American Deidre York (Gear Movement Pro Cycling Team) will make her debut in U23 World Cup racing this weekend in Val di Sole, Italy.
Last year's runner-up at the US national championships, York is no stranger to international competition. "I raced on this course as a junior in 2008. If it's anything like it was, I'm looking forward to the short, steep climbs and nasty technical descents. If it rains, it's going to be crazy."
The 22-year-old finished 19th at last year's U23 world championship cross country race in Austria, and she logged a seventh place among the elite women at the Ute Valley Pro XCT in Colorado Springs almost a year ago.
Recently graduated from CU College, where she earned a speech, language and hearing sciences degree, York has more experience than most women in her class. "I started racing at an early age and just fell in love with bikes, it was fun for me. I enjoy the travel and getting to ride and race in new places."
"I'm supported well from my Gear Movement team. When I get the chance to race with the national team, it's a genuine honor. I raced a lot of collegiate stuff before turning pro in 2010 and was border line burned out by age 19. I currently have no big ambitions to be on a larger team; besides I love my teammates and that the team is based here in Boulder."
After starting racing at age nine, York missed out on a lot of typical teenage activities. So for now, she is concentrating on having fun.
At the Val di Sole World Cup, York is aiming for a top 15. The technical challenges - both natural and man-made - of the course are well suited for her skill set. "I prefer the natural terrain over the man-made stuff, but the crowds will go nuts in those tech section so it's really still a lot of fun."
One of her favorite courses is the Missoula Pro XCT, with its fun and flowing trails, varying technical climbs and descents along with its now infamous five-foot "A-Line" gap drop that many racers won't attempt.
"I was one of three girls doing it!" she said, obviously comfortable in the air and letting it rip on the descents.
When not racing her bike, York works as a receptionist at the Saint Julian Hotel in Boulder. She is hoping to get to race the U23 world championships in South Africa later this season.