Shelley Olds (Gilroy, California)
Women’s Road Race
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Shelley Olds began her career on the velodrome, committing to track racing after competing at Roanoke College as a runner and soccer player. A top athlete long before she made a name for herself in cycling, Olds captained the Roanoke women’s soccer team for two years while studying for her B.S. in Health and Human Performance.
Her first experience in cycling was on the backseat of a tandem mountain bike in 2005, and she turned professional on the track just two years later. Since her professional debut in 2007, Olds has trained hard for the points race as she reached for Olympic gold. After the International Olympic Committee dropped the points race from the roster of events for the 2012 London Olympics, Olds was forced to side-step to road racing where she had already enjoyed some success.
Olds only fully switched to the road in 2010, but in 2009 finished second overall in the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Taking her track legs to the road, she quickly made her mark as a top sprinter and was the most dominant finisher in the U.S. in 2010 — when not on foreign assignment. Olds won a stage at the Giro Donne that year, as well as the overall at the Tour of New Zealand and the Pan-American Championships road race. The two-time elite national scratch race champion (2008 and 2009) won two elite national criterium titles, in 2010 and 2011.
Racing for the Dutch AA Drink-Leontien.nl team, the Spain-based American won the Chongming Island World Cup in May and another stage at the Giro in July. She only missed out on an automatic nomination to the U.S. Olympic squad because Evelyn Stevens accrued more UCI points before May 31.