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Featured Athlete: Connor McCutcheon

Connor McCutcheon’s profession as a competitive cyclist means getting to do what he likes most to do: ride his bike. The sheer pleasure of riding keeps the Bowen Sports Performance athlete motivated even when confronted with challenges of training in bad weather, uncertainties about the next season’s sponsorship and the off-season disconnection from teammates who have gone back to their homes and families.

Connor got his first taste of competition as a high school runner, but soon traded his running shoes for a mountain bike when he realized he was a faster on two wheels than on foot. He quickly gained results a a competitive mountain biker, and before long he was training on the road with his new coach Bart Bowen and embracing his newfound status as a pro.

Working with Bart marked a major transition for Connor. A previous coach had helped him hone his fitness and provided him with solid guidance as part of a day-to-day training plan. What Bart added to the mix, and what Connor finds invaluable, is Bart’s understanding of race strategy and tactics. Under Bart’s guidance, Connor has learned the value of patience and how to use his abilities at the right time in a race.

“I’ve learned that sometimes the chase might be someone else’s job,” says McCutcheon.

Bart’s knowledge of the racing industry and substantial race network has also helped Connor learn how to navigate the world of professional cycling to find team placement.

What Connor likes best about cycling, beyond his love of being on the bike, are the friendships he’s developed along the way. Competitive cycling has helped him develop a positive perspective on life and given him good interpersonal skills.

Connor’s advice to younger cyclists? “Have balance in your life.” Connor enjoys hunting, fishing, and just being outdoors. He feels these other pursuits help protect him from burnout;  he looks forward to a new season of racing and the race season’s more disciplined routine. In the off season he works in construction with a schedule that allows him to maintain his training regimen.

Connor recently finished eighth in the 2016 Tour of Iran overall after capturing the first stage. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the 2016 holds for the very talented Connor McCutcheon.

–Susan Keys