This fall Addy Albershardt joins Mars Hill University cycling team as an assistant coach focused on developing and growing our women’s program. Addy returns to Mars Hill after a season racing with Italian professional team Pasta Zara-Cogeas-Manhattan, winning stages at both the Vuelta a Costa Rica and the Vuelta El Salvador, where she also secured the U23 jersey. Addy first turned pro with the NOW and Novartis for MS pro team when she was just 17. She is a 5-time junior national champion on the road and track, representing the US at numerous world championships.
Over the summer Addy took a break from racing to work at Camp Eagle Rock, a summer YMCA day camp in Charlotte, her hometown. Working with disadvantaged youth, connecting with autistic campers, and helping kids accomplish a triathlon inspired Addy to leave professional cycling in order to pursue a degree in education, and to help the current generation of upcoming junior women cyclists reach their potential both on and off the bike.
Addy’s retirement announcement released by her pro team stated, “I have a heart to serve others and I think there are plenty of jobs in the cycling world to be able to come back and find my niche! I would specifically love to work with junior women’s cycling. I believe it is an area of cycling that lacks a lot of support and attention through my own experiences of racing as a junior.” An article in the Charlotte Observer also recognized Addy’s inspiration to give back to the community that supported her rise up the cycling ranks.
Looking forward to taking on a coaching role at Mars Hill, Addy “couldn’t be more excited not only to return to the cycling community but also to Mars Hill University with a role of serving others, earning my degree, and enjoying a college experience…. By taking a step back from cycling and spending the summer as a camp counselor, I’ve realized my strengths in working with and teaching children. When the opportunity arose to return to Mars Hill University, I knew that the skills I learned as a counselor could be transferred to a coaching position and my knowledge in the sport could be utilized by developing athletes.”
Addy’s transition from pro racer to coach required “some soul searching and listening for God’s will to be done in my life… I would have never been able to be a camp counselor and learn to teach children if I did not listen and take a sabbatical from cycling. With that being said, I have never felt so much joy in my life right now and it feels great to pay it forward for all the support I’ve received in my racing career.”
We at Mars Hill Cycling are thrilled to welcome Addy back to the team and excited that both our current and future cyclists will have the opportunity to learn from Coach Addy.