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Thad Dulin Interview: juggling a career and cycling

Dulin on the way to a 9:30 at Paris Mtn TT Photo courtesy of The Living Pixel

South Carolina native Thad Dulin started riding a bike at an early age, from there working his way through the categories until he landed his first pro contract in 2004 for the Colavita cycling team. Dulin just didn’t race in the local events as a pro, he’s competed in the Tour de Georgia, which was at the time America’s most prestigious stage race, mixing it up with seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Carolina Cycling News spoke to Thad about how he got involved in the sport, his early cycling career, and what he’s doing now.

Clemson raised Thad Dulin got his first bike when he was in fourth grade and his only source of racing inspiration was the 30-minute Tour de France highlights shown on the weekends. By chance his next door neighbor owned a local bike shop and he became friends with his son who rode. Living across from Issaqueena Forest, mountain biking was naturally his first foray into cycling. Through middle school and high school, Dulin ran cross country but also continued to ride.

“I always had a passion for the bike,” explains Thad.

After his high school state cross country championships, Dulin took his life savings and bought a LeMond road bike, “From there on every spare moment I was on my bike chasing cars.”

Dulin’s ability to race a bike quickly became apparent and in 2004 he signed with Colavita who had on their roster Nathan O’Neil, JJ Haedo, Will Frischkorn and Ivan Dominguez to name a few. “I went from being a local amateur to being thrown in with these world-class professionals. It was amazing.”

In 2004 Dulin lined up at the Tour de Georgia and finished in 50th place in the final general classification. Dulin had his sights set on the 2005 edition of the Georgia race until he crashed just prior to the event breaking a bone in his pelvis, putting him out of action for six weeks. While convalescing, doping scandals started to break in the news and he re-evaluated his cycling career.

“I decided I wanted to go back to school and finish up as soon as possible.”

Dulin juggled both a professional cycling career and being a student, with cycling just covering his living expenses. After graduating from Clemson University he segued into the job world and landed a sales position at Hincapie Sportswear that allowed and encouraged him to continue racing. However very recently Dulin made a big step career-wise and is utilizing his college degree working at UBS Financial Services as a Wealth Strategy Associate. If that isn’t enough Thad is also a coach for the Total Cyclist coaching company.

So with working well over forty hours a week, how does he still manage to set a blistering 9:30 time at the Paris Mountain time trial last week?

“I don’t miss a day and stay consistent. Also the Tuesday nights [SCTAC – AKA Donaldson Center] are key. I just don’t try to waste any time.”

Thad’s first race of the season was a win and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

The 411 on Dulin

Club/Team: Global Bike p/b Catoma Adventure Shelters
Bike: Boyd Bike
Favorite ride? Two hours from anywhere in Murphy, North Carolina
What’s on your iPod? I have different playlists for different workouts.
What’s in your back jersey pockets? A tube, two CO2, my phone and twenty dollars.
Favorite t.v. show? Top Gear
Your strength on the bike: Time trialing
Goals for the season? I really want to promote Global Bike and let people know how great an organization it is.

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