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June 05, 2018 06:18 PM

Cyclocross Racing

When getting ready to go for a bike ride, you may not plan to get off your bike and carry it at times. 

But for cyclocross racers, that's exactly what you can expect. 

Molly Clark-Oien says it's been eight years since she began her cycling journey, and she doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"I mean I love nearly every minute of it. I love the training, I love racing and competing," Clark-Oien said. 

Clark-Oien is one of a small number of competitive female cyclists in South Dakota, although the sport is growing across the region. 

"I raced a few local races here in Sioux Falls. Realized it was a fun time, something to challenge me and something that was a good cross over from distance running," Clark-Oien said.

But Clark-Oien is about to embark on a very different bike race called a cyclocross. 

"It's kind of like Nascar on bikes I would describe it as, and it also makes me think of my cross country days a bit only you're on a bicycle," Clark-Oien said. 

This form of bike race typically consists of a short course, made up of obstacles that cyclists dismount from their bike to climb over. 

Clark-Oien is South Dakota's first category 1 female bike racer with a sponsorship. 

Category 1, or pro-level doesn't come easy, but thanks to her sponsorship with Sanford, a win feels closer to reach. 

"We can offer both strength and conditioning, sports nutrition with our dietitian, as well as some of the exercise physiology and biomechanics," Jason Dorman said.

Through Clark-Oien’s sponsorship, she is able to figure out her electrolyte balance and fluid recommendations. 

"This type of testing that we can provide her provides that unique feature that you know, some of your high level unique athletes would only get at certain spots," Dorman said. 

And for Clark-Oien, that's huge. 

"I guess they believed in me and believed in some of the goals I had, and so wanted to help me achieve those," Clark-Oien said. 

Clark-Oien’s cyclocross race is planned for September, and she says she can't wait. 


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