YGR had a virtual sitdown with Andy Clark for our first 20-ish Question episode in many moons. Andy has been active in the Fort Collins cycling scene since the early 1990s, first as a roadie during the golden age of road racing, racing for the National Team in Europe and several domestic pro teams, then as a team director for Echelon Energy and Ciclismo Racing. He was one of the original members of the Ciclismo Youth Foundation (now Sendtown) and helped start the races at New Belgium. He worked to bring the USGP of Cyclocross to Fort Collins in 2011. He was the OG race director for the City Streets Crits and coached CSU for a spell. He currently works as a cycling coach, working with national-caliber road and mountain bike racers and dozens of high school athletes and masters. Since he started coaching in 2004, his athletes have added 15 National Champion titles and over 120 National Championship medals to their palmarès. He quite literally wrote the Colorado High School Cycling League’s Coaches Field Guide in 2022.

AC moved to Fort Collins in 1991 to attend CSU and has been here ever since. Read on to get to know AC a little better.

AC and Eddy Eddy Gragus during the 2002 CSU Oval Criterium.

YGR: You came here for CSU; why did you stay?

  • : I came back here after spending three seasons racing in Europe because Fort Collins is rad. 

YGR: When/how did you start racing?

  • : The World Championships were in Colorado Springs in 1986. I got a road bike and have been pedaling ever since. 

YGR: Who did you train with back in the day?

  • : Randy Wicker was my training partner mentor. I also trained with Chris Baldwin, Jim Miller, Chris Fisher, Eddy Garages, and in later years, Rich Davis.  

YGR: What was your favorite training route?

  • : My favorite training ride would be the Saturday group ride that leaves from the Oval at 10 am in the winter months. Or it was; now it is 3 hours with friends on the gravel or mtb. 

YGR: What was your most epic training ride?

  • : We were getting ready for the Boulder to Breckenridge Road Race. I raced the lookout hill climb in Golden in the morning, then rode home over Carter Lake and the back side of Rist. I was out of water and completely shot. Headed up Ford Hill and had to stop and fill up water bottles from the hose at the one house back there. 

YGR: When did you retire from racing?

  • : I retired from racing in 2004 when my daughter was born. 

YGR: What teams did you race for?

  • : I raced for a number of different Belgian clubs and the US national team in Europe. I got to do the 13-day Tour of Venezuela and the 10-day Tour of Argentina for the national team. When I returned from Europe, I raced for Colorado Cyclists for three years and then was one of the founding members of the Rio Team. And I raced for them for four years.
Andy heading out for a training ride in his National Team jersey and rain cape in 1997.

YGR: Major results?

  • : I was fast enough to win a handful of local races a year but never got the W at a big event.  
  • 3rd Rodger DeVlaeminck Belgium 
  • 5th Overall Hotter Than Hell SR NRC 
  • 3rd Overall Supper Week Point Series NRC

YGR: Countries raced in?

  • : All over the US, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxenberg, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Venezuela, and Argentina.
I can’t say anything, I had the same hair in 1995.

YGR: Seasons in Europe?

  • :  I was in Europe for three seasons, 1995, 1996 and 1997, with the National team. 

YGR: Missed opportunities?

  • : I chose to miss a number of opportunities because of the performance-enhancing drugs that were such an invasive part of sport in my generation. When I was in Europe, there was an expectation of taking performance-enhancing drugs to be a professional. I was given that opportunity and chose not to race in Europe the next year. I am proud of that decision, but it would’ve been really cool to do the Tour of Flanders!

YGR: What did you do after you retired from road racing? 

  • : Parenting! My daughter Harper is 18 and graduating from Rocky mountain high school this year! I’ve been a single parent and running Ciclismo for the last 15 years. 

YGR: What do you love about coaching?

  • : Well, Dan, there are two things. 
  • First is helping people progress. Cycling is this incredibly cool and complex puzzle. As a coach I get to work with my athletes to put that puzzle together in the best way for them. Developing physiologically, improving skills, nutrition, socially, emotionally, and strategically.
  • Second is building community. I study champion cyclists, champion athletes, champion coaches, and champion programs. The universal truth is champions come from great communities. Build an inclusive community where everyone is respected for who they are. Then we can challenge each one of those participants to be their greatest because they have the support of a community behind them.

YGR: How is coaching kids different from adults?

  • Way more fun! As human beings, we all go through our adolescent development. Each one of us does this at our own time and intensity. As a coach, I get to help young athletes, and humans, develop into the human beings that they want to become. I help them make choices about who they want to be, and then we implement steps to make that happen. I’m a lucky man to be part of that journey.

YGR: Tell us about some of your athletes.

Olivia undergoing performance testing at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in 2018.

YGR: What cycling disciplines do you work with?

  • I work with cyclists. Gunner Johnson won the 15-16 men’s Enduro national championship last summer. This was my first time coaching a gravity athlete to a national championship. I’ve also worked with athletes to win 15 national championships in the crit, TT, road race, endurance MTB, XCO MTB, cyclocross, team pursuit, and Olympic sprint on the track.
  • I hope people don’t get lost in the idea of performance. I think of performance as a byproduct of building community and supporting athletes to grow.

YGR: How do you stay fit in the winter and summer now that you’re not racing?

  • I ski in the winter. I do about 20 days in the backcountry and 10 or so days skiing at Winter Park and Steamboat. Harper is a great ski partner and in the backcountry, Dwight, Dennis, Steve Stefko, and Tim Fegel keep me fit! In the summer, I’m getting in 8-10 hours a week chasing kids around on MTBs. 

YGR: Have you considered making a comeback?

  • No… that hurts! 

Fort Collins Cycling Hall of Fame, who would be in it?

  • Randy Black, Randy Wicker, Mike Hegdel, John Holcom, Don Spence, Dwight Hall, Nate Rees, Chris Baldwin, Chris Fisher, Jim Miller, Clark Sheehan, Chris Stockberger, Eddy Garages, Dan Porter, Paul Esposty, Shaggy.

How do you take your coffee?

  • Double Expresso black

Favorite race to watch?

  • De Ronde Van Vlaanderen 

Favorite defunct race to race in?

  • All the old road races we had Carter Lake, Rawhide, 3 different Boulder Roubaix, and Garden of the Gods RR. We used to race 80- 120 miles every couple of weeks. It was normal.

YGR: Any last thoughts?

  • Fort Collins is a wonderful cycling community. I look forward to helping it grow, developing more trails, and building a bike park here in our City.

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