On Sunday at the Gateway Cup in St. Louis, professional bike racer David “Gutt” Guttenplan finished with the orange Colavita Overall Leader Jersey on his back after becoming the USA CRITS 2018 season champion. Though Gutt and many observers had expected such an outcome due to his commanding lead going in to the final race, the victory nonetheless resonated with him and all those who care about clean sport.
“With the series, you just never know how it’s going to go,” said Gutt in a post-race interview. “I just have to give a big thanks to (teammate) Tyler Locke. He’s really stepped up, and he’s been getting up there every single time. It’s been great.”
Locke took sixth place overall and their Support Clean Sport/Guttenplan Coaching Team placed second in the team competition. The excellent results cemented their reputation as one of North America’s premiere cycling teams and delighted sponsor Support Clean Sport.
“We’re thrilled for Davey and these guys and all they represent,” said SCS Executive Director Oliver Catlin. “They faced some serious obstacles and have shown that it is possible for clean athletes to reach the podium. The team as a whole worked really hard to help get Davey to this point, and as a sponsor we couldn’t be more proud.”
Many find the personal stories of both Gutt and Locke compelling. Gutt suffered a serious accident while cycling in 2016 that left him in a coma for five days and in need of surgeries. Some wondered whether he would ever compete again. Locke has had to face his own personal obstacles, notably going sober with the help of the bike. He said that when he made a conscious choice to channel his energy into his riding his racing performance skyrocketed and turned him into the capable lieutenant he is today.
Catlin says he hopes the results help to diffuse the naysayers who don’t think clean athletes can compete in cycling. “We’ve never stopped believing that athletes who chose not to dope can still succeed in their sports, whatever those sports might be,” he said. “And when they do best their competitors, they can hold their heads high.”
As the team coach, Gutt echoed these sentiments in an interview prior to the season’s final race. “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?”
Catlin hopes to build on the success of the 2018 season by expanding Support Clean Sport’s involvement with the Guttenplan team and investing in other teams. With SCS having sponsored Team California Juniors and 706P, Catlin hopes the concept can grow and expand into new endeavors. “We will be fundraising in the coming months to raise money to support these worthy athletes and to help others follow in their paths.”
One new idea Support Clean Sport is considering in the coming year, says Catlin, is a program that helps addicts of various types find a new path through cycling. Such a program would likely include an addiction management campaign and cycling clinics specifically designed for people to combat their addiction problems.
As with Locke, participants in such a program would have a new avenue in which to put their energies and hopes. Gutt and Locke, as well as Coach Sean Wilson of Team California Juniors, have already signed on as willing instructors for such clinics.
“I’m excited about this concept and continuing to grow Support Clean Sport,” said Catlin. “But we can’t do it alone. We need people who care about cycling and clean sport, as well as those wanting to fight addiction, to step up and donate, in whatever amounts that they can, and to show their support for healthy and clean competition.”
Please consider donating what you can to this worthy cause; simply click on the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the Support Clean Sport homepage. Donations will go directly to team support and to the launch of our addiction clinics. Join SCS foundational sponsor BSCG (Banned Substances Control Group), a leading supplement and natural product testing and certification provider, in expanding the SCS concept. To learn more about SCS, visit the Support Clean Sport website, like Support Clean Sport on Facebook and follow SCS on Twitter.