Nationals was one for the books this year. The mud was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Since I am a Louisville native I figured there would be plenty of rain, but nothing like what occurred over the course of 3 days. I had been planning and preparing for this race for more than a year. Once the nationals venue was selected I couldn’t wait to compete in my hometown. I had very high hopes for the week of racing. I raced my collegiate race earlier in the week and ended up with a solid 7th place out of 44. The course was a tiny bit slick for the Collegiate Varsity women. I was excited that I had the opportunity to take the course at speed and practice the technical bits. Come Sunday I thought for sure I was ready to tackle what the day had to offer. I took a pre-ride lap early Sunday morning. At speed the course was sketchy, slippery, and bogged down. The mud was thicker than any other course I have ever ridden, far worse than when nationals were held in Austin, TX. When I got to the start line with a fresh bike, I cleared my head, and knew who I had to race my heart out for… Amy and the Amy D. crew! On the first lap I knew how crucial it would be to get to the front. After slipping my way into the top 5 when I took the muddy descent I couldn’t stay upright. I slipped my way back into 7th and held the position the rest of the race. I ended up 7th out of 40. I fell out of worlds contention having needed to most likely have gotten top 5. The crazy thing is this season has been one of my best ones yet, and with the help of my Amy D family, I’ve gotten farther than I’ve ever thought possible. For those of you that say it takes years to get better at something you’ve done for forever, I’m not sure you are correct. If you have the right support physically, mentally, on and off the bike, and in the pits, your ability to succeed increases day by day. This is the last race recap for the season, but I’ll be riding in the blue and orange kit for a lifetime. Amy reminds us to fight hard for what we dream of doing. When the time comes for a new rider to be selected for this foundation, I will gracefully, with a smile on my face, pass down the torch Becca and many others have given to me. I am so grateful for Steve, Mo, Jason, Dan, and many more for all the opportunities they have given me. For the rest of my racing career I will do my very best at simulating the life Amy led. The past couple years have shown me just how truly wonderful and impactful she was, and learning the world of bikes from her very dearest friends (Mo Bruno Roy) is a great honor in itself. For now I will continue to train hard through the winter and see where the next step in life (post college) takes me. If this team teaches you one thing it’s that you should always #ridelikeamyd !