Date of birth: 06/30/2003
Education: US Performance Academy (High School Senior)
9th National Championships United States MJ - Road Race ('21)
Age started riding bikes: 7
Age started racing bikes: 15
Previous teams (club/collegiate count): Onto p/b Hincapie, Velobrew Racing
Rider type: Not sure yet
Strengths: Short punchy climbing, Sprinting, Strategy, Long Breakaways, Hard Races
Biggest on the bike accomplishment to date:
Winning the Valley of the Sun Junior Men’s Road Race was my biggest accomplishment as a junior.
What or who inspired you to start riding?
My friends are the reason I started racing. When I was 14, a few of my friends got road bikes. Not wanting to be left out, I got one too. A local club team saw us out riding, and asked us to come out to the local training crit. We came, we lost, and we loved it. From there I never stopped racing and was constantly bent on getting better.
What’s your biggest goal for the season?
My biggest goal for the season is to get acquainted to European racing. I’ve never left the US to race, so the coming year might be a big shift. I want to be comfortable in bigger and faster fields on narrower roads, adaptable to the different diet, and capable of handling the chaos to a point where I’m actually putting myself in positions to be fighting for the win.
Where is your favorite place to train and why?
The Greenville area is my favorite place to train. It has everything; from crosswinds group rides to big mountains, Greenville has it all. North of town are the climbs; from the winding switchbacks up Green River Cove to the straight and steep Sassafras, the variety in climb options keeps every ride unique. South of town is Donaldson center, home of Tuesday Night Wolds and big crosswinds. Greenville has anything I want to do, and consequently is my favorite place to train.
What’s one lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way and/or beginner mistake you made and now laugh about?
Traffic cones are not to be trifled with. Sure, they may seem innocent as you weave across lines of them, but they will remorselessly take you out if you don’t give enough space. As a 15 year old, I had no clue of the danger. I wouldn’t think twice about following the person in front of me across a line of them. The first crash was comical, I was laughing while flipping over the bar. I blamed the cone and didn’t learn my lesson. A few weeks later, I followed another person weaving through cones in a race. Sitting there on the ground, I understood the true danger and wanton destruction these cones sought. I learned the hard way that cones are merciless and should be given a wide berth.
What has been the biggest adventure you’ve had on a bike to date?
Onto team camp in 2019 was my biggest adventure on the bike. Almost all the roads were new to me, and the days were big. The second day in particular was an epic ride; 7 hours of relentless climbing. I was at my limit and completely dead after, but I look back on it fondly. It was a big adventure I am really am glad I had.
What race are you most looking forward to this year and why?
The South Aegean tour. It is going to be my first time leaving the country for a race, and I’m incredibly excited for it. It’s also involving island hopping around southern Greece. People visit Greece just for the beauty of the islands, so getting the opportunity to go somewhere that cool is something I’m really excited about and grateful for.
What is your dream race to win and why?
The Baby Giro. No, it isn’t as long or prestigious as a grand tour or nations cup race like l’Avenir. What it brings, however, is some of the hardest racing in the world and complete chaos. There are dozens of teams and only 10 stages. Not everyone can win, so every day is full gas. That high team count, and particularly the low team size also makes the race impossible to control. It’s not like a world tour race where one team sits on the front all day; the race can explode at any minute so there is no relaxing. To win there requires more than physical prowess; it takes being able to handle the pressure, navigate the chaos, and find a path to victory. Aspiring to win this race isn’t dreaming of glory; it’s aspiring to develop the qualities to overcome the extreme and unique challenges of the race.
Which pro rider would you love to have as a teammate?
I’d love to be teammates with Mark Cavendish. He has so much experience and could really guide a team. He also seems like a funny and down to earth rider, which would make him more fun to be teammates with. Lastly, he is someone who has come back from adversity and injury to be back on the top, and that ability is inspiring and something I’d love to learn more about.