The Whole Athlete team camp continued and we made our way to my home in Park City, Utah. I was more than happy to show my team around and shred the local trails.
The week quickly slipped away and we continued to higher elevation. Tahoe was our next destination and the views and trails were absolutely incredible.
I feel so privileged to have been able to travel and ride in so many amazing different places with such an awesome team. Not only were many unforgettable memories made, but I learned and grew as a person and an athlete throughout the journey. All of the training and preparation was leading to one of the most important races of the season, U.S. National Championships, and we made the trip to Mammoth Resort.
The environment was filled with positivity and excitement leading to our races. The Oakley family helped raise the stoke level, not only with their incredible product, but by giving me motivation for the adventures ahead. Such a great company! I felt so much support from my family, team, our sponsors, and everyone that has helped me throughout this season. I could hardly wait to stand on the start line.
All the hard work that had been put into this season would be put to the test at this race and the stress and pressure would be greater than any other race so far. Every athlete would have the challenge of not only leaving it all out their on course, but to stay mentally strong and ready. The course at Mammoth Resort had thick loose dirt, rocky sections, and had long steep climbs, which would make for a challenging and demanding course for every racer.
Thursday morning rolled around and the excitement grew for my 11:30am race. I was called up to the line second, after Ksenia, and Kelsey rolled up beside me. Surprisingly, I was less stressed, than I had been the year before, and was really looking forward to the race ahead.
The gun shot launched us into the race and the fight for the stars and stripes began. Rachel took the lead up the first climb and I was on her wheel. We were staying close together along the steady single track, but slowly the riders began to spread apart. The two of us were gaining a small gap on the other riders and Rachel was holding a strong pace. As we reached the dirt road climb before the downhill I took the pass and went into the lead. This way I would be able to avoid dust, be able to choose smooth lines, and hopefully grow my lead, all of which I was successful.
Throughout the second and third lap I really focused on pacing myself and staying smooth on the descents. I could see Rachel on the trail below me, but the gap was only getting larger. As I got closer and closer to the finish I realized that the national title was right ahead and I couldn’t hold back a smile.
This season has been been filled with so many amazing experiences. Being able to travel and race in so many different places would not be possible without all of the help and support that I have received. Thank you!
I have meet so many new people and made friends that I will have for life. Can't wait to see where cycling takes me next! See you all soon!