Grand Junction Off-Road

As I packed up my bike last week to ship it via Bike Flights to Grand Junction, Colorado in preparation for the Grand Junction Off-Road, I was excited to be returning to this venue for my second consecutive year. In addition to the excitement, I had also been plagued by a head cold that had me lying pretty low, and I was feeling a bit hesitant about the race hoping my body would hold up and come around in time.

Before leaving home and family for an extended race weekend, I always have a list of items to accomplish; consisting of grocery shopping and preparing food for my hard working man and daughter, ensuring he and Layla have nutritious options at their finger tips. Before this trip, Layla helped me make the most delicious Double chocolate Brownies and a simple Pizza Rice Casserole. The other important task is lining up child care for Layla. I was fortunate to have my mom and a trusty babysitter available while Nelson was working.

By the time I left town, I was encouraged to be feeling much better. Having the company of Courtenay McFadden on my flight into Grand Junction laid the president that we were basically inseparable all weekend. I was impacted this weekend by the group of ladies who raced. It has become a tight knit group of women who encourage each other, laugh together, share pain and struggle, as well as victory. I am grateful for each of these women and for the unique bond that has been created between us.

Seven awesome women pre-ride the course together. Left to right: Tizzy D., Courtenay M., Serena B., me, Rebecca G., Sofia G., and Amy B.

Team race preparation for Kenny, Tizzy, and I, meant pre-riding the more technical sections of the course, making sure bikes were dialed and talking some race strategy (Thanks to Kenny), and rest. As I warmed up for the fat tire crit on Friday evening, my body felt good for the first time since being sick. This flat, power course meant staying patient and not doing all the work. The lap preceding the last lap was a preem lap, of which Katie Compton put in a tough effort to win. I lead out the last lap, trying to keep the separation without blowing up to early. I knew Katie was on my wheel, she passed with a quarter lap left, and I jumped on her wheel. Rounding the last corner she went wide, I stayed on the inside which gave me a wide open lane to sprint for the line, but Katie made the win by a fraction of an inch. Fun race which left me encouraged and ready for the long backcountry race on Sunday.

Sunday’s race started with a more casual roll out of town, which quickly heated up as we neared the single track. The air was dry and cool with a nice breeze. Our group of nearly 30 women funneled into the rocky dessert trail. I lead, and as the race continued a gap formed, which left me racing at the lead but alone for nearly the duration of the race. The toughest part, mentally and physically, was the long Windmill Road climb, a seven mile climb that was rough and steep in sections. As Kenny and I talked about, this race was more about keeping it smooth and steady; doing my best to avoid crashes or flat tires on the sharp rocks, and making that road climb count. The trails in Grand Junction are engaging and challenging. The rocky technical terrain is super fun, but also is such a full body mountain bike race. I came home with sore muscles that only get sore in Grand Junction.

Backcountry Racing, Photo: Dave McElwaine

Equipment selection for this race is vitally important, and my Pivot Mach 429, Stan’s Valor Carbon Wheels, and Maxxis Ikon EXO tires completed the perfect combination for a smooth race. I feel blessed to be riding equipment that compliments and improves my bike handling and makes us a fast team.

Such a team effort to get that top step. I’m so grateful for equal pay out!

I’m so proud of Tizzie who raced her heart out and loved every second as much as I did. I’m also very proud of Kenny for taking the top step in the 30mile on Saturday.

Tizzy and I celebrate finishing such a challenging race

It’s always good to be home to get a little breather. Next up…Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals in Columbia County, Georgia.

One picture from my life at home

We missed Chloe last weekend in Grand Junction. She successfully accomplished her job in Albstadt, Germany where she rode to 22nd place in World Cup #2. Chloe is currently gearing up for WC #3 in La Bresse, France this weekend. Watch LIVE on Red Bull TV. Chloe is quickly earning her starting spot in Rio.




13th Annual Whiskey Off-Road

Epic Rides Whiskey 50 weekend is over. Just like that the races continue to fly by, but not without uncontrollable emotion, horrifyingly close calls, lessons learned, and the fulfillment from another job completed to the best of my ability.

