Did you hear? We’re officially saving red, white, and blue asses with the USA Cycling National Team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
With the World Championships coming to America for the first time in nearly three decades, we are looking forward to supporting Team USAC as they prepare for one of the toughest races of the year.
We sat down for a chit-chat with USA Cycling Women’s Program Manager Jack Seehafer, who offered us an inside look at the US national women’s teams, sharing thoughts on development, bad weather, and the quest for gold.
AS: Can you tell us a little about your role as Women’s Program Manager at USA Cycling?
JS: My primary role as the Women's Program Manager is National Team Director. This role means helping navigate teams and riders to optimal schedules of performance, setting National Team schedules and logistics, management of staff, and budget controls. In essence I end up becoming a boss for about 100+ people on the women's side of the sport.
This is my third year in the position after working for various men's and women's trade teams. I have always had a special place set aside for women's cycling as I met my wife in the early stages of her professional career in cycling and witnessed her rise to the top.
AS: We know that riding at a high level domestically is important for development, but what about international experience?
JS: The emphasis is huge in getting riders to Europe. The racing itself is a whole notch up, roads are narrow and the peloton is usually always maxed out.
They need to be there to understand the style of racing if they wish to race at Worlds or the Olympics, as these will be the women they'll be racing against.
AS: What developments would you like to see in women’s cycling over the next 5-10 years?
JS: More racing and harder races. The women are a great show when the racing is hard and if given the venues they'll bring the athleticism.
"Cycling is like life, and life is hard."
AS: What would you say is the biggest obstacle facing women’s cycling right now?
JS: Lack of financial stability and pay.
AS: We’re super excited to see the World Championships coming to the U.S. this year, what are you and the riders most looking forward to? Are there any perks to staying on home soil?
JS: We are most looking forward to racing in front of a home crowd. We'll have the advantage too as we already understand the day-to-day workings of America. Plus, the fact that the Euros will have to travel with all their equipment for a change.
AS: Lastly, since we are fans of gnarly weather, we'd like to know what are the worst weather conditions you've witnessed riders race/train in?
JS: Hail, sleet, snow, rain and winds, especially in Belgium... At one point or another I have witnessed it all. As I like to say, when the weather goes to pot, characters shine on through.
For more information on the USA Cycling Team, visit: https://www.usacycling.org/team.php