How has the addition LTGP has impacted your season and experience this year?
To be completely honest, it’s hard. It’s so hard [mentally] to be on form once a month for seven months. I’m not a traditional mountain biker as I grew up doing Leadville (for example), so this is what my year would have been anyway. [But] maybe Unbound is the reason this season has been so hard, because it took me about two months to come back from that.
How are you able to be consistent throughout the season?
I’m taking a big break after every race, for the most part. I have also been strategic with my racing, and unlike others, I don’t throw in other races much outside of the LTGP. I work a lot at home in Salt Lake City and try not to travel as much as I can, being home and having that consistency is what helps me.
You have a history with the Leadville 100, what role does that race play for you?
A little background on me, I got into cycling 6 years ago because my stepdad won a bike in a raffle. He said, “I’ll give you this bike if you race Leadville”. I took him up on it and raced Leadville and, while it wasn’t that fast, it lit a fire under me.
I’ve been back to Leadville every year since and even also ran it (the L100) one year. For me, Leadville is always my “A Race” of the year.
What are some highlights of your year?
Being a part of the Grand Prix, first off, has been massive for me. At Unbound, I got 5th and that was a highlight for me – I feel like it came as a big shock to a lot of people. I feel like this season overall is a win because of how it has come about and I’ve started to develop myself as an athlete.
What's your generic Fueling Philosophy?
For me, it’s to eat 100 calories every 30 minutes. That’s mostly in the form of gels. I do throw in real food as well, but I really like [isotonic] gels. I tried the “grams of carbs per hour” thing and I get gut bombs every time I try to up my g/hr. Anything to avoid flavor fatigue!
Melisa's Favorite Products:
The best gel right now is the Neversecond C30 Citrus.
I love the peanut butter and chocolate Joje Bars.