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Third Time is the Toughest

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Third Time is the Toughest

Eli Husted crosses the finish line at the Amateur Road National Championship in first place. The race came down to the end before Husted pushed ahead in the final meters. “I proved that I’d worked harder than they had, and they were more tired,” Husted said. “I knew I could get them at the line, so I just brought them there.”

Eli Husted crosses the finish line at the Amateur Road National Championship in first place. The race came down to the end before Husted pushed ahead in the final meters. “I proved that I’d worked harder than they had, and they were more tired,” Husted said. “I knew I could get them at the line, so I just brought them there.”

Courtesy of Eli Husted. Reposted with permission.

Eli Husted crosses the finish line at the Amateur Road National Championship in first place. The race came down to the end before Husted pushed ahead in the final meters. “I proved that I’d worked harder than they had, and they were more tired,” Husted said. “I knew I could get them at the line, so I just brought them there.”

Courtesy of Eli Husted. Reposted with permission.

Courtesy of Eli Husted. Reposted with permission.

Eli Husted crosses the finish line at the Amateur Road National Championship in first place. The race came down to the end before Husted pushed ahead in the final meters. “I proved that I’d worked harder than they had, and they were more tired,” Husted said. “I knew I could get them at the line, so I just brought them there.”

Steven Tibbetts, assistant editor

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For someone who had won the Amateur Road National Championship cycling race both of the last two seasons, the odds were stacked against McCallum junior Eli Husted to win the race for a third straight time.

Why would the two-time champ be expected to struggle? Because just a little over four months before the race, Husted had ran into a parked car while riding his bike, breaking his bike into four pieces and putting him in the hospital with injuries to his right knee and stitches in his face and arm.

Despite the severe accident, Husted was back on his bike preparing for upcoming races less than a week after getting out of the hospital.

“Most of [my recovery] happened in the hospital, but outside of that it was just getting on my bike and doing some good long distance,” Husted said. “And then once I had the base, the foundation for all I needed to do, I could then work on more intensity type things, more intervals and stuff like that.”

Even though Husted was able to get back to cycling relatively quickly, it has taken him a lot longer to get back to performing at 100 percent, something Husted believes he still hasn’t achieved.

“[The accident] had an effect on my entire season,” Husted said. “I felt like I was back, but I wasn’t reaching all of my capabilities. It’ll take a while.”

Because of his accident, this year’s national race seemed like it might be Husted’s toughest one to win. But Husted proved he was up for the challenge by winning his third straight national title in a nail-biting finish.

Husted stands on top of the podium after getting first place in the Amateur Road National Championship. Standing to his right and left are the two competitors from the same team that he had to beat in the final meters to win the race for the third straight year. Next year, Husted will be competing for four straight, where there will be another obstacle he has to overcome. “I’ll be in a different age group with more strong guys so it will be more difficult,” Husted said. “But that hasn’t stopped me before.”

“[My injuries] 100 percent slowed me down, but there is no reason the strongest guy has to win every race,” Husted said.

Husted gives a lot of credit for his win to his teammates, who he says helped set him up for the win a lot, especially at the beginning of the race.

“It was better than any age group race I’d ever done as far as a team,” Husted said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team. They were instrumental. It was unlike anything I’d ever done. I’d never had somebody work for me to get the win.”

Husted poses with his Hot Tubes Cycling teammates after winning the race. Husted says that his team helped him a lot in getting the win. “I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Husted said. “They were instrumental. I’d never had somebody work for me to get the win.”

But Eli ended up getting separated from the rest of his team near the end of the race, when he and two competitors from a rival team split from the rest of the riders. Husted fought to stay with the other two riders until they got close to the finish line, when he pulled ahead to get the win.

“I got myself into a breakaway with two different guys on the same team,” Husted said. “And I was thinking to myself that if they know how to work together, then I’m screwed. But I proved that I’d worked harder than they had, and they were more tired, and I knew I could get them at the line, so I just brought them there.”

Despite the difficulties that came from having to fight through his injuries, Husted believes that the struggles he overcame made his victory even sweeter and gave him a boost in confidence.

“It was a real ego stroker,” Husted added.

Maybe that extra confidence is just what Husted needs in order to win the national race for a fourth time in a row next summer.

“I’ll be in a different age group with more strong guys so it will be more difficult,” Husted said. “But that hasn’t stopped me before.”

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Third Time is the Toughest”

  1. Lukas Bednar on October 4th, 2018 9:56 am

    I like how he kept working after he got injured and how you guys used a lot of quotes in this story. I also like how he was humble even though he won.

  2. Asly mendez on October 5th, 2018 4:27 pm

    i like the picture

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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