Former American pro dies at age 30 after long fight with brain cancer

Jacquelyn Crowell died Wednesday after a long battle with brain cancer. The former American pro was just 30 years old.

Crowell, who rode with Team Type 1, Exergy Twenty16, and UnitedHealthcare during her career, racked up multiple national championship titles as a junior and under-23 rider on the road and at the elite level on the track.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in 2013 after experiencing neurological symptoms during a training ride. Doctors removed a malignant tumor, and then Crowell underwent chemotherapy.

She returned to racing to ride the Tour of California time trial in 2015, but the illness ultimately forced her retirement from competition. Crowell stayed involved with the sport in a number of cycling-related jobs, most recently working with youth cyclists at the Dick Lane Velodrome.

Her parents and husband requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Atlanta-based program.

Former teammates, managers, and other personalities in the American cycling scene mourned the loss of a dedicated squadmate and hard-working racer this week.

Phil Southerland, CEO and co-founder of Novo Nordisk (formerly Team Type 1), described Crowell as “one of those riders every manager dreams of because they just go out and ride as hard as possible and never complain.”

“2011 she started dating [future husband] Daniel Holt, who is my best friend in the world, who has been with me every step of my racing life,” Southerland said. “We made fun of Dan early on for all the time he spent on Skype with Jackie. He took no notice of us. For 20-something-year-old guys, it must be something special that could cause you to ignore all your friends and pay attention to this girl on a computer screen in another training camp far away.

“She was just this unassuming, beautiful person, who was always the exception in everything she did. She worked hard, she analyzed, she had this wit and dry humor that you’d only understand if you knew her, but once you did it was hilarious. I was blessed and honored to know her.

“It’s like I’ve lost a sister, and having had to watch the pain and her family — it’s sad and a really tough time for all of us, but Jackie would want us all to just smile and go harder.”