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Meet Susan Haywood
By Becky Leidy
Date: 3/4/2003
Meet Susan Haywood
Photo courtesy of
Mountain Bike Racer website.

For Susan Haywood, riding for the Trek Volkswagen team is a dream come true. Susan started racing amateur in 1991 and did the famously gnarly 24 Hours of Canaan on a team as her third race. She turned pro in 1998 and spent three years giving impressive performances on the Trek Volkswagen East Cost Factory Team. Susan's talent and determination caught the eye of the Trek Volkswagen World Mountain Bike Team. This will be Susan's second season with the Number One UCI ranked team and she has BIG goals for 2003.

Susan's main goal for 2003 is to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team for Athens in 2004. That will mean frequent trips to the podium of World Cup and NORBA races. Susan is still looking for a win in the Short Track and another possible Short Track National Championship Title to add to her palmares.

Her focus races include the NORBA National at Snowshoe, WV, the World Cup race at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver and World Championships in Lugano, Italy. "I really want to have a great ride in West Virginia in front of all the people who have supported me over the years."

Susan has high expectations for herself and she likes to succeed both at races and in life. However, She always has time to talk with fans and share her love of cycling with newcomers to the sport especially kids and women.

But besides mountain biking, Susan's greatest passion is Nordic skiing. She likes all kinds of skiing including Telemark, Skating, Classic, and trying to stay upright on old-fashioned long wooden boards. Susan lives in West Virginia and the unpredictable climate makes good skiing a real treat. She has great admiration for the optimism and dedication of the local Nordic Ski Center, where they call rain ‘pre-powder.’

She has faced some tough challenges in her life, including her miraculous survival of four years at a private all-girls Catholic High School. She also pats herself on the back for persisting through another four years of school at West Virginia University, despite her struggles with computers and her disdain for Math, not to mention the temptations that tend to arise at the number one party school in the nation at that time. She did graduate with a degree in International Studies and a minor in French. She considers the World Cup racing circuit as her ‘workplace’ now.

Love, sleep and good food are important elements to happiness in Susan’s eyes. She enjoys the flavors of good bread and olive oil, with a pinch of sea salt and a glass of red wine. And if there's no wine to be had, she won't shy away from the homemade moonshine, after all, she is from West Virginia! (And her teammates won't let her forget it!) Susan likes small towns and good scenery, and is quite content with life as long as she is far from crowded cities and there is an abundance of sweet single-track.

Her favorite place to race is Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, Canada near the home of her teammates Alison Sydor and Roland Green. Her current thrill is riding her new Trek Project One, a custom road bike with the Cloud Nine paint scheme and the words, ‘wild and wonderful’ (West Virginia’s Board of Tourism mantra) on the top tube. Susan will be riding her Project One bike at various road races prior to the mountain season including Valley of the Sun, Redlands and Tour of the Gila.

For now Susan hopes to take the podium every time she rides, but that's not all. Someday Susan hopes to take the podium as the Mayor of her hometown!

Thanks to Eric Wallace, Team Manager of the Trek-Volkswagen Racing Team for this wonderful bio of Susan.

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