Rally Cycling’s Kelly Catlin helped Team USA defend their world title in the team pursuit this past weekend at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Catlin and her teammates Jennifer Valente, Chloe Dygert and Kimberly Geist narrowly edged out defending Olympic champions Great Britain. Catlin also took bronze in the individual pursuit.
“Defending the world title was very special,” said Catlin. “Our team has been training extensively to improve our team pursuit technical skills, and winning in the Netherlands is proof that we are on the right track for the Tokyo Olympics.”
The team pursuit event is four kilometers in length, consists of four riders per team, and takes just over four minutes to complete. With no brakes and only one gear, the mindset is simple for Catlin.
“All I needed to worry about was the timing and speed of my pulls,” said Catlin. “I only noticed on one lap that we were slightly behind Great Britain, but not devastatingly so for that point of the race. A team pursuiter can only have two, maybe three anchors of attention in a given race, and the opposing team should rarely be one of them. Internal focus and perceived effort are instead the driving forces of a successful final kilometer.”
Catlin is currently a student at the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing a dual major in Mathematics and Chinese. Managing a blossoming professional cycling career while remaining dedicated to your studies is a challenge but one that Catlin derives great pleasure from.
“Being a student while also training for and racing at the world championships has been a unique experience,” said Catlin. “I have to admit that forcing oneself to study for an exam after a double session at the track is challenging, but immensely satisfying. Being able to complete a full day of training while also checking off school work makes each day much more complete for me. At times they can be separately annoying, but worthwhile together.”