The last race of the season came a little too fast, but I was more than excited to get out there and race. The course was so much fun, with A-line drops and a gap jump plus technical rocks and roots throughout. It was going to be an awesome race out there no matter what!
Before the race we experience little pieces of Vermont by riding incredible trails, enjoying Ben & Jerry's, and spending time in Burlington. The race stress was oh so low and the beautiful state was incredible to explore with my great teammates.
The night before the race, the rain began to fall and was still going strong until it was time to start. My teammates, Veda and Kelsey, and I were on the line with two canadians in our category and all the cat 1 women. Off the line Veda went straight into the lead and I was right behind her, but around the first corner a cat 1 woman took the pass. I followed her in order to keep myself in second position. Soon the field entered into the single track, which was slick and filled with puddles. As we reached the top of the first climb, the rider in front of me crashed and I made my way around her. I stayed smooth throughout the course and paced myself for two more laps.
Out on the open grass sections I could see that the racers were spread apart, but a few girls were close behind. As we went through the start another cat 1 woman took the lead. I grabbed onto her wheel and we headed into the second lap. I followed her around the course until we reached a rock section before the gap jump. She didn't make the section and I was able to squeeze around on the left. I sped into the jump and could hear the loud cheering around me. I kept the lead into the third lap and ramped up the pace.
The gap grew and I was able to stay smooth through the mud, roots, and jumps, while enjoying every bit. I made my way to the finish with the win.
The 2014 season was absolutely incredible! I learned a lot and had many great accomplishments. I can't thank my family, supporters, friends, mentors, team, and sponsors enough. Once again: Specialized, Sram, ProGold, Probar, Osmo, Oakley, ESIgrips, DNA, Kewlfit, Elemental Herbs, Crankbrothers, Feedback Sports, Genuine Innovations, dznuts, and Bungalow Munch, you're the best! Whole Athlete has done so much for me, from cheering, fine tuning my bike, and amazing coaching. I am so grateful to be a part of it.
I can't wait until the season begins next year as a 17-18! Ride on!
Once again we were back at The Bear Creek Resort in PA for xc national championships and the course was outstanding. The technical roots and rocks made skills a must have and the punching climbs forced every rider to push themselves to the limits. I was stoked to be racing the incredible Specialized Epic, which was perfect for this course and such a fun bike to hammer on. After dialing the suspension and the fastest lines, I was ready to get out there and race. I couldn't believe that this was the race that I had been waiting and training for all year. Usually I stay very calm leading up to a race, but here I was relaxed until I got to the start. I was shaking my legs and hopping around as the other categories took off in front of us, excitement and race stress filling me up. Taking deep breaths and really trying to calm down, I made my way to the line with the second call up. I went straight to race mode and was ready to launch off the line. The whistle sounded in our eager ears and we took off.
I reached the grass double track in the lead and held it into the single track. I was excited to have this position so I that would be able to ride the rocks and roots with speed and flow. Heading into the next climb, I found that my teammate, Kelsey Urban, was on my tail. I settled into I steady pace and noticed that we were creating a gap from the rest of the field.
On the descents I was feeling very smooth as my bike made its way through the rock gardens with perfection. We began to pass riders form the 17-18 category in front of us, which helped me to create new targets, since no riders in my cat were in front of me. The air around us was hot and the sun was beating down on us. I focused on using Osmo and ProBar to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the race.
Soon, we were heading into our second lap. We headed back into the thick forest and I could see more riders ahead of us. Throughout the lap we passed the whole 17-18 field and some of the U23. I was still feeling very strong and was loving every bit of the trail.
Then, we entered into our final lap and I raised the pace. On every climb I stood, putting it all out there, and slowly Kelsey was dropping behind. I was able to stay smooth and focused through the technical sections and the rest of the lap. I could not believe that I was about to achieve my goal as I made my way on the final descent. A smile was formed on my face as I raised my arms under the finish.
