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CX Athlete Feature: Katie Clouse

By: Angelina Palermo  November 12, 2019

Katie Clouse has been one to watch coming up through the junior ranks across various disciplines. Katie talks more about how she is managing her crazy schedule racing for Pro Road and Cyclocross teams as well as her college.

Katie Clouse, 18, has been on the U23 Cyclocross Worlds team for the last two years as well as the Junior Road Worlds team. Right after Worlds in 2018, she headed straight to Jingle Cross where she was the youngest U.S. rider to ever start a World Cup. The same year, she won her first UCI C1 race at Oklahoma's Ruts and Guts and the Junior National Championships. Results like these don’t go unnoticed. She’s been racing all summer for DNA Cycling on the road, and has started her first season with Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld. At some point she finds time to go to class in Grand Junction, Colorado where she is a freshman at Colorado Mesa University.

Photo By: Meg McMahon

How did you get into racing?

I started racing the local Park City mountain bike races when I was very little. Probably, 8 years old. I couldn’t race road because I wasn’t old enough, so I watched my brother race instead. The next year I started racing road. Then when I was 11, I found cross and have been doing it ever since.

After a whirlwind of success in 2018, how did you carry that into this season?

I was really happy with a lot of my results from the previous season, however, every single result I try to learn from and find what I can do to improve. This is what keeps me motivated going into the 2019/2020 season. I have a lot of support backing me up which allows me to keep on top of my training, school, health, and happiness which keeps me progressing throughout my career.

What’s it like to be part of such a legendary team like Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld?

Jingle CX was my first race with Cannondale, I was really excited, yet nervous because it is such a well-respected team. I did put a lot of pressure on myself to perform on such a high-level team, but as I get to know everyone I have realized that I have such a great support system and that has taken the pressure off and helped me focus on racing as a whole and having fun, instead of just the results.

What led you to choosing Colorado Mesa University?

I came to Colorado Mesa University because they offered a good support system for both my athletics and my education. The coaches and I worked together to find a happy medium to balance the travel and school aspects of being a student-athlete. Talking with the coaches and the other athletes on the team it seemed like a good fit for me. It is also close to home and I have several good friends that already go there. The school is a good environment and makes me feel almost like a normal college student even though I spend a lot of time on my bike or in an airport.

You’re just coming off Collegiate MTB Nationals and now you’re all in racing for your trade team. How are you managing your school priorities and racing?

Being a student-athlete isn’t easy, I miss a lot of class for racing. Professors are pretty understanding when it comes to missing school for collegiate races, but they have a hard time the amount of time it takes to race professionally as well. The biggest thing is just sitting down with them and letting them know that I will make up the work, and get the notes that I need. Racing for CMU has made the transition a little bit easier with professors because they understand collegiate sports more than professional. I've had to learn how to manage my time in the dorm between training, classes, homework, and having a social life. Living with other girls on the cycling team has helped that and has made it fun as well.

How has road racing impacted your cyclocross season?

When road racing is ending cyclocross season is starting, this is challenging because I want to make sure all of my teams are happy. I find myself having to choose between the two and hope that it is the correct choice to help me progress through my season and career. It is hard because training for road and cross is so different, but road helps me keep in shape going into cross and cross helps keep my high end going into road season. So, in the end, they end up complementing each other, even though it can be hard to make both work, it’s worth it.

What are the expectations going into Cyclocross Nationals this year?

I have put a lot of focus into a lot of key cross races; PanAms, world cups, and worlds, but especially nationals. I do put a lot of pressure on myself to perform the best I can at Nationals and this year will be no different. I am excited to be racing in Tacoma and race a new course, it will be nice to be back on the west coast with family being able to attend this year.

You’ll be heading over to Europe for some more ‘cross racing with the support of USA Cycling’s MudFund. How has this program helped develop your racing?

The MudFund is awesome because it gives us the financial support that cross racers need to race and perform in Europe at the highest level. This year I will be doing multiple World Cups with the support from my team, Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld, and the USAC MudFund. This gives me the support that I need to perform in Europe at the top level. Without it, young riders trying to develop and perform well in Europe wouldn't have the tools they need to be successful.

What should we expect to see from you next year?

Next year I will step-up from the junior to the pro ranks and will be racing with my road team, DNA Pro Cycling, and lead into the cross scene a bit earlier than I am used to with a full cross schedule next season. As I am a student-athlete, I will be racing with CMU on the collegiate road scene in the spring. This will allow me to have a healthy balance between my education and full-time racing

To cheer on Katie throughout the year, follow her on Instagram @katieclousee and Twitter @KatieClouse1.

Developing athletes like Katie would not be possible without the help and support from the USA Cycling Foundation's MudFund. If you would like to be a part of the future of American Cycling, consider donating today:

Visit for more information on the athletes, events, and membership programs, and follow @USACycling across all channels for the latest on Team USA.

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