After some powder skiing in Park City, we began the drive to Monterey with two great rides in Auburn and Aptos. It felt so good to get back on the bike and start feeling the flow. I could not wait to race at this fun event with amazing people and sponsors.
After traveling around the venue to see some fun companies and watching some great races, I was ready to get out on the course. There were thirteen girls standing by my side at the line and I was filling with excitement. We took off and I placed myself in third as we headed out on the road. Once we reached the beginning of the dirt road, I went for it. The group stayed together and we headed into the single track. I was behind a few riders and together we traveled onward. The seven of us worked together as we passed hundreds of men, who had started in front of us. By shouting out and passing smoothly we were able to move forward, but it was almost never ending. This really was one of the coolest races I have had, with a group of fast girls having a close race.
Soon we reached the feed zone and I realized that because of all the downhill I had not finished my bottle. So I grabbed the bottle from Matt and went to place it in my left jersey pocket, but I was holding it in my right hand. I was having a hard time getting it into the pocket and I was getting it into my left had when the bottle slipped and fell into the grass. I knew that I would need the bottle for this long race so I stopped and moved back to grab it. Then, the racer on my wheel grabbed it for me. I told her to race on and not to worry, but she went out of her way to do so anyway. I could not believe it and can't thank her enough. I hopped on my bike right behind her and we raced off together, to catch the other riders. We did so at a fast pace and held with them once again. We were still together as we headed into the extra section in the cat 1 loop and I took second on the single track behind a very strong girl. As we reached the fire road I looked back to see the seven of us still holding together. I took a few large sips of hydrating and refreshing Osmo and a few ProBar Bolts to fuel my body. Then the pace began to speed up.... hmmm.... I wasn't quite sure what to do. We still had a ways to go so should I save my energy or keep up with the girls picking up their speed. Well, I wasn't about to lose them so, I let them choose the pace and I kept up. Soon I looked behind me and found that there was only three of us left. I took charge and went into the single track in first. I raised the pace a little more and it was race on for me and one other rider. We entered back onto a dirt road and my competition took the lead, but into the single track she was back on my tail and I kept up a fast, but steady, pace. As the final climbs came into my sight I stood and pushed my tired legs to try to get ahead. With every hill my heart pounded as I went as fast as I could. Soon I could not see my competition behind me, but I pushed my legs onward, as I headed into the finishing stretch. Soon the finish was above me and I raised my arms into the air.
With a large group of girls this long race had been hard and amazing. I hugged these incredible racers as they crossed the finish and was so glad to see such a great podium.
A huge thanks to Whole Athlete, Dario Fredrick, Josh Snead, all of our great sponsors, and these fast girls for making Sea Otter so much fun!
I was super excited for this race! With such craziness at Bonelli, I wanted to see where I was at and how I could do in a real race.
We stood at the start and I was ready to race! The riders launched off the line as the whistle rang in our ears. As we flew through the black gravel I was holding the lead, but right before we hit the left corner a girl squeezed past. I followed right on her wheel until we reached the paved road. I knew that I wanted to get onto the technical uphill and downhill in front, so I sped past her and held a fast pace.
Heading into the single track I was still in the lead, but a few cat 1 women and a racer in my age group were right with me. We went into the rocky switchbacks and I had to run from a small stumble, but I hopped right back on and I reached the descent with a small gap.
I soon headed into the second lap and saw the cat 1 woman close behind and the 2nd cat 1 15-18 girl riding through the feed zone. I put my head down and headed into the hills. There were two of us now and we were ahead of the rest. It was race on! Throughout the lap we began going back and forth, but I finished up the lap in the lead. As we went into the road climb for the third time, I let her take the lead. After following her through the technical section, I took the lead as we entered back onto the pavement. I took a replenishing sip of Osmo and worked to get a gap. The gap was gaining on the next small decent.
I slowly felt myself tilting and my hands stretched out as I fell to the ground. Right away I launched into the air and grabbed my bike, but my competition spun past. I ran up the small climb and leaped onto my saddle. I raced forward and worked to try and catch her. Keeping my speed and rode towards the finish.
With a cat 1 15-18 win and awesome pro races, it had been a super fun day. Thanks to everyone out there cheering and supporting me. I appreciate it so much!