I found it harder to leave home, feeling like I had just barely gotten home after Sea Otter, and leaving Layla again so soon was a bit more difficult. I prepared her in advance that I was leaving again. I’m so proud of her, she is such a trooper! And many thanks to my mom for filling in the gaps while away on this trip.

I had Thursday to pre-ride with TJ and shake out the travel. This was my first weekend with my sweet new Fox 32 Step-Cast fork on my Pivot Les 29. It had a little different feel, it’s amazing how well it performs it’s job….awesome….stiff, yet smooth! I’m realizing that my bike handling is improving with these advances in equipment!

It is really special to have many of our team sponsors, support the Epic Rides events as well, and to have these people in town for the event – Stan’s NoTubes, Pivot Cycles, Maxxis, Shimano, and Bike Flights. Team Stan’s – Pivot also had an addition for the weekend, Tiziana DeHorney. Tiziana is a young rider from New Mexico who’s personality is sweet, her smile is radiant, and she is brave and strong. Whiskey 2016 was Tiziana’s first pro race.

The racing started on Friday evening with Fat Tire Crit which looped through downtown Prescott. The air was cool, but it stayed dry for the fast paced 30 minute sprint. Chloe and I went out hard. Not long into the race, I attacked the short steep climb, which created separation that left Chloe a couple bike lengths back, and Evelyn on my wheel. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do at that point, except that I hoped Evelyn needed some recovery as much as I did, which she didn’t. She attacked hard again on the same hill on the next lap and created significant separation between the two of us. I was feeling gassed and sat up to join with Chloe so we could work together to catch Evelyn.

Chloe and I experienced a horrifyingly close call during this part of the race. As we turned a corner descending at a fast pace, a pedestrian appeared from nowhere right in front of us. He responded when Chloe yelled at him, by turning back into my line of traffic. I screamed, and locked up my brakes. I think Chloe ended up going around him on one side and me on the other; one way or another we were protected by angles wings at that moment. We were both pretty shaken and it took a few moments to find a rhythm again. Evelyn road an amazing race and kept her lead while Chloe and I rolled in 2nd and 3rd.

Toward the beginning of the Fat Tire Crit. Photo: Les Stukenberg

Saturday was a day of rest. Coffee with friends, cheering on Kenny (who landed on the podium in 2nd) and the participants of Saturday’s races, a little spin, and a big spaghetti dinner homemade by Andrea Matter (Thanks Andrea!).

Up early on race morning, to make sure I eat my hearty breakfast of eggs, cheese, and avocado on toast with enough time to digest before our 8:40am start. Chloe and I knew today would be a good opportunity to work together to our advantage. We were able to control the race from the start. The two of us, along with Maghalie Rochette, Luna Pro Team, formed the lead group as we completed the first section of single track. It was really helpful to have Chloe lead for realistic pace setting and to have her to follow on the descents.

Nearing the top of Copper Basin Road, Photo: Dave McElwaine

We were steady, and the race was playing out smoothly. We started the Skull Valley climb (a 12 mile dirt road climb) with a comfortable gap of over 2 minutes from chasing Larissa Connors and Evelyn Dong. We were working well together staying within as Chloe continued to set the pace, that is, until Evelyn closed the gap; then the three of us turned into four. It wasn’t long before Evelyn turned it up again, and shook-up our well-controlled race. She put a 30 second gap on us as we chased, and soon we were all spread out with Evelyn leading, me chasing hard, and gaps forming behind me as we neared the top of the long road climb.

Focused effort chasing after Evelyn near the top of the Skull Valley Rd climb,                   Photo: Kathy Thomas
Photo: Bill Freeman

As we entered the final, fast, long, single track descent, Evelyn was still nowhere to be seen; but I went into my best descending mode and soon felt my rhythm with the trail and the bike as I pushed hard. I caught Evelyn and passed with a solid portion of descending left, as well as Cramp Hill (which again my inner thighs seized badly). I never let up or looked back. Once on the pavement that descended back into town and the finish, I followed the police escort and spinned as fast and as hard as I was able.

Creek crossing so close to the end. Photo: Les Stukenberg

That last 45 minutes of racing became very exciting and emotional. For the first time, I was without a doubt racing with true passion, and it was Divinely incredible.

