North Carolina continues to create outstanding cycling talent. At last month’s US National Championships in Augusta, Georgia 17 year old Thomas Wrona, became the national criterium champion.
“Anyone would have won any of the races, it just happened to be my attack that stuck,” is how Wrona graciously described his victory. In a press release USA Cycling described his winning move as kicking it into a higher gear and pulling away from his breakaway companion.
While Wrona is a North Carolina resident his team is the Massachusetts based Hot Tubes. Nationally recognized as a hot house for developing young riders, Hot Tubes is often a direct pipeline to the National Team, and that’s the case with Wrona.
“Hopefully the World Championships on the road as well as the track,” is one short term goal of Wrona. Amazingly, he has only just started riding on the velodrome and was invited to a National Team track camp in Indianapolis. Tomorrow he is competing at the track national championships in Texas in the team and individual pursuit.
“I was on the National Team once, but didn’t do too good in Europe,” says Wrona of his earlier racing experience. “But I did pretty good with my team when I was over there earlier in the year. Since I did pretty good here (National Championships in Augusta) I’m hoping this increased my chances.”
With such a full training and racing schedule he receives great support from his parents, and also his school, which has allowed him to take some classes on-line.
Thomas isn’t the only one heading to Europe with a stars and stripes jersey on his back. Asheville’s Grayson Brookshire earned a trip to race in Europe on the track. In an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times Greyson’s father, Alan Brookshire, said “Grayson’s ultimate goal is to race for the U.S. National Team and some day for the U.S. Olympic team.”
Bike racing is a family affair for the Brookshire family as not only does Grayson race, but so does his younger brother Colton and sister Isabella.
Greyson’s coach Richard Dunn describes him as, “the real thing.”
Good luck to all the Southeast riders at the track national championships.