Date of Birth: 22/05/1998
Education: Furman University
6th at U19 Road National Championships ('21)
Age started riding bikes: 5
Age started racing bikes: 9
Previous teams (club/collegiate count): Dornier Racing, ONTO Cycling
Rider type: All rounder
Strengths: Long road races, TTs, stage races
Area most eager to improve: Sprinting
Biggest on the bike accomplishment to date: Top 25 at Paris Roubaix Juniors, 6th at U19 Road National Championships
What or who inspired you to start riding?
My father rode mountain bikes in college, so I started riding mountain bikes for fun at a young age. I grew up watching the Pro Road National Championships in my hometown of Greenville for 7 years. I meet a few pros and they inspired me to ride up Paris Mountain, the local climb that was part of the National’s course. I eagerly started racing a year later and fell in love with training on the mountain roads around Greenville.
What’s your biggest goal for the season?
My biggest goal this season is to expand my experience and results racing in Europe and the US. I’d love to stand on a Euro podium or two this season as well as help my teammates to do the same!
Where is your favorite place to train and why?
My favorite place to train is in the Blueridge mountains of the Carolinas. The views from the tops of the mountains, the quiet gravel roads tucked in the valleys, and the winding descents make for some of the most diverse and exciting rides. The fall colors make this an even better place to train and explore in the base season.
What’s one lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way and/or beginner mistake you made and now laugh about?
One time I climbed a local mountain with my dad in the winter, we were warm on the way up, but at the top it was freezing. We brought latex gloves to put over our cycling gloves for the way down, however, this did little to nothing. Our hands felt frozen, so we ended up stopping 3 times to blow warm air into our gloves. Lesson learned, always dress for the coldest part of the ride, or bring enough layers to cover up.
What has been the biggest adventure you’ve had on a bike to date?
There have been too many to count, which is what keeps me coming back for more. This summer I embarked on a routine mountain bike ride in Colorado, but my sense of adventure quickly took me off the beaten path and I found myself riding through backcountry trails with warning signs of death. After a few hours of being somewhat lost, I ended up climbing a mountain road and stumbling upon a glacier at 12,000 ft. I promptly took my bike on the snow so I could say I rode on snow in the middle of July. While riding down the mountain, a gnarly rock slashed my tire, so I ended up rolling a precarious tire all the way back down. It was a fun day, and one that I’ll always remember!
What race are you most looking forward to this year and why?
I’m not sure about our exact race schedule yet, but I’m really excited for the European race block as well as Pro Road National Championships. I grew up watching Pro Nats, so to compete in that race would be pretty rad!
What is your dream race to win and why?
I would love to win Paris Roubaix or some of the other classics. I grew up watching these races on TV and was always in awe by the sheer grit and strength put on display by those who competed for the top step. I think my riding style is well suited to the classics as well as my training. I enjoy pushing the limits of a road bike, so racing Roubaix and other cobbled classic would feel right at home.
Which pro rider would you love to have as a teammate?
I know he’s recently retired, but I would love to have Brent Bookwalter as a teammate. He has always struck me as such a humble and genuine dude, while also being a savage on the bike. I’ve had the pleasure of learning a few things from him already, and think I could learn a lot more from his many years of experience.