After the incredible cross country races for my friends and teammates, it was time to head into Super-d. I had a great run, feeling smooth and fast throughout the technical trail. This lead me to a time of 6:46 and the 15-18 win. My teammates took second and third and I couldn't be more excited.
I couldn't have asked for a better 2014 national championships. I am super excited to become both the 15-16 xc and the 15-18 super-d national champion and have so much fun throughout the weekend. It was incredible to watch so many racers fight through the technical course and put everything out there. It has been an amazing season and I couldn't have done it without my amazing family and friends. And a HUGE thanks to the Whole Athlete Cycling Team, Dario Fredrick, our hard working mechanics, and our outstanding sponsors: Specialized, Sram, Osmo, ProBar, Elemental herbs, DNA cycling, dznuts, Progold, Oakley, ESIgrips and Crankbrothers! It has been the greatest adventure!
We were back on the line, now for the cross country, with the cat 1 15-18 and only two laps to go. We were off and immediately my teammate, Veda, went into the lead and I followed on her tail.
We entered into the trees and switchbacks with a long line of cat 1 riders behind us. Once we exited the darkness of the forest and got back onto the double track, a cat 1 women squeezed past us and I followed her back into the single track. She went around the corners at a slow pace, keeping the field tightly together. Right when I got the chance, I took the lead and having that rider ahead of the rest of the racers helped me to get a small gap. As I traveled around on the course I could see Kelsey behind me, but no other racers. Soon I was heading into my second lap, grabbing a nice cold bottle, and bringing up the pace. Throughout the lap I focused on staying smooth around the switchbacks, staying fueled, and going hard, but steady. I was able to stay hydrated and strong throughout the heat, huge thanks to Osmo and ProBar. I made my way to the finish with a smile and the win.
It was a great weekend for the Whole Athlete team! Thanks for everything! Next up nationals!
Although the mosquitos and heat may get in the way, Wisconsin is a beautiful area with really fun and flowy trails. The race was held at Cascade mountain resort and I was super excited to race, after having so much fun last year.
As we launched off the line with all the cat 1 women, I went straight into the lead. Not quite wanting to be in that position, I slowed down and waited for the other riders to make the pace. As one rider took my place in first, the speed became slower than I expected. This wasn’t quite the short track I was looking for, so as we went into the next lap I was back in the lead, with my teammate, Kelsey Urban, on my tail. Throughout every turn, drop, and lap we kept the field behind us. Bam 10 minutes done and two laps to go. I brought up the pace a little faster, but still ready for the last lap. The two of us flew through the course, enjoying every bit.
Finally it was the last lap and my legs bursted, ready to race for the finish. Every climb was a sprint, with Kelsey not far back. On the last corner I had gained a little bit on her, but she was still close. Standing, I raced for the finish and took first. I was so excited to go 1 and 2 with my teammate and also have great finishes for Whole Athlete!
Every course is so different and unique. In Colorado the course was dusty, rocky, hot, and fun, but a challenge for everyone. At the start, the ten of us in the cat 1 15-18 category started with all of the cat 1 women. We headed off the line and into the steady road at the start.... four laps to go. I kept a steady pace and caught up to the two leaders. We entered into the single track and there was a group of us in the lead. I followed behind two racers, but we ended up running most of the climb. We were towards the end of the course when the leader began running again. The racer in second and I hopped of and ran past first. We entered into the dirt road, Ksenia went past me, and I followed behind the two riders. We began the second lap and headed back onto the road. I was back on Sofia's wheel as we entered into the feed zone. I grabbed the cold water, splashing it down my back and on my chest.... perfect. When we reached the dirt decent Sofia slid out and crashed into the sand. I rode past her and focused on pacing myself for two more laps. Heading into the third I could see Sydney behind me, but I just focused on how I felt throughout the lap.
