Irene Hurst Election Statement
Collegiate Committee - Eligible Athlete (Female)
I am relatively new to the sport of cycling. After competing in two collegiate and regional racing seasons, I have been able to get a good sense of the intricacies of the southern US conference, as well as the national cycling scene. I qualified for Collegiate Cycling Nationals in Madison, WI in 2011 after my first two months of racing, while also being named the DII South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference (SCCCC) Champion. In 2012 during my second collegiate season, I qualified again to compete at the national level in Ogden, UT, as well as repeating my SCCCC DII Champion title. These experiences brought to light the differences not only in the racing divisions, but also between the conferences I had competed in. In light of this, I believe I will bring a fresh perspective to the sport, while also being able to compare the differences I have observed among the various competitions I have participated in up to this point.
In 2011, I was able to cycle some stages of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees. Not only was the experience amazing in and of itself, but it also it allowed me to interact with cyclists from other countries. Cycling the stages of Le Tour during Le Tour was completely ethereal, and opened my eyes to the sport’s massive popularity around the world, which I have not always experienced in the general US population. People who were camped on the side of the road waiting for the tour to come through would cheer my companions and myself on as we tackled the cols of the day! The sheer support was invigorating, and is something I plan to cultivate in our cycling community if I am elected.
The number of places my bike has taken me, and the number of friends it has allowed me to make nationally and internationally, has opened the doors to countless numbers of adventures and learning experiences. As a USAC committee member, I would bring my enthusiasm for this sport and its community to the table, and to help encourage young cyclists, especially young female cyclists, in their pursuit of the sport.
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