Newest team member discusses her move to Trek
The 2017-2018 UCI Cyclocross season ended less than a week ago, so it may seem a bit soon to be full-steam-ahead towards the impending mountain bike season. For me, though, the end of the cyclocross season marks the start of something new: racing for my dream team, Trek Factory Racing.
It’s been a dream of mine since I was young to represent Trek at the highest level of the sport. I think back to the days of idolizing Willow Koerber, Heather Irmiger, and Emily Batty (my new teammate!) for their athletic prowess and fearless #GirlPower in a male-dominated industry. It didn’t hurt that I was a 5 foot, 13-year-old girl riding a 29-inch mountain bike. Watching those women ride big-wheeled bikes to World Championship podiums, National Titles, and more gave me a connection to them and their team, as well as dreams like no other.
Those dreams were partially realized when I joined the 29er Crew in 2011, and the Trek Cyclocross Collective a year later. For the next three years, I learned from the likes of Katie Compton and my knowledgeable and generous masters teammates. I won my first national title for the Trek CXC in 2012 – a career goal for me. In 2014, I left Trek CXC to go to college and joined the JAM Fund, a local development team in Western Massachusetts. I made it my goal to focus on day-to-day development and return to Trek one day as a stronger, smarter rider.
In 2016, I joined Aspire Racing, where for the last two years I’ve focused heavily on cyclocross and was fortunate enough to travel the world and gain invaluable international racing experience. I am so thankful for the support of these teams over the past few years to get me where I am today.
I’m starting this new chapter of my life with bigger goals than ever. When I first joined Trek, my only real goals were to meet Katie Compton and win a national title. While the national title dream is ever-present (and I get to meet Katie about every weekend!), I now have goals that extend beyond results. I dream of representing the USA at the Olympics, but I also I dream of growing the sport of cycling, empowering young athletes to get out there, and pushing the limits of what people think is possible – for women, and in our sport in general.
And what better company to do that with than a brand that’s doing the same! Trek’s commitment to developing women’s cycling through their many teams – on the road, mountain biking, cyclocross, and even triathlon – is impressive. I’m stoked to join a lineup of incredible female athletes like Katie Compton, Emily Batty, Rachel Atherton, Katy Winton, Holly Lawrence, and Tayler Wiles.
In cyclocross alone, Trek has been setting the tone for the debate with their equal-pay at their own World Cup, and by making European races available for free for US CX viewers. All that is on top of Trek’s amazing equipment, which is so incredibly important for an athlete. Our bikes are our tools to be successful, and Trek involves their athletes in all stages of product development, using our feedback to make the best bikes possible.
I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about what’s to come in this next chapter-coming back to cross-country mountain bikes, climbing the UCI ranks, more European cyclocross. I know one thing: I am more ready and excited than ever for this new challenge! I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this never-ending process that is being a professional athlete – in particular, my coach and past teammates who have pushed me to be my best. It’s taken a village of support to get here. So, while my teammates from the last few seasons have become my second family, returning to Trek feels like coming home.