MSU Texas cyclist Dušan Kalaba eyes another national title

Kalaba was a Serbian champ before coming to MSU

MSU Texas cyclist Dušan Kalaba eyes another national title

Dušan Kalaba was an accomplished cyclist long before he came to Midwestern State University to further his education and cycling.

But that doesn’t mean that winning a college race isn’t a big deal to the sophomore from Serbia.

Kalaba won the National Road Championships back in 2017, four years after he’d taken second in the National Road Championships in Serbia. He won a national title for MSU Texas in 2023 in the criterium. And Kalaba and his teammates get another chance to show they belong among the best in the country May 3-5 at the USA Cycling 2024 College Road National Champions in Albuquerque, N.M.

Dušan feels that he and the MSU Cycling team have momentum after several wins this spring, including the conference race where his brother, Pavle, took first in a one-two Kalaba family finish.

“We’re ready to repeat the same success we had last year at nationals,” Dušan said. “We’re in a good position to win the criterium and the individual omnium, and we want to win the road race.”

Professionally, Dušan and his brother race for Butcher Box Cycling. But Dušan said “Racing for university is a big thing, and I would like to give back for what the university has given me. College cycling, for me individually, has been a really good experience.”

The cycling season heats up as the spring semester winds down. They found professors have been willing to work with their busy race schedule. The Kalabas went to Georgia to compete in late April to prepare for nationals.

Dušan has a goal of being the best sprinter in American cycling. “Last year I was third in the Crit Cup, and I believe after this season I’ll be the

Dusan Kalaba on winner's stand
Dušan Kalaba after winning the 2023 national championship for MSU Texas.

 best in the United States,” Dusan said. “It’s a bold statement, but I’d like to speak it into existence.”

A sophomore at MSU Texas with a major in Sport and Leisure Studies and a marketing minor, Dušan wants to stay in business and sports. “Sports marketing and promotions sounds good,” he said. “It’s important to not be afraid to talk and build communication skills. And learn how to network.”

He hopes to see the MSU Cycling team continue to grow and be an even bigger force in the future as he believes cycling is a great investment for universities and for sponsors. “You can acquire good riders if you have scholarships,” Dušan said. “It’s a good deal for companies. They’re promoting university, and patriotism, and we can help them see the value in investing in you.”

While Dušan plans to have more tries at a national title for MSU Texas, this trip is special because of the chance to ride alongside Pavle, who is targeting a Fall 2024 graduation.

Teammates can be a great help in training and during the event, but Dušan wouldn’t accept any credit for Pavle’s win at the conference championships.

“I helped bring him into Butcher Box (team), but he deserved the spot, he’s a very good rider,” Dušan said. “He won by himself at conference. I didn’t see anything up. I think we have a good chance to bring home the national title.”

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