Giving thanks, Photo: Kenny Wehn

I have to give huge credit to Chloe! For Chloe, Whiskey 2016 fell at the end of a 5 weekend back-to-back race block, where she traveled internationally on two separate occasions. Chloe arrived back in Prescott on the Wednesday before Whiskey from Australia (where she finished 13th at World Cup #1!) with a head cold. She is strong beyond words and still pulled off 3rd.

That bike deserved to be on the podium as much as I did. My favorite bike of all time!

TJ also raced on Sunday after hours on his feet on Saturday building and tuning bikes, and supporting the Arizona Development Team. Impressive work to TJ!

The journey continues to challenge, to pull me down, to push me forward, and to rise above. The faithfulness of the little daily tasks is adding up, and to feel the reward is abundantly fulfilling.

I have been honored to have the army behind me who makes possible days like last Sunday. The details involved in putting together successful race weekends are great, and I have many to thank for the support.

First to my husband, Nelson! Then to my mom for all her support and help with Layla.

The Stan’s NoTubes – Pivot Team: Chloe and TJ Woodruff, Stan’s NoTubes (Kenny), Pivot Cycles (Awesome to have Lisa in town for Whiskey!), Maxxis, Shimano, Fox, Castelli, Clif Bar, Pearl Izumi, MRP.

A big shout out to Lee and Lou Reeves for hosting me over the weekend!

Finally, the Epic Rides series are really incredible events, offering epic backcountry mountain biking, deep fields, and big prize cash purses! Thanks to all for an unforgettable weekend!

US Cup #1 Bonelli Park & #2 Sea Otter

I have been home for a few days now, starting to settle into my new house and enjoying the company of my Maine family. And what a treat to come home to 70 degree weather in Montana!

The last few weeks was some of the toughest and most beautiful of my racing career, for every part I am grateful. The first two weekends, Fontana (read about Fontana below) & Bonelli, my XC race’s were two of the toughest to even finish, as my body struggled to turn over my pedals on the steep sections, and all I felt like I could accomplish was to try to recover where it flattened out. My legs hurt so badly and my mind struggled because I was struggling physically. To finish those races was humbling and difficult, when it seemed like it would be better to DNF than to accept a lackluster performance. The disappointment was difficult to control after how much I invested into being ready for those races and how many people are invested into my racing. I’ve decided that I’m entitled to cry as much as I need to and it’s ok (once back at the hotel that is), as it’s really all part of the process. I am grateful that the pressure that I put on myself comes from within, and everyone else was only encouraging and supportive. It is impossible to pinpoint what caused my body to feel that way, maybe I was more tired than I realized.

Following Bonelli XC; a muddy, wet struggle; and what I like about this photo is that it shows exactly the way I felt.

Short Track followed each of those races on the next day. Each of my Short Track races went well, and encouragingly my body was able to sustain the efforts. Winning Fontana (below) and taking 6th at Bonelli. The Bonelli Short Track is one of the most tactical races, and our field was deeper than the proceeding ST races. I have a lot to learn about tactical racing and this was a great one to practice on, as positioning is everything with the front group remaining about 10 ladies through most of the race, and finishing times being fractions of seconds.

Off the front in short track, blowing myself up for a prime, which Erin won…Not a tactical move at all.

After Bonelli, I traveled with Chloe and TJ to Berkley, CA, where we stayed with Chloe’s grandparents and prepared for Sea Otter. I rested a bit more and enjoyed the hilly rides around Berkley. At this point in my trip, I was missing my family a lot, especially Layla, and that tugging on my heartstrings was getting stronger. I knew I had one last shot to get me home on a positive note, so I put my energy into one last attempt for a solid race weekend.

We arrived at Sea Otter early Thursday. My Pivot Les 29 (pictured above) was getting launched at the Pivot booth, and I was one of few who had ridden it or raced it prior to the launch. Following the Les launch, we attended the Stan’s NoTubes New MK3 Wheelset launch and 15th year party. These two companies have shown the most incredible support along with incredible product, I couldn’t be more grateful! After sneaking in a pre-ride, Chloe and I got cleaned up for dinner with our KASK family…Nat Ross, Sonya Looney, Courtenay McFadden, and Rebecca Gross. Such a pleasure meeting Sonya for the first time and catching up with the others.

