Friends of Cycling

The Friends of Cycling program enhances and financially supports the Lees-McRae College cyclists. Charitable donations are used to invest in the infrastructure and operations of the team to ensure the best experience possible when they compete. Learn more about the Friends of Cycling program and specific team investment opportunities by contacting Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail

  • Automatically become a member of the Bobcat Club at the $100 level
  • Receive invitations to special riding opportunities

Annual membership levels:
Road Warrior: $1,000+
Adventurer: $500-999
Captain: $250-499
Supporter: $100-249
Friend: $1-99

History of the Cycling Program

The Bobcat Cycling Program began in 2001 when college counselor Sean McAndrew and several students decided to start a cycling club at Lees-McRae College. With a history of cycling in the area including the Tour du Pont, which featured top international professionals, Lees-McRae College was an ideal location for a cycling program. That year, a few riders competed in a mountain bike race for the first time in Lees-McRae’s history, using old soccer jerseys as uniforms.

Within a year, the team discovered they were on to something and proposed that Lees-McRae create a varsity sport for cycling. With varsity funding and scholarships, the College was able to recruit riders into the program from around the country.

In October 2003, Lees-McRae won its first Division II Mountain Bike national title and set a championship standard. The team went on to win two more national titles in Division II mountain biking before eventually expanding to other disciplines such as road, cyclocross and track in 2005. In the fall of 2006, the team petitioned and was granted admission to compete at the Division I level. They became the smallest school to ever compete in any Division I collegiate competition.

Since 2001, the Bobcats have won a total of 10 team national championship titles and have crowned 55 individual national champions across the four disciplines. The most recent champions are Phil Kmetz, Emily Shields and Kerry Werner. Lees-McRae College has also played a role in the development of professional riders such as Brent Bookwalter, Aaron Bradford, Ally Stacher, Andrew Talansky and the late Carla Swart.

The Bobcats continue to succeed in each of the disciplines at the Division I level with many conference championships and team podiums at nationals.

The University Campaign for Lees-McRae