By Sue George
Georgia Gould wants to keep her stars and stripes US national cross country championship jersey this weekend. "Defending my title is definitely a goal," said 27 year-old Gould. "This will be my third year at Mount Snow. I'm excited about racing there this year. I feel like I've improved a lot on riding technical roots and rocks and wet."
Gould started mountain biking in Idaho where she said the terrain was very different. "I used to dread the Mount Snow course because it was difficult for me." But fast forward a few years, and Gould is a more mature, experienced racer. "Racing all the World Cups has helped me gain experience on that terrain."
"The World Cups have been great as a whole package," said Gould. "The competition is more in terms of the large numbers of racers, and the courses have more difficult stuff than you find in the NORBA series [now called National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS). - ed.].
With a BA in psychology, Gould knows just how to inspire herself. "When I come up against a big challenge like the World Cups, it motivates me to rise to it. It's been beneficial for me to do them - I've enjoyed the racing and the travel, too. It's been fun." Gould has earned four top ten World Cup finishes so far in 2006, culminating most recently in a fifth place podium appearance at St. Felicien.
"Hopefully Mount Snow will be an exciting race," said Gould. "Those [nationals] are the best ones to race and watch. We have enough women riding strong domestically now."
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