Haupt, who works summers at Ben's Cycle, is heading this weekend to the biggest race of his career so far: the international junior Tour de l'Abitibi in Quebec. The race, held since 1969, has been the launch pad for numerous cycling professionals over the years.
Haupt and his ISCorp teammates leave Friday for the seven-stage race that runs from July 21 to 27. Teams from around the world come to participate.
|Ian riding for my wife inc cyclocross in 2013.|
While l'Abitibi is the biggest road race of Haupt's career, he is no stranger to success on his bike. He has been a national cyclocross champion, winning the boys 13-14 division.
And he's won numerous events both in cross and mountain bike as a junior. He finished 10th as a 17-year-old in the 17-18 division of cross nationals two years ago, after spending much of the season nursing a sore back. Last year, he faced similar physical challenges and missed nationals.
This year, though, he has his sights set high for cross. His long-term goal is to complete as an under-23 elite racer in Europe for the U.S. team. Given his past success, his goal is achievable.
"Road racing is something that seemed to help my competitors in cross last season," Haupt said. "I feel stronger and faster after a season of road."
Haupt started as a Cat. 4 on the road even though he is an elite mountain biker and Cat. 2 cyclocross racer. He quickly moved up based on his results and now races as a Cat. 2 on the road as well.
"In mountain biking, there aren't really tactics," Haupt said about other benefits of racing the road. "In road, it is a different way of thinking about a race. With cross, there is some strategy that I can use."
Haupt graduated from Whitefish Bay High School last June. He played varsity soccer as a freshman but stopped playing after his junior year in order to race cross. He will take two classes this winter as a part-time student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In his spare time, he listens to a lot of music, plays guitar, and watches Arsenal soccer matches.