Lea Davison caps off an extraordinary season with what was one her biggest come from behind efforts of her career at the MTB Marathon National Championships. “I came in 3rd place, and I am THRILLED and incredibly proud of this result,” said a very excited Lea Davison. Lea had a tremendous start, and it was clear that she was flying and going for a national championship jersey. She was leading, had a gap before bad luck struck when she flatted on the first downhill about 10 mins into the race and prologue loop. Her first flat tire ALL season.
This course was one 8-mile prologue loop and two 16-mile laps of technical, rocky, east coast singletrack. Terrain that Lea loves. “I should have taken it back a notch on the downhill, but winning requires some risk, and I was so excited.” Lea had trouble plugging and sealing her tire. She ended up riding for 50 minutes and the rest of the prologue loop on a rear flat, thanks to her Cush Core inserts.
“When I got to the tech zone for a wheel change, I was dead last, and the leaders had a 15-20 min gap on me. I thought, well, good thing this is a long race b/c I need as much real estate as possible to catch back up.” Lea remained focused and positive and overcame the many mental pitfalls that could have taken her out. It was a long slog to catch her competitors.
“I had an awesome support crew out there cheering me on (thank god) and my wife, Frazier Blair, giving me splits to the next rider. This was motivating.” It was hard for Lea to get info out there, so Frazier was KEY to the chase. In the second lap, Lea knew she was chasing 4th.
After 4 hrs of relentless technical racing, with just 15 mins left, Frazier told Lea the gap to 3rd was 2 mins. That was the motivation she needed. After a devastating start, a podium was possible. “I caught a bonked Alexis Skarda in 4th, and with 7 mins left, there was a 40-second gap to 3rd. Frazier told me 20 seconds, and that was smart because a 20-second gap seems way more surmountable with minutes left in the race. I said ‘oh my god’ to that 20-second gap, but my friend, Rob, said I just growled.” With 500 meters to the line, an empty Lea Davison caught 3rd place, leaving it all on the course.
“I DID IT!!!!! I closed down HUGE time gaps from last place to stand on the podium. I also overcame knee pain that has taken me on and off the bike since World Champs in September. I was able to race mostly pain-free on Sunday, and I am so grateful for this. I am also incredibly grateful that Frazier, my parents, and my friends showed up BIG time to motivate me and be a part of such a phenomenal day. It was awesome!
"A very proud first result for my @alliedcycleworks BC40 custom pride bike and its first national championship podium. The BC40 with 120 suspension was MADE for that course. It ate those consistent rocks and chunks right up and made the ride smooth and fast.
It was so much fun!"
Saving the best for last! Another stellar performance from Lea Davison. Her grit, detemination were on full display at MTB Marathon Nationals. We are extremely proud of Lea, what she represents and the fierce competitor that she is.