Georgia Gould has been one of America’s top cross country racers for years.
This season Gould has shown superb form in the run-up to the Olympic Games in
London, notching three straight world cup podiums. In Windham, NY, she came
within sight of her first World Cup win—having lost the race due to a
heartbreaking last-lap flat.
Gould was gracious
enough to spend a few minutes in the week before Nationals to check in with
MTBRacenews about her recent World Cup success, the fires that are burning
across her home state of Colorado, and her goals for Nationals this weekend.
MTBRacenews.com: You’ve had a string of near misses on the World Cup
circuit recently. Is there anything you plan to change looking at the Olympics
and the tail end of the World Cup season, or do you just need better luck?
Georgia Gould: I think things have been going really well, I just
need some better luck.
MTBRacenews.com: Luna is clearly the strongest women’s
mountain bike team in the world right now. Do you ever plan race tactics with
Katerina and Catherine, or is it every woman for herself out there?
Georgia Gould: Every woman for herself. Obviously if we are riding
with riders on other teams we will work together, but when it comes down to it
we all want to earn our wins.
MTBRacenews.com: In road racing, people make deals mid-race, work for
team leaders, and sacrifice themselves for their team. There were a lot of
questions about whether some of those rules should have applied when Catherine
and Katerina passed you just before the line in Windham. Having had a little
time to process it, could anything have happened differently there?
Georgia Gould: I guess things COULD have gone differently, but I'm
glad they didn't. There wasn't really any way for that race to end well,
and I'm glad my teammates didn't sit up. I don't want my first World Cup win to
be handed to me by someone else.
MTBRacenews.com: On another note, fires have been raging near your
home in Colorado. How are things there?
Georgia Gould: I haven't been home in a few weeks, but I think
things have been tough. Our house is safe, but the fires have hit the community
MTBRacenews.com: It looked like you were racing on a 29er recently.
Is that true? Why did decide to switch things up?
Georgia Gould: Yes, I have been riding a 29er since Sea Otter. The
new bike has given me more confidence on downhills, and I've really been
MTBRacenews.com: What’s your plan between now and the Olympics?
Georgia Gould: Get faster.
MTBRacenews.com: How did you first get into mountain biking? Have you
always raced, or did that happen after you’d been riding for a while?
Georgia Gould: I first started riding mountain bikes when I moved to
Sun Valley Idaho for the summer in 1999. I'm pretty competitive, so it wasn't
too long before I found a race.
MTBRacenews.com: What do you see as the state of women’s mountain
bike in the US? Obviously there are some strong American women on the world cup
circuit, but do you see a generation of riders coming up behind you that’s as
Georgia Gould: I think there is some really strong talent coming up
in the women's field. US junior women had strong rides at the Windham world
cup. Several states have started high school mountain bike leagues and I think
that is going to be a great way to develop talented young riders.
MTBRacenews.com: You’ve crusaded for more women’s racing and equal
prize money for men and women. Are you seeing progress on those initiatives?
Georgia Gould: Yes, definitely. I think there is much more awareness
about this issue, and lots of race promoters are voluntarily stepping up and
offering equal prize money for men and women.
MTBRacenews.com: Are you feeling good for Nationals? What’s your goal
Georgia Gould: I have good fitness right now, and I am riding well.
My goal is to defend my national title, but I know it won't be easy. There are
plenty of strong women toeing the line on Saturday, and I wouldn't count any of