A Few Good Questions With Katie Hamel

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“A Few Good Questions” returns with Katie Hamel of New Holland Brewery Cycling Team. Katie won the 2012 State Road Race Championship, bagged a Junior Development Camp and made a name for herself on the CAT 4 scene. And she’s 15. For 2013, she’ll move to the brand new New Holland Brewery Cycling Team after a solid season with the Rapid Wheelmen. Katie has been named one of kolotc.com’s Athletes To Watch for 2013.

1. First off, who are you? That’s asked in a philosophical sense, sure, but where are you from, what do you do, who do you care about and what do you enjoy?

I am Katie Hamel and I am from Comstock Park, MI near Grand Rapids. I am a roadie at heart but have been trying out track racing on the velodrome. I’ve dabbled in a few cross races too. I am now racing for the New Holland Brewery team.

2. What got you into biking? What got you into racing? What is your proudest two-wheeled achievement?

My dad, Dennis Hamel, really got me into both racing and riding. I got my first road bike when I was 7 or 8 (a Trek KDR 1000), after I went through 4 bikes in one year because I was riding them so much. My proudest two-wheeled achievement is qualifying for and attending a USA Cycling Junior Development camp. I’ve been wanting to attend one for a few years and last August I finally got the chance.

3. What kind of bike(s) are you riding? Do they have names?

I ride a Specialized Ruby with a matte finish on the carbon fiber and hot pink accents. I also have a white fixed gear bike.

4. What are your big goals for 2012? Who do you want to beat this year?

My big goals this year are to finish in the top half of a few Cat 4 Women’s races, win a state championship, and work on my climbing and sprinting abilities. I want to beat myself this year. I want to set new personal bests for myself.

5. What is your favorite place to ride in the world? In Michigan?

My favorite place to ride in the world is Sewanee, Tennessee. The mountains there are beautiful and taught me alot about how to climb hills. That is where the USAC Junior Development Camp took place. The campus I stayed at was on top of the mountain, so every morning I would ride down the mountain and every afternoon I would ride back up it. My favorite place to ride in Michigan is the back roads by my house. You can ride many different routes on them so it rarely gets boring. Plus, lots of “Stop Ahead” signs

6. If you had to compare yourself to a pro, who would you pick?

I would like to compare myself to Katie Compton. She’s kinda my hero. Besides the fact that we have the same first name, she’s competitive, yet a really nice person off the bike. She loves hanging out with friends and listening to music. And you know, she’s kind of a big deal.

7. Who is your favorite person to ride with?

My favorite person to ride with is someone who is a little bit faster than me, so they challenge me to push myself.

8. If you could design a bike race in Michigan, where would the finish line be? Who would you have as podium girls? (Celebrities are in play)

If I could design a bike race in Michigan, the finish line would be at the end of the Mackinaw Bridge.

Wait, wait, wait. “Who would be the podium girls???”
I feel like podium men should be a new tradition, and that being said, I would have Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) be the podium men for my race.

9. Thank somebody:

I would like to thank The Rapid Wheelmen for all of their help and support over the last few years. Without the coaching and advice I’ve received, I would not be as skilled of a racer that I am today.

10 . Any last words?

I’m really excited for the new year and a new team. I hope to see old friends again this year and make some new ones too!

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