Photo courtesy of the Kelly Family
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College cycling team has signed Sean Kelly to its 2019 recruiting class, announced today (Thursday, May 16) by head coach Tim Hall.
Kelly will transfer in from Georgia Highlands College, where he helped start a cycling club on campus. He also helped found the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) team at Harrison High School. In 2018, he brought home silver at USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals in the downhill discipline. He plans to race dual slalom and downhill in the mountain bike discipline at Lees-McRae.
"Sean is a highly skilled gravity racer with a lot of experience and success under his belt," said Hall. "We competed against him last season in the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC), and he proved to be consistently competitive all the way through nationals in Missoula, Montana. He's got a ton of enthusiasm and energy, and we believe will help push everyone around him to be better."
Kelly notes that he decided to come to Lees-McRae because everything about it felt like home when he visited.
"I was really drawn to Lees-McRae because I loved the team and the school itself, from the moment I first walked on campus I really felt like I belonged in Banner Elk," said Kelly. "On top of this the team is so awesome and they have made me feel so welcome from the beginning. After spending the last year hanging out, traveling and competing alongside everyone, it really feels like I am coming home."
Kelly noted that along with being a part of the cycling team he plans to join the skiing and snowboarding club.
He cited several professional cyclists as his favorites.
"I have quite a few favorite riders but Loris Vergier, Tahnee Seagrave, Dakotah Norton and Josh Bryceland have probably inspired me and influenced my riding the most," said Kelly.
The Acworth, Ga. native is the son of Sue and Jimmy Kelly, and will major in marketing with a minor in cycling studies.