Georgia Gould smiles through anything: even after a first lap pile-up at Worlds. © Nathan Hofferber

Georgia Gould smiles through anything: even after a first lap pile-up at Worlds back in 2013. © Nathan Hofferber

Georgia Gould took last season off from ’cross—and was sorely missed—but came back strong to take fifth at Nationals. Now, she’s been having a great MTB season, most recently taking second at the US Pro XC race in Colorado. We caught up with her just weeks before US Nationals to find out how she’s feeling, and what’s in store for ’cross season.

Cyclocross Magazine: You’ve been having a great MTB season so far—are you where you want to be at this point in the season?

Georgia Gould: Not really. I was really hoping to be back on the World Cup podium this year. My World Cups haven’t really been that great. Last weekend at the US Cup finals, I was finally where I wanted to be—racing at the front.

CXM: You and your teammates typically dominate the front of the XC races—is it hard racing teammates, or do you get to work together?

GG: It’s great having teammates in the race. Usually XC isn’t very tactical, but it can be. My teammates are some of the best riders in the world, but we are able to leave the racing out on the race course. I can count on them to race hard and make me earn it!

CXM: Will we see you at MTB Nationals? Goals for the weekend?

GG: MTB nats? of course! That is always a big focus of my season. Wearing the stars and stripes is a huge honor. My goal is to win.

CXM: Windham is a World Cup again—will we see you out and seeking revenge on the course?

GG: Yes, I will be at Windham. Getting to race a World Cup in your home country is awesome, and I will be doing everything I can to have a great race there.

CXM: Do you think your break during last ’cross season really helped you come back stronger this season?

GG: Yes. I was so mentally and physically exhausted at the end of last season, there wasn’t any point in doing any more races… It would have just been sad.

CXM: Would you do the same again this year, or are you hoping to be back on the ’cross circuit?

GG: I’m not making any huge plans yet. Since MTB is my focus, I really need to see how I am feeling at the end of the season, but I’m sure you will see me at a few more races this fall. I love ’cross.

CXM:  Luna has arguably the biggest, strongest, best supported off-road women’s team—do you see women’s MTB or ’cross growing in the rest of the pro ranks?

GG: Yes. I think you are seeing more teams adding riders (Cal-Giant, Optum, Stan’s NoTubes) and also more women coming over from Europe to take advantage of the amazing women’s racing we have here in the US. Outside of the World Cup, the US women’s ’cross scene is the most competitive in the world and it continues to grow every year.