Photos courtesy of the Restrepo family
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College cycling team welcomes Juan Restrepo to its 2019 recruiting class, head coach Tim Hall announced today (Friday, May 3).
Restrepo comes to Lees-McRae from Colegio El Carpinelo (Itagüí, Colombia) and Houston Community College (Houston, Texas). AT Houston Community College, he earned a 4.0 grade point average and was a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. On the bike, he is a two-time Texas state champion, while also placing fourth in the state junior division in 2017 while also finishing fifth in the Category 3 division in 2018. He also races for Silcarbon racing out of Miami, Fla. He plans to race the road discipline at Lees-McRae.
"Juan brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy to the team, not to mention he's a great student," said Hall. "With his experience on the road, he will contribute to our A road squad right away next spring. Juan grew up at high elevation in Columbia, so he loves to climb, and we believe he will thrive here in the Blue Ridge Mountains."
Restrepo noted that he chose Lees-McRae because the mountains feel like home.
"Having lived and trained in the mountains of Antioquia my entire life, I wanted to attend a school where I could feel like home," said Restrepo. "In the mountains is where I can be free. In the mountains is where I can push my limits and release my full potential."
Restrepo also says he has an interest in joining the Student Government Association at Lees-McRae.
Restrepo cites Alberto Contador as his favorite pro cyclist.
"I came to love this sport because of him," said Restrepo. "For me, he is an example of bravery and resilience. Watching him overcome the odds and leaving everything on the road inspired me to become the rider who I am right now."
The Itagüí, Antioquia, Colombia native is the son of Gloria Arenas and Gabriel Restrepo, and plans to study English with a focus in journalism.