Cycling is Newest Sport

Cycling will be the 27th sport to be offered at the intercollegiate level by the University. Offered as a co-ed sport, the new cycling program will be ready to compete for the 2015-16 academic year. McKendree will align its newest program with USA Cycling, which boasts a membership of more than 275 colleges and universities across the country. In addition, the Bearcats will compete as part of the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference with schools from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“The sport of collegiate cycling has exploded in popularity over the last decade,” said Athletic Director Chuck Brueggemann ’88. “It has grown throughout the country and internationally as well. That growth has been evident in the St. Louis metro area, and we believe that the addition of a cycling program at McKendree is the next logical step as we continue to diversify our intercollegiate athletic program.”

He credits two local bike shops, The Cyclery and Bike Surgeon, for being instrumental in the formation of the new program.

In November 2014, Maurice Hessel was hired as the first head coach for the cycling team. A retired Air Force officer and competitive cyclist, he has been involved with many cycling clubs and groups throughout the St. Louis and Metro East area. Maurice also currently serves as the team captain for the Korte Hammer Down Cycling Team.