A Scottsdale-based chiropractor has emerged as sort of the “Tin Cup” of cycling.
Dr. Eric Marcotte is 34 years old. He is in only his first season riding for a professional cycling team, SmartStop, although he has raced against elite and professional riders for years.
He arrived at the USA Cycling Pro Championship in Chattanooga last weekend expecting to serve, as he usually does, as the guy who sets up his teammates for the victory.
“I guess the analogy is, I’m the one who jumps on the grenade for the other guys,” he said. “I do the work for the top guys on the team to put them in position to win.”
Thing is, Marcotte discovered that with each race, his ability to go at maximum effort to set up his teammates lasted a little bit longer.
As the national championship road race unfolded, he was ready to pull his teammate and training buddy Travis McCabe of Tucson to the finish line.
But as the lead group was going through a series of loops through the city’s center approaching the finish, McCabe told Marcotte he wasn’t sure what he had left in the tank.
“He came up to me and said he wasn’t feeling good, and I knew it was my opportunity,” Marcotte said. “The last couple of kilometers, I was completely relaxed and I had enough left that I shot across and got in front.”
Marcotte captured the Stars and Stripes jersey of the national champion, and McCabe finished second.
“I just wanted to be relevant in the race and give one of my teammates the best chance to finish it off,” he said. “It just worked out for me with the heat and humidity and attrition and because our team played out our race tactics perfectly.”
Marcotte said he doesn’t expect the unexpected victory to change his role, but he hopes that SmartStop’s 1-2 finish will open up opportunities for the small team.
His teammate Julian Kyer placed fifth and another SmartStop rider, Joshua Berry, was 14th. No other team had more than two riders in the top 15.
“A lot of the big races are by invite,” he said. “We didn’t get invited to the Tour of California. I think we have a shot at Colorado (the USA Pro Challenge) and Tour of Utah now, which are the same level as California. So it could mean a lot for the team.
“As for me, I haven’t even had a chance to sit down and think about it.”
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