Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 4, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Ewan, Allen victorious on stage 3 of the Bay Crits; Scandolara, Bibby win overall; Clearing obstacles: Kaitie Antonneau’s journey from depression to self-acceptance; Thomas Dekker’s former manager alleges extortion in lawsuit; Belgian cyclocross championship course controversy; Niels Albert responds sharply to course modification furor; Laurens Sweeck questionable for Belgian championships; Talansky breaks thumb in training crash; Porte to headline BMC’s Tour Down Under squad; Paris-Nice unveils 2017 course; Wiggins joins winter sports-based reality TV show; Dutch cycling beer coming to Tour Down Under; Video: Aqua Blue Sport Pro Cycling; Jens Voigt ‘Everests’ Teufelsberg Hill for charity.

Clearing obstacles: Kaitie Antonneau’s journey from depression to self-acceptance

by Jen Agan

With the start of the new year comes Kaitie Antonneau’s sixth year with the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld team, and perhaps her biggest race of the season: the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. As last year’s bronze medalist and a former U23 champion, plenty of eyes will be on Antonneau. Yet no matter what happens, her biggest battle has already been fought. This season, Antonneau has had to clear some dark obstacles to get back on a path of personal growth and self-acceptance. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

“[I made] a big step forward,” Antonneau told me, admitting that she was in a bad place coming into the 2016 season. “I had the mindset of ‘if I don’t do better or equal to what I did at this race last year, then that means I suck or I haven’t improved.’ The depression was already there, but I always ignored it. Bringing that mindset into this season with me really caused that depression to surface. I had a huge amount of unhealthy pressure that I was placing on myself. There is a balance that I’m still trying hard to find. I can’t continue to live in a way where I’m so laser focused on my cycling goals and so paranoid about being responsible with my money and choices I make in life so that I will be all right and stable in the future.”

Antonneau’s lowest point came in November, just a few but formative weeks ago.

“I wasn’t able to ignore the dark monsters inside my head anymore. Literally all of November I laid on the couch. I couldn’t get up. I didn’t see a reason to do so. I was in a very dark place.” she said. Solace came in acceptance.

“I’ve accepted it and now I’m doing everything I can to learn how to manage it and better myself in a way that works for me. I’ve had to go back and figure out the reasons why I love riding and racing my bicycle. I had to go back and figure out how to do it for me, how to find the healthy and appropriate amount of pressure I can put on myself without going off the deep end,” she said. “I am fortunate enough to have a very solid and amazing group of individuals in my circle. I’m on my way back to the path I want and deep down know that I am capable of.”

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