What has it been like to play a creative role in your racing program?
It was kind of like how I was destined to be back in the cycling scene. Me racing “round one” was on teams and I remember feeling kind of bummed that I had to wear the same thing as everyone and you couldn’t feel different. When I found myself in a privateer position, it was a perfect opening to do some creative stuff.
My first pro contract was with the Ten Speed Hero cyclocross team and it was this perfect union of high-level design/art and bikes. It was my dream come true, it was art first and bikes second. That sort of paved the way and it’s been super cool to be a part of the design process [of my kits and the bus] (with current sponsors).
How has the addition of the LTGP impacted your experience this year?
More so than I thought it would. Well, when I heard about it I thought you could just sign up so I posted about it and said “stoked to do the Grand Prix!” and got a lot of messages asking how I got in. When I did get in, I thought this was perfect because I come from a mountain bike background but was never good enough to race the super technical ProXCT races. As it crept closer, I became really freaked out because it seemed like what I left racing for.
I honestly have learned more about myself as a person and a bike racer this season, I think because of the LTGP. It’s the most serious I’ve taken racing and it’s given me a lot of insight as to what commitment means in the sport. It’s tested me, not necessarily physically, but more mentally on how to stay focused and how to be professional [while] finding the fun.
What do you look forward to most when planning to race an event?
I feel like I have the wrong answers for a bike racer. It’s always what I want to see, where I want to go, and what experience I want to have first. Iceland, for example, was pretty “medium” on that race but I was stoked to see Iceland. I’m really excited to see a new place and go to cool locations.
For the most part, we all show up as professionals and know it’s going to be a challenging race. I find I’m more excited about stuff if it's a new experience.
Favorite experience(s) of the year so far?
I have really enjoyed meeting other racers who I wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with. Haley Smith is a great example; she and I have put in some time next to each other in almost all the races. We have talked about [how] she and I never would have met and had raced together. Truly, honestly, it’s been so cool to see the same women at the races and form these bonds with them.
It is [also] pushing me to do these races that I wouldn’t have necessarily signed up for on my own.
What's your fueling philosophy?
I actually get really, really overwhelmed. I don’t think about numbers and math, I honestly try to eat before I’m hungry and drink before I’m thirsty. Now, I know that the beginning of most of my races are fast and scary, so I just try to do a calorie bottle for the start. Then, I try to get in a mixture of everything (gels, blocks, Spring Nutrition).
Sarah’s Favorite Products:
Skratch Labs Recovery Mix (Horchata)
(and a classic PB & J)