Cynisca Cycling

Kyleigh Spearing

Kyleigh Spearing

USA   

HOMETOWN: Frankfort, IL, (a suburb of Chicago)

DOB: 21 July 1998

Kyleigh has a unique multi-sport background, having won the Junior Elite Triathlon National Championship in 2017. While in college, she ran D1 cross country, while still competing at the elite level in triathlon. She is currently focusing on professional cycling in both road and gravel, joining the Cynisca-sponsored USA Cycling development team in Europe.

She graduated from Cornell University with a BA in economics; minor in Mandarin Chinese language and government and recently from University of Notre Dame with an MS in Business Management.

Follow her on Instagram: kykylovestri

Q&A with Kyleigh:

What attracted you to cycling? 

“I’ve been racing on a bike since I began triathlon, but I never focused too much on my strength in the cycling discipline. My triathlon coach pointed out that I had a high power to weight ratio, but I  always thought my true strength was swimming.  I think that was the first clue of potential in this sport.   My boyfriend, also a cyclist, encouraged me to switch to single sport cycling.  I am so thankful to USA Cycling and Cynisca Cycling for recently providing me with an opportunity to race in the European peloton for the first time this past summer.  The future seems bright.”

Do you have family members who ride?

“I sometimes get my dad out on long or easy rides with me. He has raced multiple Ironmans!”

Interesting jobs you’ve had?

“I formerly raced the world cup circuit as an elite U.S. triathlete for the last three years, even while I was still in college.  I remember traveling thru Russia alone as a college student on my way to racing a World Cup in Kazakhstan and again racing another World Cup in Hungary.

I have recently worked as a financial analyst for some very successful former Lehman Brothers investment bankers.   They were so supportive of female athletes like me and provided me so much flexibility to train and race.   I was grateful for that opportunity.”

Is there a profession other than bike racing you want to pursue someday?

“Good question – Everyone needs a Plan B right!   I remain so focused on Plan A (cycling at the highest levels) right now it’s hard to think about Plan B, but someday I think the following areas in business and finance are intriguing to me:

  • Venture Capital or Private Equity (maybe even in the sports industry)
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Sales and Trading”

 

What do you consider your strengths in cycling?

“I’m a climber.  I have a good punch, but I am continually working on developing my fast twitch.”

What do you consider your strengths off the bike?

I’ve normally been the glue between different personalities on teams.  A highly functioning team usually attracts different personalities/riders. I think it’s incredibly important to find someone who acts as the cohesive tape and finds common ground among everyone. I also have a high level of adaptability.  I can cope fairly easily with change.

What are your goals?

“I have four short-term goals.  1) Learn to navigate the European peloton with ease, 2) consistently perform at a high level, 3) finish in the top 3 on a climbing stage, and 4) be a good teammate. I have other longer-term goals but no specific timelines yet.  They are:

  1. race in the Tour de France Femmes.
  2. ride for a World Tour Team (when the time is right)
  3. explore gravel racing as a side hustle.
  4. Is it too presumptuous to say race for Team USA in the Olympics?

Two overriding personal goals is that I hope to make a career as a cyclist and I want to remain happy.”

Where is your favorite place to ride?

“My Two favorite rides currently are Flagstaff Mountain and Lookout Mountain in Boulder, CO and Golden, CO, respectively.  They are absolutely beautiful at fall time. Boulder is an amazing place to live with such a variety of road and gravel climbs and flats.  It would be hard to get bored here.”

What is your superpower?

“Accelerated healing.”

What is your favorite music to listen to when you are on the trainer?

“Drake, Trippie Redd, Kid Cudi, and a little bit of Linkin Park when I am in the box!”

Favorite drink? Favorite food? Favorite treat?

“I have been an espresso coffee snob for several years now. I am very attached to my espresso machine.  I also have a soft spot for Blackberry Italian soda, Chicken Tikka Marsala, and Oreo McFlurrys.”

Race you are most excited about next year?

“Tour of Ardeche.  I missed the climbing stages last year.  A bit of personal redemption and overcoming last year’s crash is extra motivational to me.”

Any advice for young girls who want to get into cycling?

Women’s cycling is rising again.  It will become equitable.  The fan base is growing.   On demand video streaming has opened up so many sports like woman’s cycling to both fans and younger athletes who would otherwise have a zero chance of exposure.   Cycling creates confidence in yourself, tests your limits, and facilitates friendships around the country and world.  Cycling can take you to some of the most beautiful places in your own country or eventually even the entire world.

I encourage you to watch academy award winning movie Breaking Away as I did as a young girl.   Ask one of your parents to take you to go watch the Women’s Little 500 bike race at Indiana University held each April or if you can’t see it live watch it online.  If these inspire you, then take the next step and find a club, coach, or junior program and definitely enter a race!  And don’t be too hard on yourself— what you might think takes 3 months, may take you 3 years. Trust your own timeline.

Anything else you’d like to share?

“My grandfather recently passed away.  He was one of my biggest supporters.  He used to give me a roll of half dollar coins almost every time he would see me.  So I have since raced carrying one half dollar coin.  It gives me comfort that he is with me and an angel on my shoulder during each race.”

Follow us as we help talented women climb to the top of the podium!