If you have been paying attention to collegiate racing you have probably seen Greenville native Cinthia Lehner’s name at the top of the results list. This 19-year old freshman from Lees McRae College with an impressive racing resume and top placing in the junior national championships, now has her eye on the upcoming collegiate championships in Madison, Wisconsin.
Lehner has always been an athlete, participating in running and swimming events for most of her life. When she was 15 she entered the Tri to Cure triathlon at Furman University and enjoyed the cycling portion of the event. She was hooked and in 2005 Cinthia got her first road bike.
“It started rolling from there on out and in 2005 I started doing group rides,” said Cinthia.
Her raw talent was quickly recognized and in 2007 she was recruited to ride for the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, which started her racing career.
In 2008 at the 17 to 18-year old national championships Cinthia was third in the individual time trial and fourth in the criterium. In 2009 she was fourth again in the criterium woman’s junior championships. Locally she has been a constant top-five finisher and always a threat in the sprint for the finish line.
With a full time school schedule and a competitive cycling career, Cinthia is the master of time management.
“Most of my classes are done by noon which allows me to ride in the afternoon and then back to studying in the evening. I have to stay on task.”
While cycling and studying takes up most of this pre-health major and psychology minor’s time she also has an appreciation of the arts, and enjoys painting on canvas with acrylic paint. However with her full schedule of academics and cycling, the arts have taken a back seat.
So what does a training schedule look like for this up and coming racer? “I have an easy day, followed by a hard day so I can focus on those hard days. I usually focus on climbing and long days during the week. We have team time trial practice because of the collegiate cycling championships coming up. Other than that it’s about getting ready for the races.”
With Athens Twilight just a few days away her coach, Jim Cunningham of the Greenville Cycling Center, says she has a good chance of having a solid result in this prestigious night-time race. If it comes down to a bunch kick, look out for her blasting out of the shadows and charging hard for the line.
Team: Raleigh All-Stars, Lees McRae College
Bike: Giant TCR Advanced
Favorite Ride: Bakery Ride
What’s on your iPod? Anything but country music.
What’s in your back jersey pockets? Cell phone, chap-stick, energy bars and bananas
Favorite TV show: The Hills
Your strength on the bike: Sprinting
Goals for the season: To finish Athens and podium at both collegiate and U-23 national championships.
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