“It’s the first time ever I’ve taken a whole summer to race”
by Than Acuff
Local rider and CB Devo part-time coach Cooper Ott is back in the saddle for another season of enduro bike racing this year and picked up right where she left off last year, winning the first race of the Big Mountain Enduro series in Santa Fe, N.M.
It’s Ott’s fourth year on the women’s pro racing scene and she closed out the 2018 season last year with her second overall series title.
“I went hard last year and we had a lot of riding early season so I went into the season feeling pretty good,” says Ott.
The title has earned her the interest of sponsors and after riding for Trek/Bontrager her first couple of years, she is now on the Pivot team for the 2019 season.
“They have awesome race support and great bikes,” says Ott.
The support she gets this season will actually open the door for her even further on the race scene, as Ott is able to cut back on her work schedule in Crested Butte—which included coaching for CB Devo and working at the Alpineer—and commit herself entirely to racing.
“It’s the first time ever I’ve taken the whole summer to race,” says Ott. “I couldn’t do it without my sponsors.”
However, with the winter extending this year through the entire month of May, she admits riding has been a little hard to come by. That and the fact that she still enjoys skiing as well.
“I really like skiing so I didn’t travel to ride over the winter,” says Ott. “I did ride Hartman’s a lot and took a trip to Michigan to ride there. Then Santa Fe came along and all of a sudden it was race season.”
So far, it looks like Pivot made the right choice picking up Ott as one of their athletes, as she opened the 2019 series winning in Santa Fe the last weekend of May. Typically, Santa Fe is a one-day event but they spread it over two days this year and Ott prevailed both days to win the event.
“Three years ago the venue was intimidating because I really didn’t have the skills,” explains Ott. “This year I knew I had the skills, it was just a matter of getting through the mental game of whether or not I could do it. It was definitely hard but super fun.”
In addition to competing in every event on the Big Mountain Enduro series, she is adding in additional races including the North American Enduro Cup in Kellogg, Idaho on Saturday, June 15. She also plans to head out to California to compete in an Enduro World Series event in Lake Tahoe at the end of August.
“It’s the World Cup of enduro racing,” says Ott.
While busy with a full race schedule, Ott will, when possible, still put on her coaching jersey throughout the summer as she still hopes to squeeze in some part-time coaching work with CB Devo.