Recently-retired Elite cyclocross star Courtenay McFadden will be joining photographer Dave Mable for Cyclocross Magazine’s coverage of the three U.S. UCI Cyclocross World Cup races in October.
McFadden had been considering retirement before the pandemic, but certainly not walking away from the sport.
“I had planned on retiring after the U.S. Nationals in Seattle (2019),” she said in a recent interview. “But I did so well there and had so much fun, I decided to give it another go.”
Of course, a worldwide pandemic put a hold on that idea, and just as it did for many of us, gave McFadden a chance to reevaluate her priorities.
“We all know what happened in 2020,” she continued. “In the fall, I was like, “I don’t miss it, so I don’t really need to do it again. What helped solidify my decision was knowing I was going to lose all my UCI points and I didn’t want to have to fight for them again. It was the perfect opportunity for an exit.”
McFadden will be offering an insider’s perspective on the racing at the Trek CX Cup, Fayetteville Cross and Jingle Cross.
“I love Jingle Cross, but I must say, when we’re at the Trek CX Cup, I am on the hunt for the best cheese curds in Wisconsin! And, I’ve never raced in Fayetteville, but I’m very excited to see the course,” said McFadden. “I really loved every single moment that I have had racing, but I don’t miss the pre-race nerves. I have felt for so long that I personally needed to give back to the community that has supported me for so long.” The former pro will now take her turn making racers nervous through pre-and post-race interviews and possibly asking them to help pronounce city names in cyclocross hotbeds.
McFadden was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she currently resides. She was introduced to racing in her mid-twenties, later than most, but quickly rose through the ranks in cyclocross, catching attention with early results and her bright pink Rock Lobster.
She is a two-time USA World Championship team member in cyclocross and multiple top-five finisher at USAC Cyclocross Nationals and Pan American Championships.
McFadden will be our chief correspondent beginning with the Trek CX World Cup on Sunday, October 10, then head to Fayetteville with Mable. The two of them plan a stop in the self-proclaimed Mountain Bike Capital of the World in Bentonville to explore some of the many miles of trails, pump tracks and flow trails before heading to Iowa City for the weekend of Jingle Cross.
“I am really looking forward to her in-depth knowledge of the sport,” said Mable, a contributor to Cyclocross Magazine for more than six years. “As a member of the media, we can get a peek behind the curtains, but Courtenay has lived it, the training, the travel, the finances, through all the ups and downs of a very challenging international sport. Her perspective will be insightful and unique. I’m very excited to work with her.”
Watch for our World Cup coverage to begin on Friday, Oct. 8 from the Trek CX Cup in Waterloo, Wisconsin. We might even share our thoughts on the best cheese curds in the state!
Enjoy our conversation with Courtenay McFadden below, and stay tuned for our coverage of the upcoming World Cups.