USACYCLING  • Leah Thomas
Road

Leah Thomas

D.O.B May 30, 1989
Hometown Cupertino, California
Residence Boulder Creek, California and Girona, Spain
Pro Teams Twenty 16 p/b ShoAir (2016); Twenty 20 p/b ShoAir (2017); UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (2018); Bigla Pro Cycling (2019); Bigla Katusha (Present)

Meet the Athlete

A Bay Area native, Leah grew up as a competitive gymnast. She attended Northwestern University outside Chicago where she began to dabble in long distance running, completing her first marathon that year. However, ignoring the warning signs, she developed severe plantar fasciitis and was forced to leave her running shoes behind. To fill the running’s absence, she picked up a bicycle and quickly became hooked. While living on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona, cycling became a way to balance the stresses of being a new teacher. After some convincing, she completed her first race in late 2013 and won. She moved back to the Bay Area in mid 2014 to be closer to family and to ride. As the 2015 season progressed, Leah began to have bigger cycling dreams and decided to put full-time teaching on hold in order to see what see where cycling could take her. After competing as a stagier in the 2015 World Championship Team Time Trial, Leah raced for her first professional team in 2016. As she continued to develop, she eventually made her way to race full time in Europe in 2019 and currently races for Bigla-Katusha. Leah, a true all-arounder specializing in the time trial, thrives under hard, dynamic courses. Career highlights include 5th place World Championship ITT 2018, 7th Place World Championship ITT 2019, 2nd place Giro Rosa 2019 Stage 1 and 8, and winning the Tour of Scotland in 2019. She dreams of representing her country in the Olympics, winning a spring classic, and one day dawning the rainbow jersey in the time trial. Off the bike, Leah likes to spend time with family and friends on spontaneous outdoor adventures. She also enjoys time to herself curled up with a book, experimenting in the kitchen, and traveling to new places.

What is something you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time?

I would tell my younger self that failure is nothing more than an opportunity to reflect, learn and grow.

I would tell my younger self that failure is nothing more than an opportunity to reflect, learn and grow.

Growing up, how did youth sports impact who you are today?

I was a competitive gymnast growing up. My coaches were like second parents and my teammates are my lifelong friends. Gymnastics taught me the importance of hard work and that you can accomplish more when you support one another as a team then when walking alone.

I was a competitive gymnast growing up. My coaches were like second parents and my teammates are my lifelong friends. Gymnastics taught me the importance of hard work and that you can accomplish more when you support one another as a team then when walking alone.

What is your favorite quote or piece of advice to live by?

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Points of Interest

Placing second in Stage 8 at the Giro Rosa in 2019 is my top racing moment. My teammate, Lizzy Banks, had gotten a gap from the break and I did everything I could to defend her lead and help ensure her win. Coming across the line in second and getting to stand on the podium with her is a memory I will cherish forever. That day was evidence of what teamwork can do, and I am so proud of what we accomplished that day.

Finishing 5th at the World Championships in 2018 in the Time Trial is another top racing moment. That result gave me the confidence to keep pushing towards bigger goals and paved the way for new opportunities.

Winning Tour of Scotland, my first big stage race win, is a special moment for me. We raced so cohesively as a team, and to be able to get the overall win, as well as the stage win on the final day, was such a great way to give back after all their hard work. Plus, racing in an epic downpour every day surely makes a race memorable!

Lea Davison

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Lily Williams

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