Fetzer Sprints into Cycling’s Top Junior Ranks 

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US National Champ to Compete in Upcoming World Championships

Luke Fetzer practically grew up at Laguna Cyclery. The local bike shop, owned by his dad, Patrick, remained a constant in his life while exploring different sports like baseball, skimboarding or surfing.

“I never pushed him to be a cyclist, which is why his success in the sport has been especially rewarding,” Patrick said. “When he was younger, we would just go on father-son bike rides. My goal was always to have him try every sport to have the whole experience.”

Laguna Cyclery’s Patrick Fetzer admires photos of his son, Luke, which he has displayed around his upstairs office. Luke, a current two-time national champion, will represent the United States in Glasgow’s upcoming road world championships. Clara Beard/LB Indy

One by one, Fetzer’s interest in different sports came and went until it was down to two: baseball and cycling. When Fetzer was in eighth grade, he had one more year playing Little League baseball. A father and son 50-mile ride that spring and more bike trips led to Fetzer dipping his toes into mountain bike racing, which evolved into road and track competitions.

After Little League tryouts that same year, Fetzer came home and announced his decision to hang up his glove in favor of the bike. The family dove headfirst into bike racing, and the rest is history.

Luke Fetzer lies up with his team before a stage of the weeklong Redlands Cycling Classic. Photo/Susan Wienke

Success came quickly for the recent Laguna Beach High School graduate. After several breakout rides, Fetzer caught the attention of two of the nation’s most prominent junior racing teams, Lux Racing and Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team. Then, when Fetzer won two national titles in the junior category earlier this summer, USA Cycling took notice.

“First, I won the criterium title in Roanoke, Virginia,” Fetzer said. “Then on home soil, I won the Track Omnium Championship at the Los Angeles Velodrome in Carson. I have never won a national title before this year, and winning two within a month is mind-blowing.”

His performances earned him a coveted spot on the national team representing the United States in the World Championships Junior Road Race in Glasgow, Scotland, which takes place this Saturday, Aug. 5.

Luke Fetzer rides up Park Street wearing the coveted Stars and Stripes jersey as the current US national champ in two disciplines. Photo/Andre Magarao

But Fetzer’s involvement with the sport has gone beyond racing bikes. In the future, he hopes to elevate and raise awareness about Laguna’s storied bike culture.

“In the future, I hope I can help raise the bike culture in Laguna,” the young racer said. “Whether it’s road riders, mountain bikers, cruisers or e-bikers, Laguna has so many people who use bikes as a vital form of transportation. Whether it’s putting on a race downtown, like my father in 1998, or helping increase bike safety and infrastructure, I aim to increase bike awareness and culture in Laguna.”

The Junior World Road Championships will be available on FloBikes.com, streaming in the United States and Canada. A subscription is required. 

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