Kate Courtney performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 4, 2020 // … [+] Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
The sport of mountain biking was invented in the United States. Americans dominated in the early ‘90s. By the end of the decade, though, it was a European game, especially in the cross-country (XC) discipline. A few American women carried the torch into the new millennium, which was followed by a 17-year drought. Until Kate Courtney arrived.
In her first season competing at the Elite level (2018), she came into the World Championships having not even finished on the podium in an Elite World Cup XCO event. She wasn’t a favorite coming in, but she certainly showed potential. Alas, everything came together, and she rode a brilliant race. The US was back on top. She followed this in 2019 by winning the first three World Cup events in a row and going on to win the World Cup Overall title.
It’s fitting that Courtney was born and raised in Marin County, California, the birthplace of mountain biking. Today, she has her sights set on the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan…