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As mountain biking lovers, Todd and Jennifer Erickson needed to deliver their youngest daughter, Ella, alongside for the trip once they had been dwelling in Ellensburg, Wash., throughout Jennifer’s time in graduate faculty.

“We did not have a whole lot of household or associates there,” Jennifer Erickson stated. “We would find yourself shuttling one another to the highest of an area mountain and driving again down. We simply kind of roped her together with us, and fortunately, she favored it.”

FOR ELLA, a senior at Coeur d’Alene Constitution Academy, the love of driving all began with some native races.

“I’ve been driving bikes my total life,” Ella stated. “I began out racing BMX bikes at Cherry Hill Park (in Coeur d’Alene). My mother and father additionally rode, so whereas I used to be racing BMX, I additionally began driving downhill. I did a race at Silver Mountain (in Kellogg) for enjoyable and actually loved doing these as a substitute of driving BMX.”

And the thrill of flying downhill didn’t harm both.

“When you strive it, you possibly can’t cease,” Ella stated. “I simply sort of have a necessity for pace I assume, and it’s a good way to try this.”

Ella Erickson, 17, competes within the Northwest Cup Collection, in addition to just a few races a 12 months on the nationwide circuit via USA Biking.

“I’ll usually do 12 races a 12 months,” Ella stated. “This 12 months, there has solely been a few races as a result of most of them have been canceled due to the coronavirus.”

Ella, a two-time World Junior champion, will get to compete within the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Leogang, Austria, on Oct. 7-11 after just lately being chosen to the U.S. group.

Ella’s occasion, the Junior Women downhill, is scheduled for Oct. 11.

“You’ve acquired to get a specific amount of wins annually,” Ella stated. “However so long as you’ve acquired a license via USA Biking, you possibly can compete at nationals.”

Successful the previous two nationwide titles in her age group additionally helped significantly in getting chosen for the world championships.

“I received the final two nationwide titles once I was 15 and 16 years previous,” Ella stated. “My instances would have crushed the remainder of the 17- and 18-year olds this 12 months.”

Ella is the lone lady competing for the U.S. within the Junior Women downhill.

Ella added there’s just a few anxious moments that include every race, however she’s acquired a routine that has helped with that.

“I used to get much more nervous beforehand, however now have that below management,” Ella stated. “I often hearken to ‘Clean Crusing’ by Leon Bridges, and that’s been my good luck allure. More often than not, I’ll eat smoked salmon earlier than a race. It appears to be the best factor to deliver with you and is an effective protein supply.”

DUE TO the COVID pandemic, Erickson’s mother and father — like all different mother and father of the junior opponents — should not allowed to journey to the occasion. No followers might be current for the world occasion both.

“I’m a bit of nervous about touring alone,” Ella stated. “I can go as a result of I’ve acquired an exemption as a result of skilled athletes are thought-about important staff in Austria, so I’ll be staying with a few of the different athletes which might be going and a mechanic to work on our bikes.”

Ella just lately returned from nationals in West Virginia. The world group was introduced previous to nationals.

“It’s fascinating,” stated Jennifer of Ella’s journey. “It will likely be bizarre to not go to worlds together with her. Neither my husband or I’ve been to Europe in any respect, so for her to get to go earlier than us is sort of a humorous factor. I’ve acquired the numbers of a few of the different mother and father, and we’re all in the identical boat, so we’ll be supporting one another for certain.”

Crew USA doesn’t cowl bills for junior athletes, so all prices are as much as Ella to handle.

“I’ve acquired a GoFundMe web page (www.gofundme.com/f/send-ella-to-2020-uci-mtn-bike-world-championship) and have acquired a whole lot of assist from Doma Espresso as nicely,” Ella stated. “The assist we’ve acquired has been nice thus far.”

The finals of the occasion might be broadcast on RedBull.TV.

Jason Elliott is a sports activities author for The Press. He might be reached by phone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or through e mail at jelliott@cdapress.com. Observe him on Twitter @JECdAPress.

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