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Veteran cyclocross racer Stephen Hyde announced Monday that he is retiring. Hyde was the U.S. national champion three times and twice the Pan-American champion. Hyde represented the United States and various trade teams in European and domestic competition.
This will be the first time in seven years that Hyde will not take the start of the world cyclocross championships. He will still be suiting up for Team USA in Fayetteville, however — only this time as a coach to support the 38 American athletes.
“I have given a lot to this wonderful sport, and in return, it has given me so much more. During my tenure in cycling, I have learned so many important lessons about life. About who I am as a person, and about who I am as an athlete,” Hyde said. “I am who I am in part because of this crazy world of travel and hard work, suffering and elation. Of long hours in the extremes of weather, in solitude, and in the presence of greatness. On this journey, I have seen, and felt all of the lows that one could handle in one lifetime. From injuries to depression to losses of life that have impacted my soul. I have fought like hell every step of the way to not only be the best athlete I could be, but the best person I could be. Through all of this I feel as if I have thrived and flourished.”
Hyde started racing for JAM Fund Development, then joined Astellas Pro Cycling for the road season and Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com for cyclocross, where he raced from 2015-2020.
“Hyde was the consummate professional. He was always exploring different ways to extract the most of his talents,” said Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com director Stu Thorne. “His attention to detail was off the charts; dialing in his nutrition, bike fit, race day planning. He was really thorough. Top all that off with arguably some of the best bike handling skills out there and it’s no surprise he was a multi-time race winner.”
In 2020, Hyde moved to the Steve Tilford Foundation Racing Team with team owner Raylyn Nuss, a racer he had helped early in her career. Nuss recounted he first interaction with Hyde at her second national championship at “an absurdly muddy Louisville course.”
“I was staring at this downhill chicane section of the course for quite some time when a friendly, stars-and-striped, goofy redhead came up to me and started talking me through the line,” Nuss said. “I had never spoken to Stephen until that day during pre-ride; he just knew I needed a little guidance. I never would have thought a few years later I’d be calling this same man my teammate. Things very quickly shifted from just teammates to a genuine friendship. I can’t wait to watch Stephen grow in this next chapter of his life.”
As for what’s next, Hyde said he’s not exactly sure.
“I think that my talents and drive can be better utilized in another area within the sport,” he said. “I have so much to be thankful for, and still so much to repay. The mentorship and guidance I have received through my career has been the light leading me, now I want to repay that. I want to see the sport of cyclocross thrive in the U.S. and to produce champions at the level I know is possible. I will continue to grow my coaching and performance management business through a few different avenues. Only time will tell where that leads.”