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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

An interview with Chann McRae

No longer going Postal

By Rob Karman

Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

Chann McRae

DOB: October 11, 1971
Age: 32
Height: 5'10"/178 cm
Weight: 145 lbs/65 kg
Born: Austin, Texas
Resides: Madrid, Spain
Website: www.channmcrae.com

Teams: Mapei, Mercury, and US Postal Service

Selected palmares

2002
USPRO champion
6th, Redland Bicycle Classic
2001
25th, World Road Championships
2000
8th, World Road Championships
2nd, International Hessen Rundfahrt
3rd, Milano-Vignola
5th, Tour of Romandie
1999
5th, World Road Championships
6th, Milano-Torino
1998
32nd, World Road Championships
2nd, USPRO Criterium Championships
2nd, Killington Stage Race
2nd & stage win, Tour of Lower Saxony
6th, GP Cycliste de Beauce
6th, Peace Race
6th, Tour of Denmark
6th, Outdoor Life Network Grand Prix
8th, Cascade Classic
1997
31st, World Road Championships
1st, CoreStates Classic
2nd, Cologne-Schuld-Frechen
2nd, Killington Stage Race
4th, Cascade Classic
4th, Tour de 'Toona
4th, Internationale Hennesee-Rundfahrt-Hochsauerland
5th, Thrift Drug Classic
5th, Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic
8th Peace Race (Czech Republic)
2nd, USPRO Tour
4th, USCF National Racing Calendar
1992
1st, US National Road Championships

Reigning USPRO Champion Chann McRae reflects on his move to the US Division 3 Schroeder Iron Team after riding in Europe for Mapei, Mercury, and US Postal.

Cyclingnews: You said the other day on the ride that you're looking forward to racing domestic again for the taste of victory. Would you like to elaborate on that any more or are there other reasons that you're excited to be back here in the States? What prompted the move?

Chann McRae: I think it really comes down to being the guy who covers the distance the fastest, and I want to try to do that in America. To be able to post for Schroeder. He gave me a chance, you know.

CN: And he's allowing you to do a triathlon schedule, is that right?

CMR: Yeah we came to a mutual consensus that I'd be able to race tri and also be able to do his schedule and make it blend. Be able to represent my sponsors in triathlon and his sponsors in cycling at the same time. So it's all good.

Chann in the bunch
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

CN: Now I know that you did the IronMan [Hawaii] this last year and you definitely plan to do that again this year. Are you doing year round triathlon stuff, or is it as the cycling season winds down in the fall then you will gear up for IronMan?

CMR: I am going to do them throughout the year periodically. Where I can formulate it so that it's not taking away from my cycling strength. I'm not going to do an IronMan two weeks before Philadelphia or vice versa, so I have to be pretty selective on the races that I pick. Like four to six races is probably going to be plenty on the tri side of it - some of them are going to be short course and some are going to be long course.

CN: Other objectives this year? Obviously Philly - you want to go back and get the jersey again.

CMR: Yeah, I definitely am psyched to defend the jersey there, have a good team there and everyone lined up and ready to go so that we are 100 percent - no excuses.

CN: This is the first team you have been on where you've been the GC leader, not co-leader. Is that something you are really looking forward to or are you looking more to educate some of the younger guys who are just starting out on the team?

CMR: I think with this team it is not really about education. Everyone has a role and they know what they specialize in and they just have to do that 100 percent. It's not really like one old guy and ten young guys - everyone is close to the same age and it is really about winning - there's not going to be much learning this year. It is going to come down to getting big results.

CN: Have you ridden with any of the guys on this team in past years?

CMR: No, I haven't been teammates with any of them but I've seen some of them ride and just know that there was potential there last year with them and they weeded out who needed to stay and who needed to go and it is down to class now.

CN: So far you've been with huge teams like Mapei and US Postal which are obviously very well organized. For a small division three team how is the organization so far? These guys seem to be on top of things.

McRae at the USPRO
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

CMR: This is actually the first time I have really been on a cycling team where it's run by - well actually Mapei was run by a business man - but it's a whole different thing when it's run by someone that is Frank's caliber. He owns his own company and he knows how you have to run the show and it's not like some guy who is an ex-pro bike racer who has never been to college and has no degree in anything trying to run a team and a budget. They are pretty much clueless and they usually run out of money.

CN: Is there anything you are looking forward to this year or would like to comment on?

CMR: I think it is really cool that Schroeder's actually dumping a lot of money into a pretty positive movement. We are trying for a co-sponsor. There is good potential there that this will be the next biggest domestic team in the United States. CEO's from various companies always want to be related to someone like Frank Schroeder, and he is sponsoring a sports team and it is a good way to get your name out and also help public interest in what's going on.

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