MADDY WARD

UNITED STATES

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current City: Reno, NV

Education: Graduated in 2017 from UCLA with a BS in Biology

Age:  26

Strengths: Punchy climber, Time Trial, Great skills

Career Highlights:

  • 9th GC in Cascade Cycling Classic ‘19

  • 12th TT in Redlands Cycling Classic ‘19

  • 1st UCLA road race ‘20

  • 5th GC in Valley of the Sun ‘20

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About Maddy:  : I played sports all the way through high school -- cross country, track, and soccer -- but I wasn't introduced to cycling until I started racing with the UCLA cycling team in 2016. Immediately after graduating college in 2017, I raced for a few weeks in the Netherlands which really opened my eyes to what the cycling world is all about. In 2018, I raced for the Amy D. Foundation at Colorado Classic and had a breakout performance in the TT. Later that year, ADF offered to bring me on as their one permanent rider for the 2019 season, the first time they'd have a rider race for them for the entire calendar season. This amazing opportunity is what launched me to where I am today -- I grew so much as a rider over the course of the 2019 season with the Amy D. Foundation, and had planned to build on that growth in 2020 as well. 

I've also dabbled in cycling disciplines other than road. I raced at Cyclocross Nationals in 2019 as a total newbie and I've also been riding gravel a lot more. I would jump at the chance to do some gravel racing next year.

 

Off the bike I enjoy pretty much anything outdoors, especially backpacking and camping, and I'm looking forward to trying out some winter sports in Reno in the coming months.

// Q&A with Maddy 

Why cycling? 

My dad has been a cyclist for a long time and when I mentioned as a sophomore in college that I was interested in joining the UCLA Triathlon team, my dad got really excited and surprised me with a road bike the following week. I went to a couple UCLA Tri practices but was ultimately unenthused about the sport because I'm not a huge fan of swimming. The following summer I learned about the UCLA Cycling team. As soon as I went back to school in the Fall, I checked out the cycling team and started racing in no time. That was back in 2016 and it's so cool to see how far I've come.

Favorite ride:

Anywhere in the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, CA.

Favorite Cycling Moment (so far):
Winning California Road State Championship in 2018 when I was racing for San Diego Bicycle Club.


2021 goals:

Earn the opportunity to race in Europe. Hone my virtual racing skills by understanding the game physics: when to coast, how to take advantage of drafting, etc. (A sign of the times). Excel in gravel races. My sights are set on SBT GRVL.

Contribute effectively to lead-out trains.


When not riding, I like to...:

Go to coffee shops,Camp/backpack,Watch Netflix,Read,Play boardgames (Catan anyone?), I'm learning how to ski which is fun. I've been up once and started picking things up so I think I'll go back again.

Favorite warmup song:

Blinding Lights by The Weeknd.


Favorite post-ride food:

Burritos.


Any advice to future // aspiring cyclists? 

It's okay if you miss or don't complete a workout. You may end up doing yourself more harm than good if you try to push through injury or don't listen to your body if you can't hit your numbers. Give yourself a break, try not to stress, and crush the workout tomorrow instead..

 
Little-Known Fact:

It's been three years, but I used to cook my eggs exclusively in the microwave. My cooking skills still aren't great, but I've graduated to cooking eggs on the stove and have added many other cooking techniques to my repertoire.

 

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