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Marquardt Shifts Focus to Track Nationals and Upcoming UCI Races

A member of the 2020 USA Cycling Olympic Long Team, Mandy Marquardt was not selected for the Final Olympic Team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and thus she is shifting her focus to upcoming competitions. Team Novo Nordisk’s Marquardt started off her summer racing season with a victory at the Bicycle Racing League All-Stars at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania on Friday, June 18.

“Over the last few years, it’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience and an honor to represent my country throughout major international events, focusing on helping accumulate Olympic qualifying points for the United States alongside my teammate. Though I wasn’t selected, I stand ready if the team needs me and will be cheering on my USA Cycling teammates,” Marquardt said. “If diabetes has taught me anything, it’s resilience and I’m grateful for the team’s continued support. We are a family.”

Marquardt won all her races at the sprint invitational, starting with the four-rider heat, then the semifinals and lastly the finals.

“I loved being back racing under the lights at the VPCC for the first time since 2019,” commented Marquardt. “It was great to race with some of the upcoming athletes, especially from my Edge Cycling training group. I trained that morning at the track already and went into the night already pretty warmed up just focusing on technical skills and that race pressure again for future international events.”

After the competition, the event announcer acknowledged Marquardt’s efforts in playing a valuable role in helping secure a spot for the Olympics alongside her teammate. Marquardt was then happy to answer a few questions.

“I noted the talent from my teammates, the upcoming generation and how much fun it is to be here racing again in front of a crowd, especially with my parents and fiancé here,” she concluded. “I then commented that it’s been a great journey alongside Maddie [Godby] and that it is great to see a female sprinter in the Olympics since 2008.”

Her love of track racing has not diminished. Marquardt is now shifting her focus to the next training and racing block which starts with the 2021 USA Cycling Elite, Junior, Para Track National Championship in July.  Afterwards, Marquardt plans on competing at the three UCI events scheduled for the end of the summer at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Marquardt will also continue her education in the fall with The Pennsylvania State University MBA program.

Photo Credits:

Courtesy of Vishrut Garg and Valley Preferred Cycling Center (@vishrut_fa and @the_velodrome on Instagram)

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Tejay van Garderen to retire after USA Nationals

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Hugh, and I think he has a really bright future,” Tejay says. “He knows if there’s ever any kind of question he has about time trialing, or just in general, he can always reach out, or call, or whatever. My door’s always open, and that goes to anyone on the team.”

 

Still, being a professional bike racer is a very tough business. Racing up and down alpine cols in the harshest conditions that nature can throw at you is one of the most physically and mentally challenging pursuits an athlete can do. Cycling is dangerous and all-consuming. To be competitive, riders have to ignore the risks and lead a highly disciplined existence. And there is so much uncertainty involved that there is never any guarantee of success. With a young family at home, Tejay has reached a point where he no longer feels he can do it well. He doesn’t want to take chances away from his teammates. He respects them as much as they respect him.

 

“The honest truth is that I don’t feel super effective as a bike racer anymore,” he says. “Once your ability starts to be less than it was, you have to find a way to make yourself effective. I was really motivated by the rise of Hugh Carthy, and I wanted to be able to mentor him and help him. I said, ‘Okay, I’m still a good climber. Maybe I can stay with him in the high mountains and give him support.’ I’m not skilled enough to be like those cobbled classics guys who are able to shepherd their leader through all the tricky sections. We have guys like Jens Keukeleire and Alberto Bettiol who are much more effective at that than I could ever be. But the truth is I wasn’t able to just climb into a group of the 20 best anymore, to be able to give a leader like Hugh support in the high mountains. So I was riding around thinking, well, what do I do? How am I effective in the race? And if I really took a good, honest look in the mirror, I said, “Well, if you have eight people to fill a roster, I could name eight people that would serve a purpose better than I could serve that purpose.”

 

— Mary Lee Mahony to www.efprocycling.com