ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Thursday night – some exciting news for Virginia’s Blue Ridge – as it takes a bigger step towards becoming a destination for cyclers. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge – holding an event Thursday featuring two Olympians Kristin Armstrong and Shelley Olds.
Olds had played a key role in the Twenty 24 cycling team…Thursday night at he Virginia’s Blue Ridge annual meeting we learned about a new role for Olds….the head coach for Roanoke College’s new Mens and Womens competitive cycling program.
Shelley Olds over the last decade has been known as a cyclist making he way to the Olympics.
But during her time at Roanoke College….it was the soccer pitch where she was a force. Being the all time leading scorer in program history and earning a spot in the Maroons athletic hall of fame. Olds did see herself in a coaching role at Roanoke College…in soccer….not cycling.
“I thought about collegiate soccer coaching. I thought about maybe that is what I wanted to do after my cycling career. So I did come back here and got with my old coach Phil Benne. I spent the whole season to him. It was an incredible experience. They did have their coaches all ready. I wan not going to take anyone’s job. So I moved on from that. All I realized that soccer coaching was not the right thing to do. I think the cycling was fresh on my mind,” said Olds.
Olds then became part of the Virgina’s Blue Ridge Twenty 24 cycling program…….over the past few years….Roanoke College seeing the growth of cycling in the area wanted to develop their own cycling program…they didn’t have to go far to get their head coach.
“And when they asked me, they said they were going to open up the position to someone else. I was definitely going to fight for that spot because i didn’t want anyone else to have it to start the program but me,” said Olds.
Now with Olds in charge she has a vision and expectation for the Roanoke College Maroons cycling program.
“I want the Roanoke College cycling program to be nationally recognized. I want us to be one of the top teams in the country. If not the top team. I want all of the riders that come through the program to go on to compete an fulfill there dreams in cycling,” said Olds.
Roanoke College’s cycling team will compete this fall as a club sport. Later on they will be a varsity sport and compete in the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference.