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Cody Scott's season builds up to World Championships

My name is Cody Scott. I am 17 years old, and I am from North Vancouver, BC. I race Cyclocross and Cross Country MTB for Giant Bicycles Canada. I have been racing bicycles since 2013, and I have been riding bikes for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have gradually expanded my racing across the country and into the US, but this fall, I was given the opportunity to travel across the pond to the heartland of Cyclocross that is Belgium, to race some of the biggest cross races in the world.

My Cyclocross season started on September 14th at a local race in BC, where I took my first win in the elite category. I have been racing in the local elite category for a few years now, so to get my first win in the first race of the season felt really good. As I needed to chase some UCI points to get good call ups at Nationals and Pan Ams, my mom and I travelled down to the US Open of Cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado on October 12th and 13th. As Boulder is 1 mile above sea level, we travelled down a week early so I could get used to the altitude. I had some bad luck on the first day, but on the second day, I managed to put together a clean ride and roll in for a second place.

My next big races were at the beginning of November. The first one was Nationals in Peterborough, Ontario. On race day, I, unfortunately, didn’t have the race I had hoped for, but I managed to have good race finish 3rd on the second day, and grab some UCI points. The next weekend was the Pan American Champs in Midland Ontario. This was the first race weekend where I could really see how I was compared to the rest of North America. It was a doubleheader, but Pan Ams was on the second day. This made recovery after the first race super important. I had a good race on the first day, finishing 9th, which I managed to back up with a solid race on Sunday to finish 8th in some of the trickiest conditions I’ve ever raced in.

With these results, plus the UCI podiums from Boulder and Nationals, I was in the pool to be selected to go to Europe and race for the National team. A few weeks after Pan Ams, I received the email confirming I had made the team. That was a huge goal of mine going into the season, so I was ecstatic.

I flew to Brussels, Belgium, on December 17th for the Christmas Cross Camp. This is a two-week racing project in Belgium that includes World Cups, Superprestige’s and the DVV Trophy series. I was a little nervous going in because this was my first-time racing in Europe, and my first time flying across the pond by myself. But once I got there and met the rest of the team, the time flew by.

We were pretty much thrown in the deep end, with the first two races being the Namur and Heusden-Zolder World Cups. It was really cool, but also pretty intimidating racing against so many other junior racers, and it took a few races for me to get comfortable in the starts. As the races went by, my result got better, and in the last race, the GP Sven Nys on January 1, I got my best result of the trip. Throughout the two weeks, we did 5 races: The two World Cups, DVV Azencross, Superprestige Diegem and DVV GP Sven Nys.

Each course offered different challenges. The junior races in Europe are also super-fast right from the gun, and really aggressive, so I really had to adapt my racing to suit the style. Another big difference with the racing in Europe is that you’re always in a battle for positions; even when you are further back, you have to push super hard right to the line.

The day after the last race of the camp, four athletes, including myself, flew down to Barcelona, Spain, and took a train up to Girona for a road training camp. As we were super tired from the intense two weeks of racing, we spent the first couple days recovering, before we started training again. This was the final preparation before the final three races of the season: The Nommay and the Hoogerheide World Cups, and finally the World Championships in Dubendorf, Switzerland, on February 1st and 2nd.

This journey absolutely wouldn’t be possible without a solid group around me, so I want to say a huge thank you, everyone, who has supported me in one way or another through the entire season; Giant Bicycles Canada for the best equipment, Steed Cycles for ensuring that equipment is running smoothly, Ina Erwin for her ongoing support, my coach Ben Chaddock, and of course my parents for everything they do. So far its been one of the best experiences I could ask for, and I’m sure the rest of the trip will be just as, if not more, memorable.

Follow Cody's journey on Instagram.

Photos By Scott Robarts (header image), Anton Vos, Malcolm Barton, Paul Mc Carthy and Cody Scott