Lawson Craddock | Back At The Tour And Fundraising
Update: Lawson Craddock suffered a severe crash in stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de France. The fall broke his scapula and he required stitches to close a bad cut above his eye.
However, as outlined in the article below, Craddock's journey back to the Tour de France was a long and difficult one, and he wasn't willing to let a broken bone stop him from continuing on in the race.
He finished stage 2 of the Tour de France in last place, but within the time limit. In stage 3 of the Tour—the critical team time trial—he was amongst the five EF Education First-Drapac riders to cross the line together, and played a large role in helping his team leader Rigoberto Uran remain within overall contention.
In addition to the auction of his custom made cycling shoes to support the Alkek velodrome in his hometown of Houston, Craddock has set up a GoFundMe donation page for every stage of the Tour de France he finishes with a broken shoulder.
Craddock is personally donating $200 for every stage of the Tour de France he finishes, and asking others to join him. So far, the support has been immense, including daily matching donations from the CEO of T-Mobile USA, John Legere (as well as a Tweet to his 5.74 million followers).
All donations to Craddock's GoFundMe page go directly to the Alkek Velodrome, to the track where Lawson got his start recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Craddock is also auctioning off a pair of custom designed Lake cycling shoes to support the track.
That story, and the link to the auction can be found below.
In the fall of 2017, Lawson Craddock’s difficult season went from bad to worse.
“Within the span of three days my team folded and Hurricane Harvey hit, then I was flying to Canada to try and race the Tour of Alberta,” says Craddock.
Craddock was born and raised in Houston, where Harvey’s flood waters were ravaging the city.
“I didn’t get that much sleep,” Craddock says. “But, it definitely put everything into perspective. With the team—yeah, it is a job it is a career—but people in Houston were losing their lives.”
As Craddock watched his fellow Texans respond to the disaster in Houston—driving with their boats from thousands of miles away to help—he felt the urge to give back in some way, as well.
It was at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome where Craddock first discovered the sport of cycling at age 10. Like many Velodrome’s across the country, Alkek struggles with the funding needed to maintain and manage the track. The track is run and repaired entirely by local riders and teams.
Following Harvey, Alkek was in dire need of help.
The Hurricane submerged the velodrome in water, and destroyed the fleet of rental bikes that are used to expose kids and adults to track racing.
Craddock, a die hard Houston sports team supporter, had seen how prominent athletes used their shoes to support causes they cared about.
He decided to do the same thing. In partnership with his shoe sponsor, Lake Cycling, he created a custom pair of shoes—emblazoned with the Houston skyline and the words “Houston Strong.”
Craddock wore the shoes through the Tour of California and at the Criterium du Dauphine. Now, upon the recent announcement that he’s been selected to his second Tour de France team with EF Education First p/b Drapac-Cannondale, he’s auctioning the shoes online.
You can bid on Craddock's custom made shoe's here.
All proceeds from the sale of the shoes will go to support the Alkek Velodrome and the summer cycling program that now bears his name, the Lawson Craddock Youth Cycling League.
The popular program develops track cycling skills in kids 10 to 16 years in age, and even gives them the opportunity to win a bike at the end of the series, just like Lawson did.
Craddock has successfully rebounded from a 2017 season where he struggled with dietary issues and overtraining. He's scored results at the Coppi e Bartoli stage race and Amstel Gold. Now, he’s headed back to the biggest bike race in the world.
With a little help from him and his supporters, he’s hoping that Houston—and the Alkek Velodrome—can do the same.