MONTPELLIER, FRANCE --- Brent Bookwalter is not your typical cyclist. He didn't come from a cycling pedigree, in fact, he was just an average kid who started on a mountain bike. As time progressed, his talents did as well, and today, Bookwalter is helping push BMC Racing teammate Cadel Evans toward a podium finish in the Tour de France.
Bookwalter spent his time at Lees-McRae College pushing his limits both on and off the bike. Brent helped bring nine national championships to the college, while pursuing a BA in Biology. Brent's accomplishments at Lees-McRae earned him induction into the Bobcat Hall of Fame in 2010. Brent hit the professional ranks in 2005, and in 2008 he signed with BMC Racing, which is one of the elite teams in the world.
Brent has pieced together a great young career, and looks to push his career farther while becoming an integral part of the BMC team. The Bobcat Hall-of-Fame member has captured the hearts of many around campus as he has risen among the elite in the cycling world.
"Getting up every morning to watch and see if we can pick him out of the crowd is a ritual for my family in these three weeks of July," said Lees-McRae Director of Athletics, Craig McPhail. "Knowing how polite and good spirited he is makes it so very worthwhile to pull for him, Cadel, George and the rest of the BMC guys."
Good luck and safe travels Brent, we're all rooting for you here in Banner Elk, N.C.
Update: July 19, 2011
With Stage 15 in the books and Stage 16 of the 2011 Tour underway, Bookwalter's teammate Cadel Evans sits in sixth place in the overall standings. Bookwalter has been helping protect Evans and move him closer to a Tour de France Victory.
You can keep up with the Tour on the Versus Network and keep an eye out for Bookwalter (jersey number 142) and all of his BMC Racing teammates. You can keep up with Brent online at www.brentbookwalter.com or on Twitter at Twitter.com/brentbookwalter. You can also keep up-to-date on the BMC Racing Team here.