Finally I was on my fourth and final lap. I gave all my energy, watching out for Ksenia and Sydney. A little before the section where Sofia crashed, I stubbled and fell. I hopped on as quickly as I could with burrs all over. Soon I noticed that my handlebars were majorly crooked and my shifters where rotated down. I adjusted to the new setup and focused on the finish. Pushing up every climb, flat, and decent I reached the finishing stretch. As I crossed the line, I was happy with how I played the race and my win. It was such a fun race!
Back in the US and so ready to race. Missoula is a beautiful area and the course was SO FUN. The trails made their way in and out of the trees and the downhill was flowy and fast.
On the line there were not many of us, four 15-16 and two in the UCI 17-18. I was glad that we would be starting together. I got a good spot on the front row and the countdown began. Silence filled the air and we were all just waiting to start. Bam! I was in the perfect gear and pulled off into the lead. I was feeling great and all ready had created a small gap. I began to relax and settle into a steady rhythm for the climb. As I traveled up the switchbacks and fire road I watched the riders to see where they were at. Already the group was splitting up, I put my head down and focused on my race. I was still leading as we reached the descent with the next rider barely in sight. Woot Woot! Every turn was so much fun as I made my way back down the hill and towards the start line.
The cheering filled me up as I made my way back up the climb and into the second lap. Throughout the lap I could tell that my gap was slowly growing and I held my steady pace. Soon, I was going into my final lap and still feeling strong. Every hill was a push and a step closer to the win. The downhill was welcomed with a smile and I made my way towards the crowd.
I was so excited to cross the line in first place and feel so great throughout the race.
Loved racing with my favorite girls and spending time in this beautiful area. A huge thanks to my team, sponsors, Dario, and mechanics for making everything possible! Next up Colorado Springs!
After taking a few laps on the World Cup course I headed out to the course that I would be racing on. I was a little bummed to be doing a marathon race, after getting so pumped up by being at the world cup, but I was still hoping to have some fun. The course was 23k and although it was only on dirt and paved roads, the surroundings were absolutely beautiful.
I rushed towards the start as hundreds of men and woman already began to pile up. I was able to squeeze into an ok spot, but was still a ways from the start line. We waited for the gun to fire under the UCI world cup arch. Bam! Slowly we peddled behind the pacing motorcycle. Everyone trying to slip their way towards the front. I was doing the same, trying to pass as many people as I could, while I could, and before we began the race. Then the speed rose and we headed into the dirt road. Hammering and trying make may way through the huge field. As we reached the first straight away I was all alone. I knew I needed to draft through the wind and there was a group close ahead. I put my head down and pushed to reach them. Finally I got within a group and we traveled together down the road. I stayed with this group of about seven throughout the race. Passing people and dropping people along the way. We worked together as we got closer towards the finish. I was working hard and enjoying this new experience. I wasn’t the best at road tactics, but I was feeling pretty good about my race so far. I was getting closed towards the finish and a few of the guys turned off for another lap. I had no idea were the girls were or what place I was in, but I put my head down once again and raced to the finish. I made my way around the final turn and across the finish line. Few... first Euro marathon race down. And with a Nutella banana crepe in my hands, I learned that I was the second woman to cross the line.
I have had the most incredible time traveling around Europe while learning and experiencing so many things on and off the bike. I really can't thank my family, sponsors, coach, and friends enough!
Now we are riding our bikes through the beautiful landscape of Switzerland. Soon we will make our way back to Holzgerlingen, Germany and then fly home. It's been one incredible journey so far!
Oh was this a fun course! With a steep, never ending, and hard uphill finishing with a swooping fun downhill. And boy was I ready to race with the U19 girls.
