For years, everyone talked about her potential. It was always a year or two away; her first World Cup podium, her first national championship, her first win. Well, it’s here.
Kate Courtney ended two decades of disappointment for American mountain bikers on the sport’s biggest stage. The US went twenty years without a World Cup cross country win, and for the country that invented riding bikes in the dirt, it hurt. We’ve had some incredible riders and personalities and plenty to watch and root for, but at the end of the day, nothing speaks louder than standing on the top of a podium at a venue like Nove Mesto or Albstadt.
Enter Kate Courtney. Rumored to be the next next big thing, Kate was never the breakout star some cycling outlets would have you believe. Her 2018 World Championship win didn’t come out of the blue; dedicated, less dramatic followers of mountain biking always saw not just her potential, but a work ethic to match. Her win wasn’t so much revelation as it was confirmation, and that’s a confirmation she’s repeated with a consistent spring and summer on the World Cup. Wins, podiums, even a few handy wins in the short track prove she’s done everything right in 2019.
Her move to Scott-SRAM has put her in the same team as living legend Nino Schurter, perhaps the most dominant mountain biker in a generation. Being able to draw on his knowledge and support crew as played a role, but it’d be remiss to think that the information exchange didn’t go both ways. When it comes to putting in the work both on and off the bike, few can keep up with Kate. Scott has unveiled a new series, Rising, to highlight the process fans usually don’t see; before the start line and the podiums, there are hours and hours of riding and nearly equal time in the gym.
See what it takes to be a World Cup mountain biker, and more; see what it takes to be Kate Courtney.