After a great week at the USA cycling womens skill clinic, I was feeling the flow back on the bike. It had been an absolutely amazing week and I had learned and experienced so much. I was getting so pumped for the first race.
This course was awesome! I have always had such a great time racing through the trees at Bonelli Park and I was finally back to begin the season. It felt like I was finally back into the sport I love, after spending days on the trainer with racing in my mind, it was good to remember what makes me love this sport so much.
I couldn't wait to launch of the line, as we stood there waiting, with the countdown bringing the excitement, as it beat in our ears. Then the legs jumped, as we pushed forward, and I fumbled with my pedal. It clicked and I finally pulled forward as I search for the front of the line. We were over the curb and flying through the feed zone, as I pushed myself to the leaders. But as the first hill climb began, my racing brain caught up to me again, and I took charge to gain a gap. I listened to the deep breathing to the sides of me and held the lead. I reached the top and began the downhill.... ohhhhh yessss.... speed once again. As the next climb was in my eyes, I took a peek behind me. I had gained a gap, but saw a few girls not to far back. My body was feeling good and I kept going at a good pace. Again, the downhill came and I came upon the pavement. I saw the red curb and went for the simple hop over, that was so smooth in my pre-ride. The back wheel hit hard, by my mistake, and I listened as the air rushed out. Crap! Are you serious right now! I waited for it to seal back up and to race off once again. Nope. psssssss. The leaking air irritated me and I launched off my bike. Spinning my tire, I hoped to hear the sound stop. Then I grabbed the air canister at my seat and loosened it into my tire. I knew this would work.... it always had. I began to worry as the thought turned to knowledge that this wasn't working, but I was determined. Thought I could ride it and keep filling it up. As I hoped on I sunk down and felt as my tire wiggled back and forth. The first few girls spun right past me and I seriously had no idea what to do. First time that this had happened to me in a race. UG. And I knew I had to keep it positive. Without any knowledge on what the right thing to do would be, well.... I ran to the feed zone. As I arrived, I learned I could have no outside assistance, but this wouldn't let me down. Yet, people helped me out. They gave me tools and I went to work on this simple task, but I was a girl that haha wasn't to speedy at this. A few girls in my category rode passed and I was way back. Haha I laughed at myself as I finished up, surprised that I had held a smile. Then, I wasn't sure what to do next. So... I simply rode back to where I flatted and began my race once again. Hmmmm maybe I would catch some racers? With all three laps finally finished, I began my ride towards the finished. Then, my mom told me to step off to the side. I was not allowed to cut the course with a mechanical, so had been DNFed. Oh well I had still had a ton of fun and I was ready to relax.
But wait... super-d? Redemption? Okay! So I was back at the top of the mountain. Beep...beep... beep...beeeeep. And I felt the breeze once again. At first, I thought I was tired, but my race mind clicked again. I pushed my legs again through the turns and into the hills. It felt goood and I finished for real this time. Crossing the line and hearing the announcer say I had been the fastest women so far, but I was just glad to finish strong. We headed to the podium and I had won my 15-18 category.
It had been a fun weekend and I huge thanks to everyone supporting me along the way! Whole Athlete for all the amazing support and help, Josh Snead for making my bike as smooth as it can be, Osmo nutrition for making me feel hydrated and strong throughout training and racing, and so many more incredible sponsors and people!
I can't wait to race Fontana. Let the season begin!
This was my race, the race that I had worked all year for, and the race were I would push myself to the limits. We stood on the start line and I was ready. And soon, we were off! As we launched off the starting line I began to bring myself towards the front. The start loop helped me begin my gap and we soon headed onto the single track and into the trees. Thoughts rushed through my head, and because we only had two short laps, I decided I would just push myself as hard as I could. Soon, I was focused purely on the race and I let my legs bring my smoothly up the climb. The downhill was sitting in my vision within seconds, and the rocky and rooted fun would begin. I used every skills camp, hard work, and practice lap, to help me become one with the trail and to do my best. I was smooth, fast, and excited as I spun down the hill. In a blink of an eye, I realized I was beginning my second and final lap. I hadn't seen any of my category behind me, so one by one I used the category ahead to help me keep up my pace. Although I was focused, I was also thinking. Could my goal be coming true? These thoughts helped my power grow and I stood up to push for the finish. Again, the downhill came before me, and I was ready. My body was calm and active as I stayed upright.