My category stood behind the elite and U23 woman, holding some of the fastest woman around. I looked beside me and could tell that this was going to be one of the fastest races I had ever experienced.(especially when I saw the girl in her world champion kit). We launched off the line as the gun echoed in our ears and headed towards the climb. I saw one girl leaving us behind (world champion) and I grabbed onto the second riders wheel. Together we held a steady pace into the woods. And the race was on. Quickly we began reaching some of the U23 riders, and one slipped into the gap between me and second place as we went into the descent. She grabbed on her brakes and slowly skidded down the trail. Dang it. I watched my competition race away smoothly, up and down through the gully. I waited for my only chance and jumped on it as we reached a short uphill road. I took the pass and headed into the Zorro drop. Finally... some speed. But wait, I caught up to another rider who hopped off her bike and began to run. I followed, but got back on the saddle to make the pass. I finished up the descent and headed into the second lap. The second place rider was out of my site as I headed up the climb and began to pace myself for the next two laps. As I reached the top of the climb two girls flew passed me. I followed right behind them and we headed into the straightaway before the descent. I went for the pass, knowing I would want to be ahead, and went to the left into the leaves. No way was she going to loose her spot though... and she stuck out the elbows and came into the leaves with me, hitting handlebars, and blocking my pass. We went into the down hill and the third place rider began to get away. The rider in front of me was slowly making her way down the hill. I tried to pass on the switchbacks, but knew that the road would be the only place. The rider began to stumble and she headed to the side of the trail, catching herself at a tree. I squeezed past her and took the chance to get ahead.
I began heading up the climb for the third time, catching the third place girl right away. I got on her wheel and we began a steady pace up the mountain. I went for the pass, but again I received the elbows and was cut off into the bushes. I got back into rhythm behind her and waited for another place to pass. I tried again, but she sped up and once again I was not going to take the pass easily. But for the third time I was ready. I began to sprint while I was behind her, then I gained speed and raced passed her. Few... I made it. I sped up the pace, hoping to gain a gap and then hold it in the descent. Passing as many riders as I could, I went into the downhill with no one in front of me. And boy was it fun! Then, once again I began the climb and my fourth lap. This time I put my head down and went as hard as I could, but still saving energy for the brutal uphill. It felt like forever before I reached the descent, but I was holding on to my third place spot. With another smooth and speedy downhill, I headed towards the finish.
With a big smile I finished in third place and am happy with my result.
It was incredible to race against these fast girls! Every race is a great learning experience and I am having the greatest time! Now I head to watch my first world cup in Nove Mesto!
This was a totally different event for me, but very unique and fun! It contained a technical competition and a cross country race. First, you begin with the technical competition, where each rider tries to complete 5 sections with three man made obstacles and each obstacle is worth one point. Then, once you finish this course, you go to the natural course. Here you complete a track containing sharp corners, natural obstacles, and poles to go between. These two courses give you a total of 24 points. For every point that you do not receive you are held back 20seconds at the cross country start.
After working really hard on all of the obstacles, I waited in line for my start to come. I watched my U17 competition one by one do their best on the course. Finally, it was my turn. I headed into the first section containing three circles made by bottles. Every circle smaller than the first and you must keep your back tire in the circle while moving your front tire around the circle. During practice I had this section aced and I was ready to go. I rode into the the circle and began to turn my tire. Oh crap... I lost balance and stepped down. I lost all three points for that section, but I had to refresh my mind for the next section. Here there are three pieces of wood with sharp turns to get to the next. Each block got higher and you had to get both wheels over it. I headed into the section, hopping over the first one with easy. Then the second... got it. Next, the third... front wheel over.... lift second.... a little bit of front brake... and the wood it the cement. So close, but received two points.
I moved onto the third section. Here you had to do no handed without touching the lines. I received two points here after barely touching the line in the third part.
Now, onto the fourth section. Here, there are three different balance beams to complete. The first one was wide and smooth, check. The second was skinny with a wood bumps, check. The third was pretty smooth with a few turns, check. Few... all three points.
The final section was one of the hardest, containing sharp turns and a log to get over in the last part. I made it all the way to the log, but then messed up, getting two points.
I was finished with this course with a total of nine points and made my way to the next course. Here, I made my way through the trees and poles. Because of the slippery mud I had to step down a few times, making me loose points, but I still had a pretty good round.
