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Coeur d’Alene Press

As mountain biking lovers, Todd and Jennifer Erickson needed to deliver their youngest daughter, Ella, alongside for the experience once they have been residing in Ellensburg, Wash., throughout Jennifer’s time in graduate college.

“We did not have numerous household or pals there,” Jennifer Erickson mentioned. “We might find yourself shuttling one another to the highest of an area mountain and driving again down. We simply form of roped her together with us, and fortunately, she preferred it.”

FOR ELLA, a senior at Coeur d’Alene Constitution Academy, the love of driving all began with some native races.

“I’ve been driving bikes my total life,” Ella mentioned. “I began out racing BMX bikes at Cherry Hill Park (in Coeur d’Alene). My dad and mom additionally rode, so whereas I used to be racing BMX, I additionally began driving downhill. I did a race at Silver Mountain (in Kellogg) for enjoyable and actually loved doing these as a substitute of driving BMX.”

And the joy of flying downhill didn’t harm both.

“When you strive it, you may’t cease,” Ella mentioned. “I simply sort of have a necessity for pace I suppose, and it’s an effective way to try this.”

Ella Erickson, 17, competes within the Northwest Cup Collection, in addition to a couple of races a 12 months on the nationwide circuit via USA Biking.

“I’ll usually do 12 races a 12 months,” Ella mentioned. “This 12 months, there has solely been a few races as a result of most of them have been canceled due to the coronavirus.”

Ella, a two-time World Junior champion, will get to compete within the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Leogang, Austria, on Oct. 7-11 after just lately being chosen to the U.S. staff.

Ella’s occasion, the Junior Ladies downhill, is scheduled for Oct. 11.

“You’ve received to get a certain quantity of wins every year,” Ella mentioned. “However so long as you’ve received a license via USA Biking, you may compete at nationals.”

Profitable the previous two nationwide titles in her age group additionally helped significantly in getting chosen for the world championships.

“I gained the final two nationwide titles once I was 15 and 16 years outdated,” Ella mentioned. “My occasions would have overwhelmed the remainder of the 17- and 18-year olds this 12 months.”

Ella is the lone lady competing for the U.S. within the Junior Ladies downhill.

Ella added there’s a couple of anxious moments that include every race, however she’s received a routine that has helped with that.

“I used to get much more nervous beforehand, however now have that beneath management,” Ella mentioned. “I normally take heed to ‘Easy Crusing’ by Leon Bridges, and that’s been my good luck allure. More often than not, I’ll eat smoked salmon earlier than a race. It appears to be the simplest factor to deliver with you and is an effective protein supply.”

DUE TO the COVID pandemic, Erickson’s dad and mom — like all different dad and mom of the junior opponents — should not allowed to journey to the occasion. No followers will probably be current for the world occasion both.

“I’m just a little nervous about touring alone,” Ella mentioned. “I can go as a result of I’ve received an exemption as a result of skilled athletes are thought of important employees in Austria, so I’ll be staying with a few of the different athletes which are going and a mechanic to work on our bikes.”

Ella just lately returned from nationals in West Virginia. The world staff was introduced previous to nationals.

“It’s fascinating,” mentioned Jennifer of Ella’s journey. “Will probably be bizarre to not go to worlds together with her. Neither my husband or I’ve been to Europe in any respect, so for her to get to go earlier than us is sort of a humorous factor. I’ve received the numbers of a few of the different dad and mom, and we’re all in the identical boat, so we’ll be supporting one another for certain.”

Workforce USA doesn’t cowl bills for junior athletes, so all prices are as much as Ella to care for.

“I’ve received a GoFundMe web page (www.gofundme.com/f/send-ella-to-2020-uci-mtn-bike-world-championship) and have acquired numerous help from Doma Espresso as nicely,” Ella mentioned. “The help we’ve acquired has been nice thus far.”

The finals of the occasion will probably be broadcast on RedBull.TV.

Jason Elliott is a sports activities author for The Press. He could be reached by phone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or by way of e mail at jelliott@cdapress.com. Comply with him on Twitter @JECdAPress.


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