from opposite sides of the country,” Green said. “It’s really cool because most kids don’t get the opportunity to do so. Usually they’re just friends with people who they live close to, so having friends in Colorado or New England is really fun.”

Winning a cycling national championship has now motivated Petrov to pursue more opportunities to compete and excel in cyclocross. Next year, Petrov said he will be eligible to compete in Worlds, in which the athletes are admitted by selection only.

“One day I want to race professionally,” Petrov said. “[Worlds is a step in that direction] because I have to get on team USA to qualify.”

Qualifying is no easy task. It takes both a lot of work and a lot of time to travel around the country seeking competition, according to Petrov.

“Every summer I go to the U.S. National Camp and I go to all the [cycling] national camps,” Petrov said. “Earlier this year I went to the Olympic training center. Next year I really want to qualify for Worlds and see how I can do there.”

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