Julie Wright Bursts Onto the National CX Scene

Image: Jon Nable

Julie Wright is disarmingly nice and alarmingly fast. We built her a Mudhoney PRO cyclocross race bike last year and watched as she got faster and faster and faster, culiminating in a 12th place finish at Cyclocross Nationals recently.

She wrote us this note, when we asked her to tell her how it went:

Looking back on this past season, it’s a bit of an out of body experience when I think of what I’ve accomplished. I started cross racing when I lived in Phildelphia and had a job that kept me up in New England on weekends in the fall. Coming off of a year of “road racing” where I fell off the back of every single cat 4 race, I never in a million years would have thought I’d race in a UCI field. Somehow, many years later, I made it there, and this past season, in my second full UCI season, I got points in almost every race weekend. I got a few top 5s in C2 races, a few top 15s in C1 races and ended up 12th at nationals. It blows my mind.

Image: David Foley

I started my list of goals for the CX season before the 2015/2016 season was over. I tweaked my goals and tiered them throughout the year and finalized them right before the start of cross. Most of them made my palms sweat, so I knew they were goals I had to work for, which meant staying mentally engaged through the season. Staying engaged for me equals staying honest and listening to my body. It’s funny how the things I learn through bikes run parallel to the non-cycling aspects in my life.

Image: Jon Knable

One of my favorite things about cross is that it seems like an individual sport at face value, and for my first few years, that was my experience. But as my results have improved, so has my community of support. There’s no doubt in my mind that the community came first. It’s hard to show up to a race, or even a workout, and not give it your all when there are people who’ve worked just as hard beside you to help you achieve your goals. Or when people are genuinely excited and supportive of your improvements. When you’re on an inspiring team of driven and hardworking individuals, when you have a coach who encourages you to push your limits, when you have Seven Cycles fix a bike post crash, within three days, and then hand deliver it to your house. I feel so fortunate. This season has been a dream in so many ways.

Thankfully, it isn’t over yet! My Seven Mudhoney PRO and my persistent stutter step are heading to Europe to try out Belgian racing, along with one of my teammates, Erin, and our team mechanic, Gary.

If you want to follow along with Julie, Team Averica will be keeping everyone updated on IG: @team_averica and on twitter: @teamaverica.

Her 2016/2017 Season by the numbers

22 races in the US, 5 races (still to happen!) in Belgium

19 US UCI races, 24 UCI races overall

69 UCI points

12th 2017 USA Cycling Elite Nationals

18th USA Cycling Pro Cx Standings

6 vacation days used, pre Belgium trip

8 US states, 3 countries

2 awesome teammates and 1 incredible NECX community

CG’s Mudhoney PRO

Another beautiful build from our friends at Cascade Bicycle Studio, this is CG’s Mudhoney PRO.

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Zac at CBS says:

CG wanted a disc platform that could be raced during the cross season, and used for gravel events in the spring.   He went all in with a power meter, Enve M50 wheels, and Campagnolo Super Record. 

More photos on the CBS website.

Julie’s Mudhoney PRO

JWMPRO4

This is Julie’s Mudhoney PRO, our top of the line cyclocross race bike. This one has Sour Apple Chris King disc hubs and matching headset, both the wheel and bike builds done by the good folks at Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA. This is a fast bike for a fast rider, and we think it came out great.

Into the Sunset – Mo Bruno Roy Retires

Our good friend and sponsored rider Mo Bruno Roy announced her retirement from pro racing yesterday after 12 years at the top. We think it’s best for you to hear it in her words, but we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the highlights of our time together as builder and rider.

Mo raced over 200 races on a Seven, including 31 wins, 63 podiums and 158 top-tens.

Of those, 143 were UCI races and included 5 wins, 31 podiums and 111 top-tens.

She raced 13 World Cups, 10 National Championships, including 3 wins (1 Masters, 2 Single Speed) and 6 top-ten Elite finishes (out of seven Elite races).

She was Single Speed CX World Champion, 2014, Cyclocross World Championships team member, Tabor, CZE 2010 and Winner of the 2009 USA Cycling National Calendar.

In all that time, she turned in one DNF (Did Not Finish).

BUT….those are just results. Sure, they’re important. At the pro/elite level, you race to win, and Mo won a lot. For us, there is much, much more to it than just winning, though. Mo is an ambassador of the bike. She brings people into our sport. She epitomizes what we think of as a pro cyclist, not just for the way she rides on race days, but by the way she rides her bike to work, to the grocery store, and to visit us here at the shop. And she does it all with a smile on her face. THAT is why we are proud of her, and proud of our partnership, because it’s more than a sponsorship.

Maybe sponsorship is what happens on race days, and partnership is what happens every other day of the year. Mo’s “career” as a pro racer might be over, but she will go on being a great cyclist for a long, long time, and that’s why we wanted to work with her in the first place.

We congratulate her on everything she packed into that career and wish her the very best for every mile to come.

Geaux Meaux!

Here are just a few of our favorite shots of Mo from over the years:

Photo by Brad Jurga

 

Photo by Chris Milliman Photo by Dave Chiu At Grand Prix of Gloucester (photo by Jon Henig)

On Course at CX Nationals with Mo Bruno Roy

We finally got the chance to catch up with Mo Bruno Roy after her National Championship winning ride in the single-speed race last week in Austin. She got to Austin via the Resolution Cross Cup in Dallas, where she got on the podium one of the two days in the Women’s Elite category, so she was feeling good coming into Nationals.

She says, “Early in the week (Ed: before the course turned to a muddy bog and the racing was postponed), it was dry and fast, which doesn’t really suit my strengths, but there was an off-camber, twisty section and there were three run-ups, where I thought I could make some time.”

With nearly 40 women in the field, the single-speed race more than doubled in size from 2014, and the talent reflected that growth. Zilker Park in Austin was packed with racers from all over the country, and while things went a little awry later in the week, the single-speed races went off without a hitch on Wednesday.

Mo says, “The hardest part of the race was actually a block headwind of 20-30mph you had to fight through at the beginning of every lap. For the first three laps I had 10 seconds, and at that point one mistake can kill you. I don’t normally think about that, but the announcers are saying it over and over again, which isn’t all the way helpful. I mean, you hear them. They give you the gap, which is good information, but they can also plant the seed of doubt if you let them. So at that point, I just tried to focus on what I was doing. The ground was loose and slippery, so I couldn’t go fast through the off-camber section. I had to make my time on the run ups.”

CM1_4591In the end, she had 40 seconds on the nearest competition and was able to celebrate alone-in-photo. This was her ‘A’ race for the year, the goal she wrote down on paper before a single race had gone off, so winning validated her plan to shift focus to races that are more fun. It was a big departure from her previous World Cup campaigns.

She says, “I seem to enjoy single-speed events throughout, not just afterwards. World Cup racing is really stressful, and single-speed isn’t like that, so that’s been working for me. As defending champ, I felt pressure. I was supposed to win, so after this one I felt a little relief, a little happiness. Mostly I was glad not to have to ride into that headwind anymore.”

If it is possible to say how proud we are to work with Mo too many times, we hope we never get there. It’s hard to describe how good it is to see good people do good things on your bikes.

See more of Mo’s bike here, here, here and here. Connect with MM Racing here. Or watch a post-race interview with Mo here.

Photos by the talented Chris McIntosh.