Taking the Queen’s gold
The battle between the three fastest women in the world in Windham will reach its pinnacle on August 11 when the teammates line up at Hadleigh Farm in Essex for the Olympic race wearing their national colors.
“I’m not resting on any past accomplishments,” said Pendrel. “I don’t want to underestimate any of the other women out there.”
In these days leading up to the event, Pendrel says she is not expecting anyone to come out of the woodwork for the first time, but between the top contenders she isn’t jumping to conclusions. All it comes down to is a difference of one or two percent, she said.
“It’s not like someone is going to come knock your socks off, but it’s about who gets that one or two-percent gain on the day.”
Gould is pleased with her fitness and, though also hesitant to make assumptions about her competitors’ progress and unwilling to jinx her race by speaking too soon, she is optimistic about her chances and clear that her recent misfortunes were just that — misfortune — and that she had the form to win both races.
“I’m confident that my fitness is good and I’m hoping that over the next few weeks I can continue to build and get enough faster and that I have plenty of time (in the Olympic race) to stop and change a flat and massage out my leg cramps,” Gould joked.
Her luck took a turn in the right direction at the national championships last weekend, where Gould built up a sufficient lead on her nearest chaser that she was able to take her final lap conservatively and avoid mishaps. She pulled on the stars and stripes jersey as women’s cross country champ for the second year in a row.
Will we see another Luna podium sweep at the London Olympics? It isn’t out of the question. Pendrel said the trio has “the drive, the determination and the strength” to take gold, silver and bronze.
“Even though we all want to win, we at least want to get one of us up there,” Pendrel said of the team’s Olympic goals.
Emily spent her infancy in the back of a women’s team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.