Courteney Lowe and Jade Wilcoxson bookended Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies’ phenomenal 2012 season with big results on opposite sides of the globe this weekend, with Lowe being crowned New Zealand’s road race national champion and Wilcoxson braving sub-zero conditions in Madison, WI to finish second in the Cyclocross National Championships.
Lowe becomes Optum p/b KBS’ fourth national champion, joining Ken Hanson, Ian Moir, and Denise Ramsden with Kiwi colors in tow for the 2013 season. It is the biggest win of the 20-year-old’s career, coming just months after iliac artery surgery forced her off the bike.
Wilcoxson’s efforts secured her a spot on the Team USA roster for next month’s Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky where she will join 9-time consecutive national champion Katie Compton (Trek), Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized), Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), and Georgia Gould (Luna) to compete for the first-ever world championship on American soil.
“It is incredible that we are able to begin the new year will such big results,” said Performance Manager Rachel Heal. “Courtney has worked so hard to quickly recover from a tough surgery so she really deserves this, and Jade’s cyclocross season has been phenomenal. Being selected for the world championship team is quite an accomplishment, and is a testament to how hard she has worked all year.”
Wilcoxson’s runner-up finish in Madison came on a frozen, mud caked course Sunday, where she finished 1:20 behind Compton, who continued a nearly decade long win streak at the race. Wilcoxson and her Team USA companions will go head-to-head against some of the world’s best riders on the grueling Louisville course on March 3rd.
“This year was the first time I have raced cross professionally, and I am shocked and honored to be chosen to race in Louisville,” said Wilcoxson. “Everyone involved with the team has done an amazing job supporting us all year, Amanda (Miller) has been a great teammate and has showed me the ropes so getting selected for Louisville definitely feels like a team win.”