Friday morning was short track. I made some adjustments to my pre-race warm-up routine, really made possible by having trainers from Feedback Sports to warm up on, and I liked how my body responded. After loosing positioning at the start, and a congested first lap, I ended up chasing and it ended up being a solid effort, but crossed the line in 11th. Chloe on the other had, took another short track WIN. I have a few things to learn from this tactically savvy racer who I am honored to be teammates with.

The Cross Country race Saturday morning ended up being one of the best performances of my career. I rode on the limit of feeling like I was going to explode the entire race, which lasted a short 1 hr 11 min. My system functions were back in full force, the feeling was sweeter than I could have even imagined after the previous struggle. Snatching 5th at Sea Otter will remain an lifetime inspiring highlight to me.

Be strong and courageous!!! It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you, He will not fail you or forsake you, do not fear or be dismayed. Deut. 31:8


I raced just off the lead group the whole race, they were just within reach, but I couldn’t quite bridge the gap that opened at the start.

There is no question that I earned my spot on the podium that day, but learning to be self-confident has been a process I continue to struggle with. As riders like Erin Huck, Chloe Woodruff, and Ren Chengyuan each had slight issues that set them off pace, I found myself making excuses for my podium because of the issues encountered by these riders. I know that most of us struggle to a degree with having confidence, but I’m learning the importance of having true confidence and the power that comes with that piece.

I’m stoked to rock the orange Fox fork on my Les the rest of the season!
Reunited with this sweet face.

Layla is such a trooper. She handles being separated from me like a champ. It’s not easy for any of us, but this life is all she knows, and we are both empowered by what this life has offered.

I am greatly blessed by the support from Nelson, which allows me to be away from home for these extended periods. I’m so thankful to Janet (mom-in-law), who traveled far and took great care of my precious daughter! To Chloe and TJ, who at this point have become more like family, lol! To Team Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot and all who support the journey!



Pro XCT #2 Fontana

I’m often asked how it is possible to be away from home for nearly three weeks of racing in California, as it could seem impossible to do with a family. My particular situation is unique! It really is that my husband supports me in this endeavor, and I have help. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law flew to Montana from Maine to stay at our house during the duration of this block.

Layla having fun with her Auntie

Preparing to be gone for this race block also backed up almost simultaneously to moving into our new house. I was cleaning a newly constructed home 2 days prior to leaving, and frantically making beds and unpacking essentials the afternoon before. I’m really happy that my home is getting broken in for me by those I dearly love, but it was a little stressful for a few weeks.

Cleaning our new house… my husband has worked so hard on this for almost a year.

After moving and traveling to California, I was running on empty. Although, I thought I had bounced back sufficiently, and my pre-rides seemed to have put me into a good place, my body struggled during Saturday’s cross country race. Instead of racing other ladies wheel to wheel, the battle was within mentally and physically as the field spread out.

Pulled off a smile at the finish, must have been that relieved to be done

Good things can come from not having an ideal race, for it’s in the valleys that we learn and grow the most. Still pulled through in 6th on my Pivot Mach 429 with my Valor wheels. I don’t typically choose to race my dually for XC, but it was definitely my ideal ride of choice for the rough and rocky terrain.

After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up Sunday with renewed energy. The support and love from so many who truly believe in me went a long way, and I could feel God’s presence in my heart and my body. From the gun, short track was exciting. I led a few laps, then tried to race smart; staying within the top four with Larissa Connors, Kate Courtney, and Lea Davison; while not allowing any gaps to open up. I was able to save just enough on the last lap to get around Kate on the flat straight-away and Larissa on the last climb just before descending and crossing the line taking the Win.

Thanks PB Creative for the photo

Sunday was a good day for Chloe as well. Although I missed her this weekend, she came home with a Bronze Medal from the Pan American Championships in Argentina!

