Georgia Gould (Luna) won't have time to get bored during the off-season. For her, it is only eight days long. The Luna rider just wrapped up her last major mountain bike race of the season at the world championships in Saalfelden, Austria last weekend. Next week, she will race 'Cross Vegas at Interbike.
For Gould, it's been an amazing mountain bike season, which culminated with winning bronze medals at both the Olympic Games in London and at the world championships.
"It feels good (to get both bronzes). I knew my form was pretty good after the Olympics," said Gould to Cyclingnews after finishing third at the Worlds. "I went home and immediately got sick, so I didn't have the ideal preparation for this race. Even though it seemed like I had three weeks at home, it felt like a lot of travel in the past month. I'm satisfied with a medal and I'm pleased with the end of my season."
2012 was a year when Gould stepped up into the role of podium regular.
She is still chasing her first Worlds or World Cup victory, but is well on her way if this season is any indication. "Right now women's racing internationally is so competitive. Obviously you want to win the race, but there are so many tough women," she said.
She noted also the quality of the American women who've been racing mountain bikes in recent years. The now retired Willow Rockwell and Gould have won three cross country bronze medals at Worlds in the past four years. "American women pretty much kick ass - what can I say?" joked Gould to Cyclingnews at the press conference following the mountain bike Worlds.
"This year was the year when the work my coach and I refined paid off - we really dialled it in and figured it out," she said. "We figured out what my ideal pre-race looked like. Every year, you tweak your training a little as you figure out what works and what doesn't. I think it all paid off. There's no secret."
Gould's Olympic team spot chase began with competitions in March. She's been on the go ever since, and there's not much time before her 'cross season.
She's motivated, however, by the thought of 'cross Worlds happening on US soil early in 2013. "This is the first year that Worlds are outside of Europe and in the US, and I'd like to be a part of that. It's a historic thing. I'm not committing for sure, but if I can manage it..."
"I'm going to race all the USGPs. The US 'cross season supports women's cycling, and I'd like to support them. The North American women's field is strong right now and it makes the racing exciting."
The 2013 World Cup season will likely start one or even two months later than in 2013. That means Gould could get more of a break between 'cross and the next mountain bike season.
"If next season stays the way it is for mountain biking (schedule-wise), it could be perfect to take a break after 'cross," she said, thinking ahead.
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.