Amy Morrison Scored a Repeat Win of the U.S. National Enduro Title

She had won the title in 2019, then got to hold onto it last year without a race due to the pandemic

  • Amy poses with her bike and her 2021 Enduro National Championship gold medal.   Photo by Matt Jones

I learned that trying to defend a National title is more stressful than winning it the first time. After winning in 2019 and having a freebie Covid year of the title in 2020, I was excited to get the 2021 Nationals rolling to show that I was deserving of the sleeve the last two years.

I KNOW MY RIDING HAS BEEN GETTING BETTER EVERY YEAR AND I FELT VERY CONFIDENT THIS RACE WAS ONE I COULD WIN.

Nationals returned to Winter Park, Colorado. Trestle Park, where we were racing, has high elevation (10,000+ feet), fast, loose, and rocky trails that I love to ride. When USA Cycling released the course there was a sigh of relief, the race had four stages that covered all aspects of enduro.

Stage 1 was twisty with a lot of corners with some rocks into an all-out, slightly uphill sprint then into a rocky trail that could claim a lot of wheels.
Stage 2 was a 6-minute pump track downhill! Super fast, scrubbing or pre-jumping tables and rollers, or doubling a few 🙂
Stage 3 took place outside of the park and had a backcountry feel. Narrow trail, loose and flat corners, and lots of places to clip a pedal on rocks or old tree stumps.
Stage 4 was a rowdy finale down the Pro DH course, Trestle. Big compressions, multiple rock gardens, and a few fresh-cut sections.

 

Amy Morrison, on her way to the Enduro National title. Photo by Matt Jones


USAC scheduled multiple days of practice, so I strategically planned for two practice days, a rest day, a final run-through on Friday, and race day Saturday. Racing started early on Saturday (7:45am drop into stage 1). I had my earliest set alarm since being back in school teaching at 5:45am. I woke up before my alarm in anticipation! I ate a light breakfast and got to the venue to begin a 20-minute warm-up pedal. I knew stage 1 had the most physical sprint and dropping in right off a gondola ride at elevation would be painful, but a good warm-up would help.

I felt strong on 1 and my mindset was not to go crazy, but try to get a lead early on in the race so I could go into 4, the most technical stage without feeling like I needed to push it. I was 1st on stage 1 by 9 seconds. Stage 2 was another good stage for me. While there was not much pedaling, the constant pumping and jumping was surprisingly tiring. I managed to put another 10 seconds into second place. Stage 3 my legs felt dead and I didn’t feel fast. However, most of the racers felt the same way and I took the stage win by a second. It was a tricky track to carry speed and I was cautious to not clip a pedal or get off the line. I was able to check live-timing going into stage 4 and knew I had a 30+ second lead overall. There was some time to play with and it was only my race to lose at this point. I dropped into the stage confident but reserved. I took 2nd place on that stage by a couple of seconds and clinched the overall win by 30 seconds!

 

Photo by Matt Jones


“The relief that came in knowing I won was awesome. I know my riding has been getting better every year and I felt very confident this race was one I could win. After a very rough race at China Peak battling a cold and newly broken finger after struggling with crashes at Silver Mountain for two-2nd place finishes, I wanted to piece together the riding I know I am capable of on the National stage. It is awesome to see the progression of the field, as well as my riding and bikes at Fuji. In 2019 I raced the Fuji Auric LT (27.5), last season I raced the Auric LT as a mullet, and this year the Rakan LT (29) was the bike of choice. The bikes and I keep getting better!”

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