Sue Novara Reber
World Champion Sprint Cyclist
October 7, 2020
Precious few athletes can ever claim to be one of the greatest in the history of their sport. One who can is Flint’s own Sue Novara-Reber. Without question one of the greatest athletes in the entire athletic history of Flint, Sue came to the sport with a competitive spirit that matched her strong and elegantly athletic 5-9, 135 lb frame.
A prodigy from Flint Northwestern, she was only 19 in 1975, when she became the youngest woman to ever win the World Sprint Championship, a feat she repeated in 1980.
Previous to that, she also brought the U.S. National Sprint Championships home to the Vehicle City in 1972, 1974, and again in 1980 - an incredible run of world class success.
In 1982, she became national champion in the road race. She won two road-race stages of the Coors International Classic and the Eastern Division of the Self magazine Cycling Circuit.
In 1983, she was second in the Ruffles Tour of Texas. Novara-Reber won two stages of the French Tour and took the Self Cycling Circuit (East) for the second time. She placed second in the criterium nationals.
Her dream was to compete in the Olympics, but the 1984 Women's Olympic cycling event to be held in Los Angeles would not include the sprint; it would be limited to road only. Although she had been a seven-time national track champion, she switched to road racing so that she could make the Olympic squad.
Despite this change in styles she narrowly missed making the US Olympic squad, but finished her career strong. During her last year of racing, in 1984, she won the Central Park Grand Prix in New York City.
Sue joins Fish in the Aquarium to break down how being a Flintstone helped her become a champion, and what growing up in Flint meant to her successful pursuit and achievement of everlasting world cycling acclaim. Join Fish and “The Legend” Sue Novara-Reber!