Interview with Specialized Racer Lea Davison
absent from the start line of this spring's major mountain bike races
has been defending US National Champion Lea Davison. The Specialized
rider was slowed by a hip injury this winter and has been unable to
compete at all thus far in 2014.
recently took a few minutes to check in with MTBRacenews about her
hip injury, her goals for the season, and what's new with her Little
MTBRacenews.com: Can you tell us a little about the injury that's kept you out of
competition this spring?
Davison: I was spending time on Kauai this offseason, and,
suddenly, my right hip starting hurting. It was a pain that was
similar to when I tore my labrum in my left hip so I was really
worried. I flew back to Vermont Orthopeadic Clinic immediately, and
the MRI revealed that I had torn my labrum. Doctor Lighthart,
same doctor that did the labral repair on my left hip, fixed my right
hip in late January. I've been working hard rehabbing and
recovering under the direction of my athletic training and strength
coach, Bill Knowles with HP Sports. He has a progressive
approach and we are working to come back for the second half of the
MTBRacenews.com: What's the game plan with it going forward?
Davison: I want to be prepared for and racing the Catamount
Classic ProXCT Finals, the North American World Cups, and the World
Championships. I am gradually notching up my riding time and
strength. My entire plan is very calculated.
MTBRacenews.com: What are your race goals for the second half of the year?
Davison: To be racing those races that I said in the previous
question, and, simply, to do the best that I can under the given
circumstances. I'm working really hard, but it's hard to really
put specific result goals.
MTBRacenews.com: It seems like you've stayed pretty busy with your Little Bellas
program though. Can you tell us about the Sea Otter camp you just
Davison: Our recent Sea Otter Classic Little Bellas camp was our
most successful yet. Over the course of the weekend, we got
sixty girls on bikes, and everyone had so much fun. Sea Otter
just keeps growing and expanding every year.
MTBRacenews.com: Any new programs planned for Little Bellas this year?
Davison: This is a big year for the Little Bellas. We went
national with our camp format four years ago. This year, we are
laying down roots where our national camps have had the most success.
We are starting a program, Little Bellas Sunday Sessions, in Salinas,
CA to coincide with our Sea Otter Camp. We are also collaborating
with the Amy D Foundation to start a chapter in our good friend Amy
Dombroski's honor in Boulder, CO. The Amy D Little Bellas
chapter will springboard off of the success of our national camp at
the Beti Bike Bash in Denver, CO. We have identified our regional
coordinators in these areas and are training our new mentors. Today
marks our third session in Salinas, CA and is also the start of our
first Amy D session in Boulder, CO. Luckily, I am in Santa Cruz so
I've been able to spend a lot of great time with our Salinas chapter.
My sister and program director, Sabra, is in Boulder, CO. Little
Bellas is all over the map.
MTBRacenews.com: I've heard you've also been active with the North American
Women's Mountain Bike Coalition. How do you see that fitting into the
bigger goal of expanding women's participation inmountain
biking (and racing)?
Davison: I think it's fantastic that Georgia Gould started this
coalition. We are both on the same page in terms of promoting
women's cycling and growing the sport as much as possible. To
grow the women's numbers, it really takes effort from all
stakeholders; industry, teams, riders, governing bodies, and race
promoters. This coalition is a great place to take responsibility as
female riders. We are identifying the main obstacles for women
to race, and we are overcoming some of the barriers by communicating
through this venue. We are doing our part and showing up to the races
that promote equality through prize money.
MTBRacenews.com: You're involved with USAC and a rider rep, and I know you made it
to some of the US Cup PRO XCT's this spring (Mellow Johnny's,
Fontanda, and Bonelli). How big were those races for American
mountain biking? Where do you see things going from here?
Davison: Sho Air Cycling and Scott Tedro in collaboration with
USA Cycling have really brought U.S mountain biking to the next
level. The equal prize money combined with the live coverage
really is creating a high level of racing. There were twice as many
pro women on the start line at Fontana compared to last year's ProXCT
there. There were international and very competitive fields. It just
proves that 'if you build it, they will come'. I hope to see this
spring series grow as a must for every world cup rider to prepare for
the upcoming season. I really think it has great potential to become
the new Cyprus Cup, which is a race a lot of european racers use as
early season training. I can't say enough great things about what
Tedro is doing for american mountain bike racing.
MTBRacenews.com: Are you psyched to have another woman, Kate Courtney, on the team
Davison: I am absolutely thrilled. She is very talented, and we
really get along well. It's going to be a really fun season with
MTBRacenews.com: Just have to ask, did you get to take advantage of any of the
epic snow storms that rolled through Vermont this winter?
Davison: Unfortunately, I did not because they rolled through
after I had hip surgery. I did get to crutch through the epic snow
storms, but, it turns out, that's not as fun as skiing.