Olivia Lawson is from Southern California, but a month ago, she was a Montana girl at the 2019 Women’s Montana Cross Camp.
That Lawson is into cycling is not really surprising. Her father started racing seriously in college and was a competitive racer in the 1980s and 1990s. And when Lawson was born, she already had a bike waiting for her.
“My grandfather got me a red tricycle before I was born that was *this* big. I couldn’t even ride it because my feet couldn’t even touch the ground,” Lawson said. “There’s a picture of my dad holding me over it. I couldn’t hold my head up either. It was like the cutest picture, and that was my first bike.”
Although she grew up around road racing, Lawson has long gravitated toward cyclocross since her days of doing the kiddie races. “I’ve always loved cyclocross,” she said. “In cyclocross, it’s safe and the people are loopy and fun. I don’t think I could be a serious road racer.”
The 2019 camp was Lawson’s first. Like many campers, she had heard about what was in store during the intense, five-day mid-summer training camp. Despite her best prep, the amount of running was still a bit of a shock for the SoCal native. “Oh, I’ve been running to prepare for this. I just need to get faster,” she admitted when talking about the toughest part of the camp.
Thus far in our Montana Cross Camp interviews, we have heard from Wout van Aert fans and Mathieu van der Poel fans, but Lawson looks to a former pro for inspiration, thanks in part to an important life lesson she received from her as a young Junior.
“I’m partial to Rachel Lloyd,” Lawson said. “She’s laid-back about her racing and serious as well. I think I’m also partial to her because she taught me how to stand on the podium.”
I sat down to chat with Lawson at Montana Cross Camp. You can listen to our entire conversation in the video below.