Kenny had a running joke all weekend, calling me “the princess”, which in short means he made sure that my equipment and I were both ready to roll perfectly… Thank you to Kenny and Stan’s NoTubes, and Pivot Cycles, and to those who love and support me in this journey, for He goes before me.

Left to right: Leah, Kate, Rose, Larissa, Cindy
Getting to wear this hat on the podium was my carrot from Fox and Kenny to win.
Thank you for the new shades Steve

I’m staying this week with my host family in San Dimas (Thank you Thrashers) to recover and get excited for the first US Cup at Bonelli Park this weekend.

Pro XCT #1 Bonelli Park

Travels of race season have begun and really won’t stop until mid September. I was gone about a week and a half for this last trip, but to me every opportunity to spend with my team and travel to races with them is a privilege. I am blessed that my husband, Nelson, is willing to hold down the fort at home with Layla while I am gone; he encourages me to continue the journey that began for me now a short 6 years ago.

After spending a long weekend in Sedona for a team photo / video shoot, we headed back to Prescott for some rest, riding, and prep for the first race weekend in San Dimas, CA. At this point in the season, I have been training inside primarily and many unknowns loom leading up to the first race. I know that I have done my work to the best of my ability, and I deserve to be confident in that. In addition, Kenny and TJ are so diligent in making sure my equipment is working flawlessly, that I have little to think about other than myself.


The outcome of the first race was confirmation that I have been faithful in doing my part, and God is continuing to bless my efforts. The women’s field offered some strong competitors, that I was unable to pace with until midseason last year. The race effort actually felt good, and although I faded a bit toward the second half of the race, my pace remained strong and I crossed the line in 4th, behind Erin Huck, Chloe Woodruff (my teammate), and Larissa Connors. The best way that I could describe how flawlessly my Les 29 hardtail handled was nothing less than “Dreamy”. I’ve never had my suspension so dialed as I did for this race. Mike (the Fox guru) had my fork responding perfectly; and my Ikon 2.2 tires on my Valor wheels gave me so much added confidence for descending.

Making sure I have nothing left as I close out the final lap.


Cross Country Elite Podium: Erin Huck, Chloe Woodruff, Larissa Conners, Myself, Katerina Nash

Short track follows Saturday’s XC race on Sunday. Chloe and I had some strategic discussion on tactics, and I was looking forward to another strong day for the both of us. Chloe had an awesome race and took the win, while I had a mishap that left me chasing for most of the second half, which ended in a good training day for me…the effort is never waisted. Short track is like a bonus race that doesn’t carry quite the same importance as the XC race; so it’s easier to swallow when faced with misfortune.

Chasing back through the field in my best effort to re-connect with the lead group…which never happened. 🙂
   Serious race face before Short Track 
Congratulations are in order. I’m honored to call this girl my teammate. She is strong and beautiful inside and out.
Our set-up at the race is pretty plush. I’m going to get spoiled.

Every race gives me new ambitions, motivation, and landmarks. I came home full and ready to keep working harder, loving stronger, and giving greater.

My life at home is pretty dang special.




Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team 2016 Announced

With the Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team announcement coming out last week, excitement rushes through my body as I think of this upcoming season. With support from the Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team, I am confident this will be an amazing year, and I am beyond grateful. Part of me can hardly believe that I, with the help of many, have worked my way up from the very bottom. My first 3 years racing fully self-supported will never allow me to take for granted the support and help of my team and sponsors, which makes me that much more hungry to continue to embrace the work…I love the work. I am so excited to represent Stan’s NoTubes for another year, as well as Pivot Cycles.

rose 7
Photo Credit: Alla Kostenko,


Chloe Woodruff has been an encouragement to me dating back to my first days of racing with an infant. She has continued to be genuine, humble, and real. I’m stoked to be her teammate!

Photo Credit: Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team


2016 Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team Announcement

PIVOT – 2016 Co-Title Sponsor


The Stan’s NoTubes-Pivot Team is also sponsored by Shimano (drivetrain, brakes, pedals); Maxxis (tires); Castelli (custom clothing); Clif Bar (nutrition); Fox (suspension); PRO (components); Pearl Izumi (shoes, gloves); Kask (helmets); Feedback Sports (trainers); and Cassette Creative (design, marketing).

