Over the next few days we’re sharing some of what we thought were the more memorable moments from the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships. These people and events struck us as having an impact on the event. You can see all of our memorable moments here. Today, we’re looking at Georgia Gould.
She was everywhere.
Gould immersed herself in the 2016 Cyclocross National Championship experience and the event itself, participating in nearly every race, on one side of the tape or another, in some form or another, that she was eligible for or could. It was heartening to see a pro rider take such interest and time in the event and to make the effort to give back to the sport in ways that few others do.
Gould was on hand for the second day of championship racing, the Women Masters day, as a race announcer. And she did it for every single race that day. Every one. Countless racers finished up that day and exclaimed, “Georgia Gould heckled me!” She shouted encouragement over the loudspeakers, and even talked a bit of trash, telling the Masters 35-39 women they were lucky she wasn’t lining up with them.
Gould wasn’t just at the race venue. She also served as the judge for the first annual Mechanics’ National Championship on Friday of Nationals week out at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, joining in the revelry and goading on the participants.
Of course, Gould was on the race course as a competitor as well. She raced the mixed-team relay, finishing with the Clif Bar squad that won the event. And she was the last person to throw an attack at Katie Compton in the Women’s Elite race, holding the wheel of the eventual winner until late and taking a fine silver medal. In our internal poll, she was among the top three in one editor’s race predictions for the Elite Women’s race. “She’ll be fueled by the stoke of being so involved in the whole event,” he said, a prediction that held true.
It’s not that there’s no access to pro riders in cyclocross. Quite the opposite in fact, something we as fans are happy about. It’s that Gould went above and beyond.
In an era when riders are more specialized than ever, and more attendant to their individual schedules in effort to eek out every performance advantage, seeing Gould out on her feet, heavily involved by spectating, announcing and participating at all the races and events, deserves recognition and appreciation.
After the week she gave the cyclocross community, on Sunday, it was time for the community to give back. The fans, with raucous cheers and encouragement, helped in their little way to return the favor, pushing Gould to a silver medal-winning ride.
However, if the 2016 National Championships week was the Tour de France, Gould would unquestionably be the yellow jersey winner.
We’ll just call her Cyclocross Magazine’s 2016 Nationals MVP.