David “Gutt” Guttenplan had a vision. He’d been a professional bike racer since 2003, specializing in criteriums, popular cycling races requiring a mix of speed, endurance, and strategy. And he wanted to commit himself even more fully to the sport. He realized he wanted to coach and ride, and in 2010 began working to put a team together. But he wasn’t looking to manage just any team; he wanted his riders to lift up the sport by showing that success can be achieved without turning to performance-enhancing drugs.
“I’ve seen the culture of the sport through all these years, and the one thing that’s always been near and dear to my heart is to do it the right way, because otherwise what’s the point?” he said in one recent interview. “I’d rather be doing something else if I’m going to be cheating.”
Gutt recruited a range of riders, from the young—new to the criterium circuit—to the accomplished—winners of established races. His coaching efforts focused on the less experienced of the group but to all he preached that doping was the wrong path. “Doping takes the fun out of it,” he said. “I tell my guys that if you can’t be proud of your results, what’s the point?”
Soon Gutt found a committed sponsor in Support Clean Sport (SCS), a grassroots movement initiated by the nonprofit/NGO ADR (Anti-Doping Research) and sponsored by BSCG (Banned Substances Control Group), a leading certification provider of a range of products such as supplements popular with elite athletes.
David Guttenplan heads into Sunday’s USA CRITS Series season finale, the Gateway Cup, with a commanding lead of more than 250 points. Unless something unforeseeable occurs, Gutt is likely to take the Colavita Overall Leader Jersey and become the USA CRITS 2018 season champion.
The victory, to be sure, will not just be a triumph for him but for his Support Clean Sport/Guttenplan Coaching Team. Some observers, such as Nathan at the blog A Cyclist in a Strange Land, say it will cement “the legacy of his Support Clean Sport/Guttenplan Coaching team as one of North America’s premier domestic cycling teams.”
“We’re incredibly proud of Davey and all that he has managed to accomplish with his team and his cycling,” said Oliver Catlin, Support Clean Sport Executive Director. “He has proven with his own dedication and drive that it is possible for a clean athlete to reach the podium.”
Catlin added that he also stands in admiration of the entire Support Clean Sport/Guttenplan team. He noted other riders have performed well this season, including Tyler Locke, who enters Sunday’s finale in a close fifth place. Locke has had to overcome his own obstacles, notably going sober 100% from alcohol, but he has seen his racing form skyrocket from channeling all that energy into his winning cycling performance!
Others on the Support Clean Sport/Guttenplan Coaching roster include Stefano Barberi, Adam Farabaugh, Benjamin Foster, Johnathan Freter, Coulton Hartrich, Marcos Lazzarotto, Steven Perezluha, Justin Prior, James “Jimmy” Schurman, Rolly Weaver and Scottie Weiss.
“It’s hard not be in awe of these guys,” said Catlin. “They’ve embraced high standards and embody everything good about sport, demonstrating that a clean approach can fuel teamwork and victory.”
Catlin encourages others to join Support Clean Sport and its proactive vision of clean sport. Anyone, from athletes and sports fans to companies and nutritionists, can be involved in the movement. To learn more about SCS, visit the Support Clean Sport website, like Support Clean Sport on Facebook and follow SCS on Twitter. Consider donating to this worthy cause; simply click on the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the Support Clean Sport homepage.
To see David Guttenplan “race for the orange” on Sunday, Sept. 2, tune in to a live broadcast of the event at USACrits.TV, https://usacrits.tv/.