Riley Amos, Gwendalyn Gibson and Maddie Munro are letting loose on the U.S. circuit
Trek Factory Racing XC’s trio of Americans — Riley Amos, Gwendalyn Gibson and Maddie Munro — went to Vail Lake in California and left with a bounty of podiums. Amos won the men’s elite XCO on Sunday after taking second in short track on Friday. Gibson took second in both the women’s elite XCO and short track. And Munro took fifth in XCO and ninth in short track coming off a break after finishing her cyclocross season in February.
The course was hard and dusty. The weather was cool. The three riders felt right at home.
“The Supercaliber was the best bike in the world for that type of track. It’s just so perfect on that terrain,” Amos said after the race. “Our new Pirelli tires were really great on that surface as well. I had much more confidence than the other riders pushing into those corners.”
Amos said that his legs felt good all weekend. He admitted that he made a tactical error during the short track race that may have cost him a chance at the win. He made up for it during Sunday’s XCO, setting the pace at the front and winnowing away the nearby competition. With three laps to go, while off the front with Bradyn Lange, he left the eventual second-place finisher and kept all other challengers at bay. He finished 33 seconds ahead of Lange, and 45 seconds ahead of third-place Carter Woods.
“I’m ready to keep building into the season and rest the legs before racing again in two weeks in Fayetteville, and just keep pushing,” Amos said.
Like Amos, Gibson felt she just missed the move that might have put her in contention to win the short track event. And like Amos, she was able to show off her strong form in the much longer XCO event a couple days later. Gibson spent the first three laps establishing a strong leading trio with Haley Batten and Kate Courtney. That trio then split up during Lap 3, leaving Gibson to ride solo for the final three laps on her way to a second-place finish, 2:16 behind Batten.
“I felt really good in both races, and the US has a pack of really strong ladies at the moment that I feel all have the potential to have a good showing at the World Cups,” Gibson said after the race. “We’re all pushing each other to the next level and this race was an indicator for me that I’m on the right path to World Cup form.”
Munro is at the start of her XC season training block, and she was still able to snag a podium. She dueled Hannah Otto throughout Sunday’s race, and took fifth behind the veteran rider by just 12 seconds. The result gives Munro a solid foundation to continue building on until the World Cup opener in Nové Mesto from May 12-14.
“To have achieved an elite podium within a very strong US women’s field, I was excited and very motivated by the result,” Munro said after the race. “I think this showed a big step forward in my overall development and progression as a rider from last season, and the work I’ve been putting in with my coach over the CX season and the little offseason I did have.”
Munro added that “our team atmosphere felt so positive and fun all weekend.”
Amos, Gibson and Munro are all expected to be back in action when the US Cup goes to Fayetteville, Ark., in two weeks. They’ll take their good form and good vibes with them, and you can be sure progress will follow.
Want to know what the entire TFR XC squad has been up to in the offseason? Well you can read our team preview, watch our team hype video, check out our new kits and smoky paint scheme, and of course follow the squad on Instagram to see everything we do.
There is much more preseason action to come ahead of what’s going to be a densely-packed World Cup slate.