Rider Reactions: Trek CX Cup

Photo by Jeff Curtes / @jeffcurtes

Kaitlin Keough – Friday: 7th; Sunday: 2nd

It feels really exciting and special to be able to race a World Cup in my home state of Wisconsin, let alone be on the podium in second place behind Sanne Cant. It was so much fun to race an event of this caliber in front of all my family and friends. World Cup podiums will always a big deal to me but this one was extra special because it was in Wisconsin. Racing in my home state definitely provided some extra motivation! All of the cheering really carried me through the race and it was such an awesome environment! Big thanks to Trek for making this weekend a reality and an even bigger thanks for the equal prize money!

I’ve worked extremely hard over the off season to hopefully make a jump up to the next level this year. I’m really having a lot of fun racing my bike and I enjoy the training as well. Our team dynamic is so strong and so positive and that helps a lot too. This is where I worked hard to be so I’m excited with how everything is going so far.

Life is too short to be so serious and I’ve lightened up a lot from last year to this year. My husband, Luke, and his brother, Jake, are coaching me now and that has been so much fun for me. It’s super low stress and not so much pressure which is a big positive. Tim Johnson told me a few years ago that if I stop trying to steer the plane so much I will fly a lot better and I think I’ve finally figured that out.

I understand that every race can’t be a great one. In sport, there are off days and sometimes mechanicals. Friday was a mechanical for me and it was great practice for making the best of the situation I was currently in and I’m proud of myself for clawing my way back to seventh. It was also a great opener for the World Cup on Sunday!

Photo by Jeff Curtes / @jeffcurtes

Emma White – Sunday: 8th / 1st – U23

I’m really happy with my race this weekend. After the start, I was pretty far back and all the traffic was a bit sketchy. There were crashes and clouds of dust that made it difficult to see. After the first lap, I really buckled down and started moving up. I’ve really been working in this “passing people and moving forward” thing so I had a lot to be happy for to move from 20th(ish) to 8th.

I knew I was carrying some pretty good fitness over from my road season. I wanted to start the season off strong before I take a bit of a break mid-season. There are a lot of pieces that need to come together for success at weekends like these and I’m thrilled to see them happening.

It’s such an honor to be able to take the U23 leader’s jersey again. Wearing the white skin suit during the race was a constant reminder to keep pushing. It’s special because this is only the second year there is a U23 category in the World Cup series and it’s always been a dream to race at this level. I’m finally here and it’s a fun competition within the big competition! The overall competition is definitely the big goal when I’m out there racing. Last weekend in Iowa City I missed the top 10 by one spot. So going into this weekend, I wanted to improve that. The U23 competition is icing on the cake!

Truthfully, whenever I find myself in an airport really late at night or early in the morning because of being able to make class and a World Cup, I can’t help but think how lucky I am! For me, it’s the perfect balance and I’m really loving both. Of course I would love to race the Friday races, but I’m definitely not missing out of them for a physical advantage.

I definitely don’t think I’m giving myself an advantage by having this schedule. It works for me, but some people may argue the extra travel is demanding. We (Curtis and I) certainly aren’t taking this time to relax – we get back to school and scramble to catch up and get on top of things again before we leave town. It’s nice being home in between two big weekends like the last two for meals, motor pacing, and my own bed!

Photo by Jeff Curtes / @jeffcurtes

CurtisWhite – Sunday: 37th

Honestly, it’s been a rocky start to the season. This past weekend in Waterloo was definitely a step in the right direction. I was caught up in a couple crashes in the first lap chaos, which set me back a bit. But I was able to chase back some and ride constantly throughout the hour. Physically, things are headed in the right direction. I’m not where I feel like I should be or where I’m capable of being, but I’m confident in the process and I hope to be at the sharp end of the race this weekend in Thompson!