Thorne '77 Credited with Building 'Dominant' U.S. Cyclocross Team
In December 2018, VeloNews magazine credited Stu Thorne '77, the manager of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team, with building "the most dominant U.S. cyclocross team ever." According to the magazine,
"No American cyclocross team has garnered top results quite like Thorne’s squad. In its 10-plus-year history, Thorne’s riders have claimed 19 national championships, four U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross championships, and two Pan-Am championships. ... And Thorne’s longevity has come amid a tempestuous marketplace for cyclocross team sponsorship. While other outfits have come and gone, Thorne’s team has outlasted them all. And it continues to prosper. Thorne has survived, and created a dynasty."
Described as "humble and hardworking as they come" in the magazine's lengthy profile, Thorne crafts the team's budget, negotiates rider contracts, oversees the team’s logistics, and even works the pits. He is synonymous with the team, according to VeloNews; when asked how he has been able to keep the team thriving for so long, Thorne says simply, "I’m still into it." Thorne is married to Emily Brown Thorne '81, and their children Walker '19 and Phoebe '20 are both outstanding student-athletes at Shore.
Stu Thorne's experience racing on two wheels goes back decades. He grew up racing motorcycles and later became a professional motorcycle mechanic, learning the nuances of running a race team. He also had experience in mountain biking, and eventually bought into a bike shop. Soon, he got involved in the new off-road discipline of cyclocross, and developed partnerships with several successful riders. Along with wife Emily, who was also an elite off-road racer, he was just in time to watch American interest in the sport take off.
Sensing a business opportunity, Thorne started his own online cyclocross retail shop, called Cyclocrossworld.com, in Wenham, MA, in 1999. That same year he also launched a small team, and by 2006 he was joining Cannondale to form the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team.
"I always wanted to be the Formula 1 team of cyclocross," Thorne says. "I wanted it to be professional, successful, and I strove to do the best we could and represent our sponsors well. That’s still the goal every day."