THROWBACK THURSDAY: CINDY WHITEHEAD TAKES US BACK TO 1986

How legends are made.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: CINDY WHITEHEAD TAKES US BACK TO 1986

Cindy Whitehead was one of the OG women’s pro racers back in the day. She began her cycling career in the spring and summer of 1984, where she raced on the national road racing circuit. In the fall of 1984, she was introduced to mountain biking in Crested Butte, Colorado, and fell in love with the sport and raced for the Ross Indians race team. Cindy later raced for Klein and had a long illustrious 10-year career as a pro, winning several championships in XC, downhill and dual slalom. Cindy was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1990.

HOW LEGENDS ARE MADE

“The Sierra 7500 was a race named for the 7500 feet of elevation changes from the desert floor of Bishop to the 13,000-foot mountaintops of the Buttermilk mountains of the Eastern Sierras.
I began the 50-mile race fast and hard. It was a drought year, and there was lots of sand. The first sandy wash, which was about one mile into the 50-mile race, was too difficult for me to cross and ride out of, so I dismounted my bike and ran with it to the top of a small hill. I ran alongside my bike and jumped onto it, cyclocross-style, only the binding bolt broke and my seat came off.
After watching many riders pass me by, as I stood there sad and stunned, since I never moved my seatpost up or down, it was stuck inside the seat tube. I rode the next 49 miles climbing with it that way [with no saddle]. I had the top female rider, Jacquie Phelan, in my sights. Instead of quitting, I chased her down and passed her. Jackie said, ‘I knew you wouldn’t quit,’ and she passed me again.
“We traded the lead several times before I finally broke away from her close to the summit and won that race.” —Cindy Whitehead

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