I am elated to say that my time racing for Colavita Southwest Cycling this year has enabled me to have my best season to date. From the team base rides back in February to the high altitude adventures in June and the numerous team dinners I am blessed to have been part of such a cohesive and exceptional group of people.
My race season started back in March at Mellow Johnny’s Pro XCT with a win in the Cat. 1, 19-29, and it became clear that all the winter hours were going to pay off.
April brought me to Prescott, AZ for the Whiskey 50 Off-Road, where I was blessed to have an error-free ride, and grab third in the amateur field.
May was marked by an incredible team effort to take 4th at 12 Hours of Mesa Verde in the co-ed geared race. Huge props to Charlotte, Hector, and Bo for throwing down some super fast laps. Also, congrats on a hard-earned podium from our single-speed team of Keith, James R., Steve, and James S!
June brought me my two biggest wins of the year at Go Pro Games in Vail as well as the USAC Colorado State Championship in Colorado Springs. At the end of the month we headed up to Crested Butte for one of the burliest and most beautiful races I have ever done at the Wildflower Rush/Fat Tire 40. Although my race was plagued with mechanicals I stuck it out for 8th. My teammates James (6th), Steve (8th), and Sean (2nd SS) all had incredible efforts to post awesome results in their categories in a race where finishing was a challenge.
The summer continued to get better as July came around and my sights shifted to my first national championships. I flew into Madison, WI where I had my hardest race of the year to grab a win in the Subaru Cup Pro XCT cat. 1 19-29. I then drove to Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA for Nationals only to be greeted with temps in the high 90’s and nearly 100% humidity. I quickly realized (thanks Rotem) the need for ice to keep the core temperature down. Fortunately, given my success leading up to Nationals I had a front row call up in both the Short Track and Cross-Country races. While leading the field in the STXC, I sustained a mechanical failure at the valve stem of my rim that ended my race and I watched my chance at a National Championship Victory fade away. With the Cross-Country in two days I had no time to dwell on the disappointment, and I worked with the mechanic of Sho-Air Cannondale to get my bike back in race shape. The cross-country was easily the most technical course I had encountered all year. In training the conditions were dry, but the night before the race a lightning storm completely transformed the course conditions, so not only was I going to race in wet conditions for the first time this year, but also it would be on the most technical course of my season. It proved to be a major test of endurance and perseverance and when I crossed the line in 2nd I had given everything. It was the first time my family had ever seen me race, and stepping onto the podium, with my family there, made it certainly the most memorable day I’ve ever had on a bike. In this moment, I truly realized how EVERYONE who supports me in order to make it all possible, deserves my upmost gratitude! They not only help me to chase my dreams and passions, but also are responsible for some of my best life experiences and memories. So, to anyone who has encouraged, supported, or believed in me along the way, I owe YOU my greatest appreciation!
The Catamount Classic Pro XCT in August not only marked my last race of the season, but the first time I had ever raced in my home state. I was fortunate to get myself out front early, and had the most dominating victory of my season. I like to think of it as the victory lap of my amateur season as next year I will be racing professionally. Once again all my thanks goes out to my family, coach, sponsors, teammates, and supporters who help make my dreams become a reality!!!
<Josh has had a great season and CSW is pleased to support young riders with the potential for going Professional. Colavita SW is always on the lookout for riders like Josh. I appreciate Josh’s professional and fun attitude, and I hope a PRO team picks him up soon!—Keith Ashmore- CSW Manager>