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Rally Cycling signs junior standout Katie Clouse for 2021

NAMUR BELGIUM DECEMBER 22 Katie Clouse of The United States and Team Cannondale Cyclocrossworld during the 11th Namur World Cup 2019 Women Elite UCICX TelenetUCICXWC on December 22 2019 in Namur Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Katie Clouse rides for Cannondale Cyclocrossworld at 2019 Namur World Cup in Women Elite race (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

American junior standout Katie Clouse has signed with Rally Cycling for the 2021 season, with the aim of riding road events in the North America and Europe. 

At just 19 years of age, she has earned 31 US national titles across disciplines of cyclo-cross, road and mountain biking.

Clouse moves from the DNA Pro Cycling team, which is based near her hometown of Park City, Utah. DNA Pro Cycling had recently renewed all rider contracts for 2021 to show support for the lack of domestic racing caused by the coronavirus. 

The move to Rally Cycling gives Clouse the opportunity to gain experience at European races.

“I’ve probably been with DNA probably for five years, and did a lot of guest riding for them too. I have been with DNA for so long and very grateful for all of that,” Clouse told Cyclingnews

“Everything in the US is so uncertain still, and racing in Europe is a little bit more certain, so the move to race internationally was huge for me.

Clouse is an experienced bike rider, but has more to learn, including what discipline is best suited to her talents. Performance Director Jonas Carney reached out to her earlier in 2020 about making to the move to Rally.

“I felt like I was ready to make the move to a bigger team and race bigger races. Rally Cycling has a big presence in Europe and I’m excited to take the next step in my career,” Clouse said.

“European one-days are my absolute favorite kind of racing. My cyclo-cross background really comes in handy when racing short, punchy climbs over mixed terrain. I can’t wait to get over there with the team.”

Clouse has races several times in Europe with the US National Team, achieving a fifth-place finish in Gent-Wevelgem and sixth at Trofeo Binda, both Junior Nations Cup races in 2019. 

Clouse will be racing in elite events in 2021.

“I’m very motivated to help people win big races against the best competition in the world. I believe that helping teammates win in Europe is what’s going to make me a stronger and better bike racer,” she said of her debut season at elite level.

Clouse said Rally would focus on racing blocks in Europe, which will allow her to continue to live in Colorado, where she is a sophomore studying Exercise Science at Colorado Mesa University.

“I think it is the traveling I miss the most. My whole life I’ve traveled. For ‘cross last year I was on a plane every single Monday and Friday. It’s really been different not having to travel these past eight months. I’m just super-excited to going back to Europe and honestly, have that feel of racing. It’s been a long time.”

Spring racing will be the first opportunity she will have to represent Rally Cycling, as she is recovering from shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. She is expected to be fully healed and ready to join her new teammates at their first training camp in Oxnard, CA in two months.

“I dislocated it [shoulder] last winter when I was racing a cyclo-cross World Cup over in Europe. Then about two months ago I was riding my mountain bike and I had a silly crash, went over the bars and popped it out again. That’s what caused the tear,” said Clouse, who has three to four more weeks to wear a sling.

“I can get back on my bike probably mid to end of December. I’m doing a lot of gym stuff right now. The trainer work really doesn’t compare to riding outside.

“We were thinking of heading to Europe in February or March because there are some early Spring Classics, but it all depends upon COVID in the springtime. I’ll probably be on a couple of those European racing blocks, then US racing as well, if there is any racing of course.”

Rally Cycling announced in October that it has renewed its main partners, digital health company Rally Health, Inc. and Minneapolis-based sports management company Circuit Sport. The organization, fields programs for men and women, is expected to announce several other new riders in the next week for a 10-woman roster.

“I like all the girls. Personally, I know Leigh Ann [Ganzar] pretty well and Emma White, I was on her cyclo-cross team years ago before she switched over to track. Emma has always been pretty much a role model for me in cyclo-cross and now in road. And Lily [Williams] is awesome,” Clouse added. 

“I haven’t talked to them face to face, but have interacted with them all since they found out I am joining the team. I’m excited to get to know all of them. The girls are awesome.”