The rows of the U17 boys and girls were lined up at the starting line. I was 2min 40sec back from the leader. Bam! The first row was off. Every 20seconds another group left the line. I stood waiting and counting all of the girls who left ahead of me. Finally we were at the line watching the clock. Seven girls to catch.... 10seconds.... 3 laps..... 5 seconds.... Bam! We launched off the line and the race began. My goal was to catch as many of the riders as I could and I was already feeling good. With my head down I headed up the climb. Two girls were right ahead of me and I went for the pass. Alright, two down five to go.
I began the rocky single track and got behind another girl. She sped up her pace and I held onto her wheel. We reached the descent and she slowed down. Her foot out of the pedal as she skidded and stepped forward on the slippery roots. I followed her into the second lap and she went back into a fast uphill pace. We pasted another rider, four to go. Before the first descent I went for the pass and used the downhill to get a gap. As I reached the next climb I saw another rider ahead of me. I went for the pass and headed into the next fun downhill. The turns were slick from the light rain earlier, but it was still an incredible trail. I headed into the third and final lap, with only two girls ahead of me. It was time to go all out. With my head down I began the road climb. I reached the first descent and got stuck behind a guy. As we went around the corner I could tell that there was another rider ahead of him.... was it a girl? We reached the next climb and I was able to take the pass. Now only one more to go. Again, I pushed my legs up the steep hillside, reaching the downhill with a small gap. Through the trees, off the drops, around the slick corners, and over the roots and I was enjoying every bit.
As I reached the grass near the finish, I could see the first place rider on the next corner. I stood and race towards her, but reached the finish first. Glad to grab a second place at this unique and exciting race!
The adventure has begun. From Holzgerlingen to Todtnau and then to Oberstdorf, Germany, with many great stops along the way, we arrived in Houffalize Belguim. This beautiful drive had been filled with incredible riding and views, from the alps to the valleys.
The excitement began building up from the moment we pulled up and I was so ready to race. The course was great and what we were calling a real mountain bike course. It contained steep climbs and technical descents, perfect for my Specialized Epic, and after a fun pre-ride I was feeling smooth. The days past slowly, but on Saturday morning I was standing on the line with the u19 girls. Well, the ten of us behind a hundred boys was not quite on the line, but the more the merrier. Bam! And the craziness began. We searched for ways through the large pack to get into a good position. I watched as my competitors moved through beside me, all hoping the single track wouldn't come to quick. We were within the middle when the running began, as the mass struggled up the first single track climb. I ran with the pack and saw one girl a few riders ahead. We headed right into the first technical section and the group split up on the two lines, but for now it was a running race for everyone. I went into the A line, hopped off, and ran as quickly down the loose drop as possible. Soon, we were all back on our bikes and the group raced towards the next technical descent. Again we ran, tripping and stumbling down the roots. I was feeling strong as I got back on my bike and raced on, but I had no idea where the other girls were. With all the confusion with the boys I had lost my competition, she could be in front or behind me, so I just kept up a steady pace. I reached the downhill and raced through the fun. Into the second lap I went and the pain began. I was becoming tired and wasn't able to hold my strong pace. I saw the next girl below me and she was looking strong. As my legs stiffened I tried to go hard, but my legs simply said no and went as slow as possible. ug. She went for the pass near the end of the lap and I pushed to stay with her. I was suffering and not moving. Slowly she left my sight and I was riding alone through the trees. Again, I headed out for the next lap, just hoping I could hold on the second. The other girls were far back and I just stayed focused and crawled my way through the finish. I flew down the a lines and got my head in for one more lap. Then, a rider past me. He was going fast and I hadn't seen him yet, but my head was blurred and I didn't really think about it. I reached the finish and was waved down, learning that I had been lapped.
I was glad I had held a second place finish, but I wished for a better race. I wanted a real race and a fun race, but mountain biking throws things at you. I can't always have a perfect race and it was a great learning experience.