Human Powered Health Cycling is delighted to welcome back to the team Californian pure climber Krista Doebel-Hickok. On the roster from 2019–2021, where she recorded some of her greatest achievements on the bike, the pure climber will once again play a key role in the mountains in her tenth season as a professional. “I want to become an integral part of a team that has an impact far beyond itself,” Krista said of her return. “I want us to inspire people to change for the better and I believe we can share the struggles and joy that come with that process at Human Powered Health.”
The 34-year-old California native won the Tour of the Pyrénées in 2022, was fourth in the GC of the Vuelta a Burgos, and won stages at the Tour of the Gila that same year. She was fourth in the 2017 Tour of California, seventh in 2019 and placed fifth in the Tour Down Under in 2023. At home in the high mountains, she will be an invaluable asset when taking on some of the team’s toughest days in the saddle.
“There are not many pure climbers in the bunch and she is one of them,” said performance manager Kenny Latomme. “She will be valuable in the mountains, helping Ruth [Edwards] and Barbara [Malcotti], or going for her own results.” Doebel-Hickok raced for Rally Cycling from 2019 through 2021 and played a crucial role as a regular GC leader in the team.
“I had so many great results on the team thanks to such incredible teamwork,” she remembers. “My win at Redlands, the Oak Glen stage, is my fondest memory of racing then. A summit finish in my home state, being completely and utterly empty, collapsing having maybe gone deeper than I’d ever gone before,” she said. “We had just lost Kelly Catlin and the team had come together like a family. You see what a team is made of when things get painful!”
Since then, Doebel-Hickok has evolved by challenging herself to be a more complete rider, as shown by winning the time trial in the 2022 Tour of the Gila. This is something she hopes to build upon.
“When I joined Rally Cycling in 2019, I was coming off one of my most trying seasons ever, but 2019 was, arguably, a breakout season for me,” she said. “With this year presenting similar challenges to 2018, It’s motivating to know Human Powered Health believes in me and has what it takes to help me rebound.”
A loyal teammate, this desire to ride for an ideal beyond the sport is reflected in her passion when speaking on Human Powered Health’s Pillars of Performance – Movement, Mindset, Fuel and Recovery.
“Symbiotic is how it ought to be described,” she said. “When my mind is not right, my legs do not work. Nothing works. When my recovery and fuel are not giving my body what it needs, then my brain does not work. It’s a chain. When one part of it breaks, none of it works and it’s misery. When the chain is linked up, life is beautiful and racing is successful.”
Having raced in the professional ranks for a decade, Doebel-Hickok knows the power of two wheels as a tool for change. “The bike demands the best of us by revealing the worst of us,” she explained. “Under-fuel, or don’t take care of your mindset, and it will show in your performance. By revealing our flaws, we are faced with them and can choose to work on them to better ourselves. Ultimately, maybe we can even help others to better themselves.”
Human Powered Health Cycling is excited to welcome Krista back to the ranks as the team continues to build towards the 2024 season.