I’ve envisioned myself here millions of times. Sweat still glistening on my arms as my hand rests on my chest, dust on my legs, cheeks cherry red, and my national anthem in the air. To actually be standing there, looking out to the crowd, was surreal.
It took me more time than I’d expected to turn this World Cup win into reality, but now I realized that’s only because this result never felt impossible to me. It was not a matter of if but when.
I stood on the start line with complete confidence. So focused my mind could only hear my breath and the countdown. My podium at World Cup #1 was the start of true belief and just what I needed to take this season full on. Many years of learning, listening, and patience. Now, I belong here.
I raced Nove Mesto in a way I’ve only dreamed of. Complete power, speed, and skill. It was a race experience that makes being an athlete so special. I have no words to express that feeling of crossing the finish line after racing with guts and passion.
World Cup #1: Albstadt, Germany
There is always a nervous energy and excitement filling the air at the first World Cup of the season. All the winter preparations are about to be put to the test against the best in the world. We’ve all set our own expectations, we can feel the pressure, and the unknown is thrilling, yet absolutely nerve-racking. Who will prove to be the fastest?
It was a special feeling to get on my first World Cup podium. I have no words, all I know is that I'm just getting started.
Back in my hometown. Soldier Hollow, only a 30 minute drive from Park City and where I grew up racing my bike. It'd been a little while since I'd raced on home soil, since the NICA High School League my freshman year and multiple cross-country nordic events throughout the winters, and I could hardly hold in my excitement. The positive energy and support that I experienced was greater than I could have ever imagined. This played a big role in allowing my to have some breakthrough rides that would build my confidence for the race season ahead.
Stage 1: The Time-Trial
It's not often in XC racing that you get sent out on track alone, with only your own burning legs, lungs, and mind to keep pushing you forwards. I'd done this more in nordic skiing events than on the bike, funny since SoHo is where I've done most of my skinny ski racing, and it's nothing less than brutal.
I found myself in third place to start off the stage race, following behind a flying Katerina Nash and Savilia Blunk. It felt good to get the racing underway and it was obvious that the racing was going to be neck and neck!
Stage 2: Short Track
Stage 3: Cross-Country
In the cross-country event, Erin Huck and I raced in a way that you absolutely dream of as a cyclist. Tight battles like this are what make racing so exciting and it was a thrill to be riding neck and neck for the win with such a talented rider like Erin. I was fueled by the cheers of my home crowd and was proud to finish in second after giving my absolute all.
Stage 4: Marathon
My race in the marathon on the final day was far from anything I expected. I absolutely surprised myself with the way that I raced on the day and crossing the finish line with a win was an incredible feeling. I progressed each day throughout the event and this gave me a new confidence for what I am capable of. Beyond that, I had unbeatable support from the Clif Pro Team, my family, and friends. It's always special to be surrounded by so many amazing people in the cycling community.
Wow. I’m leaving UT with tired legs and a very full heart after four exciting days of racing. The Soldier Hollow Bike Fest was a special experience for me in so many ways. The support that I felt from racing on home soil and cheers throughout the race fueled my fire. Day after day I received so much love from people that have played important roles in all stages of my life. I gave my best in each race and definitely had a little extra power out there because of this village. The crew at Summit Bike Club put on an excellent event and I’m so thrilled I could join in on the action. On top of it all, I’m proud to finish second in GC after racing in a way I didn’t fully realize was possible yet. Thank you all!!