Soon, the finish was right in front of me, I stood, and smiled.
After a great trip and awesome rides in Moab we head to Colorado! I was doing a super fun Talent ID camp with a race on the 16th. I was super excited knowing that I would have great competition
with some of the best 15-18 girls! At the start I was ready and psyched! The whistle blew and we were off! Oh wait..... Crap! Not exactly! My back tire slid in the loose, rocky dirt and I couldn't get my foot in the pedal! The girls were racing ahead! I pushed with my foot, clipped in, stood up, and took off! I caught up with the top group and when we reached the single track I was in 4th. We went at a pretty nice pace but I felt that I could go faster. As we reached a technical uphill I took a different line, bringing me to 3rd. I followed the two girls ahead of me and soon we reached a long fire road incline. I took a pass and went into 2nd. I sat behind first.... should I take the pass? She has a fast pace...... would I be able to hold the lead? What if I run out of energy? But I new I could go faster..... All these thoughts went through my head. I went for it. I took the lead and got a small gap before the single track. As the lap went on it seem as if the gap was getting larger and I was just feeling better. The race was 4 laps and 4miles each. As the first lap ended I was feeling great. Everything was going super smooth! 3 laps to go..... 2 to go...... 1 left! Still no crashes and I felt great in all the technical! I still had a gap and brought it to the finish in 1st. I was super excited! The course was super fun and I had a great time racing with such amazing girls!
The Sea Otter Classic is one of my favorite events. I did this race two years ago in the 13-14 category and was excited to race this year in cat 1 15-18 with a 20 mile course. At the start I was ready and calm. And with the whistle we were off! We started with a mile of road, I relaxed and found a place to draft. Once we reached the dirt I took off and got third onto the fire road. 1st and 2nd had a nice pace but it was a little too fast for me in a 20 mile race. I let them get a small gap. Then we reached the first switchback downhill and I caught 2nd. I held onto her tail and as we reached the next uphill I took the pass. Next I reached some little technical downs which I flew through. I came over the top of a hill and saw 1st at the bottom of a pure sandy downhill. I let go of the brakes and slid right down, almost hitting 1st as she went around the turn. She gained another gap, but not too large. As I got onto the last fire road climb to the finish a saw her and she was pretty close. I stood up and hammered, I pushed myself and was slowly reeling her in, but she crested the top before I could catch her. I reached the downhill and went as fast as I could. Then at the finish I stood and finished with 30 seconds behind 1st. It was a great race. I want to thank my sponsors: Santa Cruz, Crank-brothers, Maxxis, and Scrub for helping make 2nd possible.
The Telluride race was awesome! The single-track was smooth and fun with little puddles and stream crossings. My start was last, a minute behind the 14 and under boys. We took off and I was being chased by the pack. We flew down a paved path and suddenly took a sharp turn onto a steep uphill. I was still holding the lead but had a girl on my tail. As we began the hard uphill I slowly gained a nice gap and began chasing after the boys. As we raced through the trees I slowly started passing the boys and was having lots of fun. The steep hills were hard but I pulled through and began the downhill. I launched down the hill and rode through the puddles and streams slowly getting closer to the finish. As I got onto the pavement a boy started to pass. We got onto the short hill having a neck to neck race. Coming to the finish his tire was in front of mine. I ended up taking 1st girl and about third in the boys. A super fun race!
I was calm and ready on the start line.... Go! I took middle pack at the start with the Cat 1 women but as we reached the first hill I began to push to the top three, passing all the 15-18 in my category. In the downhill I realized that I would be able to go faster, so as we reached the next hill I took the front and gained a huge gap. Going into the second lap I held first Cat 1 w with still a large gap.
I held this gap until the ending of the second lap I got caught by the first Cat 1 woman. In the third lap my legs began to kill and I slowed down. as we began to reach the end of the lap I got passed by 4 more women. Then I crashed on a small but steep downhill. I was able to hop back up and finish fast. I took 1st Cat 1 15-18 and was happy with the results.