Remember that time that Georgia Gould (Luna) raced with a rubber chicken? How about two? You know that these stories and more will be told about the Olympian bronze medalist, cross racer and fan favorite around a few beers. And let’s not forget the time she raced with a mustache or the #heckleme campaign.
For a few laps, while she was chasing riders and moving up to third position in Sunday’s USGP Derby City Cup in Louisville, Gould was holding a rubber chicken and a dollar bill in her hand. Yes, that’s right a rubber chicken.
“This guy said five bucks if you take it for a hot lap and 20 bucks if you take the whole race or something like that. Then I saw him when I was out there, [I thought] I got to try it. And had fun with it.” Gould told podiuminsight.
“I was like alright I’ll try to do it the whole lap, then I did it and I was going to give it back to him, do the hand-down, the chicken hand-down and then when I came back around, he had another one, I was like another one? So I grabbed the other one, but then it was the sand, I couldn’t even ride this thing with both hands on the bars so I had to get rid of both of them. I did have two chickens for a while.”
Gould did relinquish the chickens to take a third place again behind solo winner Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) and her teammate Katerina Nash for the second day in a row.
That’s the thing about the 32 year old racer, she likes to have fun but at the same time is also a badass on the bike. The weekend before, she soloed to the win at Iceman Cometh, the epic 29-mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City, Michigan.
Giving back. Gould is also passionate about women’s cycling and being a mentor to the younger racers. Once again she could be seen out earlier each morning, cheering on the younger junior racers and answering all their questions before and after the race.
She was also pleased to see that 53 women lined up to race this weekend at which may be the biggest field ever seen at a UCI cyclocross race in the United States.
“I think it really speaks to the quality of the racing right now in North American that we have a World Cup level field right here at home.” Gould stated. “It’s great to heave Katie here, Katerina healthy, We have so many great riders at the USGP this year, that didn’t race last year or stepped up their game for this year. I think it’s going to benefit all of us heading into Worlds.”
Back in 2007, Gould sent a petition signed by nearly 3,500 supporters to the UCI to request equal prize money for women. She is now the Mountain Bike representative on the UCI Athletes’ Commission; and flew straight from Louisville to Switzerland to attend a meeting.
Worlds. She is now focused on the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships to be held in February, on the same course at Eva Bandman Park that was used this past weekend. A course she liked. “I think it’s really great to see so many times off the bike. I don’t have very much experience racing in Europe but I feel that a lot of times, the courses only have one or two brief sections off the bike. I think it’s definitely cyclocross, people want to see running, and so I think that’s really cool. I think that there’s a good mix of power sections, technical sections, off and on the bike. “
With unseasonably warm weather, the course was dry and fast with lap times hovering around the 7 minute mark. The conditions might be completely different come February in Louisville.
“If it’s muddy, hopefully that will help people like me who have to start in the back because the slower it is, the more it doesn’t really matter if you start in the front. Yesterday, I didn’t have a terrible start but I wasn’t great, and immediately just coming around the first corner, already I was 20 seconds – like how did I lose 20 seconds in 20 seconds?” Gould laughed.
“Once those gaps were there, I feel that I wasn’t riding that much slower than Katie or Katerina but the gaps were already there so when it’s that fast, it’s hard to close those gaps down. I think if it’s muddy, it will definitely be harder because the course is really challenging because you have these short hard sections, like the run-ups, the sand and then there is no recovery, the rest of the course you could pedal, oh man I just want to coast but you could always be going harder. I think it should be good.”