Connect with the team and its riders

Instagram: @ChloeWoodruff | @RoseKGrant | @StansNoTubes | @Pivot_CyclesUSA
Twitter: @ChloeWoodruff | @RoseKGrant | @NoTubes | @Pivot_CyclesUSA
Facebook: /WoodruffChloe | /NoTubesFan | /PivotCycles
Team Hashtags: #StansPivot, #YourNextBike, #ValorCarbon
Websites: | | |

2015 World Championships

Blog Cannondale pic 3
My Shiny Cannondale FSi before heading out to battle. Photo Credit: Blog Cannondale

One month plus 3 days ago today, I was racing my first Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra; still an experience that feels surreal. My first experience being outside of North America, in conjunction with racing outside of North America was incredible; but what seems equally as incredible is the events leading up to the World Champs.

My race season really came together this year, after 4 years filled with tons of work and perseverance, I started to really reap the benefits. It was amazing, being able to put races together with strategy and tactics; I’d replay my coaches words in my head as I played out races the way that we had together visualized.

Once the Worlds Team selection had been announced, which I had been waiting for with anticipation, I knew this opportunity was one that I could not possibly turn down due to monetary costs. It had been a goal that I had set for myself back in February, and I had to see it through. My coach assisted me in setting up a couple fundraising campaigns, and the support that I received through those efforts has humbled me, has challenged me to be more generous, and completely brings tears to my eyes! I am incredibly blessed and so grateful!

I spent the week in Andorra soaking in the experience, I was the obvious rookie. I was racing with the best in the world, in Europe, representing my country, my team, and my home state of Montana! It was an honor being part of Team USA, and I value the relationships that I garnered with my fellow teammates. As the week unfolded, the rain continued to change the track. Within a few days the course changed from dry and fast, to wet and muddy, to sticky, thick muck. Race day came and the sun shined amidst cool temps. I was number plate 55 out of about 60 racers. I lined up on the back row out of six rows. My plan was to be patient and move forward consistently and tactfully. As the race began, the damage the rain had done to the course quickly became obvious. It was a complete mess. Slower became faster; cornering was slow, climbs became impossible to maintain traction, and the tiniest mistake in bike handling was completely unforgiving. Everyone was off their bikes a lot, running, scrambling, slipping, sliding…. I just kept moving. I’d gain a spot, make a mistake and loose two. Then someone in front of me would make a mistake, and I would gain a spot or two. I continued to slowly move forward. The lap times slowed down so much, that winner Pauline Fernando-Prevot’s finishing time was 1 hr 53 min. By the time I finished in 31st, I had been racing for 2 hr 8 min, about 30 minutes longer than most cross country races.

Blog Cannondale pic
The very start of the race, almost in dead last. Photo Credit: Blog Cannondale

What an incredible race though! My equipment worked flawlessly. In the muddy conditions my Cannondale FSi was the ticket, with my Crankbrothers Eggbeater pedals, and Kenda Karma tires. The support from USA Cycling allowed me to really focus on my race.

Blog Cannondale Pic 2
Greasy Climb almost impossible to ride. Photo Credit: Blog Cannondale

I left everything on the course that day, as I try my best to do on every race day. I had a solid race, 31st for my first world champs is nothing to be disappointed about, and I’m pleased with that result. Deep inside I know I have the ability to do better, and so I continue to stay challenged and hungry, to continue improving and learning and garnering the experience that I need to bridge my way farther up the field. Time and patience is required, but as I approach new bends in the trail, it is my job to explore where they will take me, and continue to trust that God will bless my efforts.

I am so thankful to the village who has continued to make racing my bike possible. My husband, Nelson, is so supportive and proud of me. He, grandparents, and a handful of friends have helped with our daughter Layla for my training and racing. My coach, Dustin; my team, the Stans NoTubes Elite Women; countless local businesses in my community, such as the Sportsmen Ski Haus, Able Body Shop, Access Fitness, the Great Northern Brewing Co., Whitefish Mountain Resort, and so many friends and family have all contributed in so many ways. I am eternally grateful!