Sho-Air TWENTY20 World Cup Final Davison 7th Short Track & 8th Cross Country
Savilia Blunk finishes the season with 14th in U23
On a mission - Lea Davison
Photo: KG O'Donnell
(Boise, Idaho) September 20 2019 - The UCI World Cup Final was held in the U.S in Snowshoe, West Virginia and did not disappoint. The crowds showed up in droves and the USA women threw down in the cross country with Kate Courtney taking 5th place and winning the World Cup overall, Chloe Woodruff 6th and Lea Davison scoring an 8th place. Erin Huck is on her way back from injury and finished a stellar 12th.
One standout this season for me was the camaraderie these women mountain bike athletes display. It's very different from the road and the pack / gang mentality of 'us against them' that's a generalization of course but for the most part road racing is not particularly welcoming. These MTB women at the top of the game display support and they elevate one another. They are fierce competitors but have a genuine spirit of friendship and community and they hug a lot! - Nicola
Lea Davison Elite Report
We really wrapped up a great season with a bang! It was so incredible to have the World Cup finals take place on home soil in West Virginia. The American crowd really showed up and went ballistic for the American riders, and it was something special that I've never witnessed before in my cycling career. The entire short track and cross country courses were packed the entire way with screaming fans, and the American ladies really brought it. I had the best short track start of the season coming around the first lap in fourth place. I really threw it out there and ended up in 7th in the short track and a front row start for Sunday.
There were three American ladies on the front row for the XC. This is just amazing. I wasn't as lucky with the start on Sunday and I got off the line in the top 15, but I was determined to crack the top 10. It came down to the last half of the race and I really started cranking through the field. A fourth fastest last lap time catapulted me to eight place at the end of the day. That eighth place also help American Kate Courtney capture the World Cup overall title. In fact, as the four American ladies gathered at the finish line to congratulate Kate, the crowd recognized what a significant moment this was. An American mountain biker hadn't captured the overall title since Alison Dunlap in 2001. The crowd chanted U-S-A. It was amazing. This is a moment that doesn't happen in mountain biking. It's commonplace in football, or baseball, or soccer. But it happened. There were thousands of fans chanting for their home team...at a mountain bike race. It's one of the highlights of my career. It's also shows that things are changing. One could feel the momentum of American mountain biking in that moment. And, just wait until all of the thousands of Little Bellas we are getting on mountain bikes grow up and keep pushing the sport forward. It's an exciting time to be a female American mountain biker racing on the world cup circuit.
I am thrilled. I truly feel like all of my hard work paid off and I am back to my old self. This, of course, couldn't have happened without Team Sho-Air Twenty20 and, specifically, Scott Tedro, seeing the potential of what I could do and throwing his weight behind me. The vote of confidence from him and all of my other sponsors made a big impact on me, and it made this season a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Photo below: Manuel Uribe
Savila Blunk U23 Report
World Cup finals wrapped up on home soil in Snowshoe, West Virginia. The atmosphere in the small mountain town of Snowshoe was buzzing when we arrived from World Champs and I couldn’t wait to be in a familiar land and race in front of the American fans!
The gun fired (or in this case, the light turned from red to green), the field surged forward and I missed my pedal. I was swarmed by riders and chased from the back. I burned a few extra matches on the first lap but continued to move up into the top 15. Once there I found myself only able to push one gear all day. Despite not feeling great, I gave it everything I had on the day, which is all you can ask yourself on any day, and finished in 14th. The USA had 4 U23 and Elite Women in the top 15 of both races which was incredible to watch and be a part of!
I have been so thankful for and in awe of the amazing support all season from Sho-Air International and Scott Tedro, TWENTY20, Nicola Cranmer, Julia Violich and our partners – Violich Farms, Garneau, Felt Bicycles, Fox Suspension, Praxis, and Power2Max. It has been an incredible season and I can’t wait for what’s ahead!
Image below: Red Bull TV crew
Lea and Savilia by Brian Hodes
The U.S. Women are maintaining the second spot in the Olympic qualification rankings. The top two countries at the end of the end of the qualification period will receive the maximum number of three slots to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo while third through ninth will receive two and the remaining countries one slot.
When the team was formed in 2005, TWENTY12 had a definite goal of taking athletes to the 2012 London Olympics. London resulted in two Olympic medals; gold and silver, the only U.S based road program to achieve this. The team replicated its success with a gold and silver in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Youth cycling is an important component to the program, supporting 14 of the top juniors in the nation ranging in ages 11-18. These young women learn essential skills such as teamwork, sacrifice and commitment, which they can carry over to the workplace if a professional athletic career is not pursued. In 2011, TWENTY16 was the first American team to recruit a Para-Cycling athlete to the roster of a professional squad and is the only professional team to have an integrated junior program. After the success of TWENTY16 in Rio, the team is now focused on Tokyo 2020 with TWENTY20.