Congratulations to Curtis White on being selected for Worlds! This is a tremendous accomplishment and clearly places him amongst the best riders in NY. The NYSBRA Officers and Board agreed that this is a rare and important opportunity and have voted to help defray his expenses with a NYSBRA Mission Grant of $1000. A letter from Curtis about his experience is below.
I’m finally back into the school schedule and getting readjusted. It’s been tough making up all the work, but all in all, it was worth it!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Curtis White. I live in Delanson, New York, I attend Duanesburg High School, and I’m 16 years old. I started racing on the road when I was ten and started cyclocross shortly thereafter. The LAJORS program that many of the New York race promoters supported provided a solid network of both local and regional racing. On the cross side, my development was more organic and can be attributed to a number of local racers, namely Tom Butler, Chuck Quackenbush, and Dave Beals. These guys had a real love for the sport and were excited to teach the skills during their weekly training rides.
It seemed like cyclocross was really starting to catch on and the NYCROSS and the Verge Cyclocross Series offered great venues for juniors to race, learn, and develop. Through Adam Myerson, of Cycle-Smart, I was introduced to Ben Turner, the program director of the Clif Bar Junior Cyclocross Development Team. With Clif Bar’s help, I was recognized by Geoff Proctor, the national team coach.
Selection and preparation for this year’s World Championship team started back in October and November, with four UCI weekends that served as selection for December’s Euro Cross Camp. I podiumed five out of the six races I attended, including Granogue, Cincinnati, and Louisville. I was selected for, and attended the Euro Cross Camp, racing six races in Belgium between December 17th and the 31st for three top ten results. A week after returning to the states, I had a mechanical at nationals and nearly missed the podium. I was notified six days after nationals that my spot on the US team was however confirmed, and I would shortly be heading back to Belgium and the Netherlands.
A short two days after arriving, team USA was off to the Hoogerheide World Cup in the Netherlands. I came out of this round top American, in 20th of 70. For my first race back, and almost 48 hours after getting off the plane, I was extremely excited for my result. Throughout the week, it was important that we eat, train, and rest all with the World Championships in mind.
After recovering from Hoogerheide, the US team trained on the World Championships course in Koksijde throughout the week. All week long, the conditions kept changing. The racing was far more ruthless than any other race I had raced. In retrospect, I may have made some mistakes in the days leading up to the World Championships. I didn’t feel in top form, was not as fresh as I wanted to be, I ended up 32nd of 60, 3rd American.
The trip as a whole was an incredible learning experience of both racing my bike and adapting to the culture. It was a brilliant way to top off an incredible season. Also, being able to watch the elite mens race on Sunday, with over 60,000 spectators, was absolutely remarkable.
I’m looking forward to some rest and a killer road season with Hot Tubes over in Europe again this spring and summer. We kick things off in mid-April at the Grand Prix Bati-Metallo one day classic in Belgium, rated UCI 1.1, and then the Trophee Centre Morbihan stage race in France a week later, also rated 1.1. There’s a number of other major races on the schedule, including the Tour of Ireland, an eight day stage race.
My goals for the road season are to develop into a more tactical rider, improve my time trialing, and learn what the euro road scene is all about. For cyclocross next year, my goal is to podium at the World Championships on home turf.
Without the support of family, friends, club members, race promoters, development programs, and various cycling organizations, none of this would be possible. It seems to me, in many different ways, it’s the people behind the scenes that make this whole process work. I feel fortunate and blessed just to be able to ride and race the bike. Thank you for all you do for cycling.