She comes from a land down under...
We want to officially give a warm welcome to the legend Emma Roberts. We fully rate her and you should too. Here in her own words, she shares what her first week on LA Sweat was like.
Words by Emma Roberts
Racing bikes is a funny old thing – the highs, the lows, the people you meet, the places you go and the lifelong friends you come across certainly make the sport, which can at times be equally as scarring as rewarding, what it is.
For me, joining LA Sweat has certainly been one of the highs.
I’m Emma Roberts, a 29 year old Australian on tour with LA Sweat for the 2018 summer of crits in the USA.
I have a slightly unconventional background for someone racing bikes in my late 20s having been heavily involved in professional sailing for the majority of my sporting career, but bikes won me over a few years ago, and here we are today.
After racing the 2017 American season with several other riders from my Australian team, NSWIS Sydney Uni, I knew I wanted to come back over to the USA for another hit of the fast paced summer of racing and the lifestyle that goes along with it.
My plans were derailed by a serious crash soon after returning home to Australia last year, in which I sustained severe injuries that required multiple surgeries and a 6 month long recovery. With a combination of some long trainer sessions, a sprinkling of pigheadedness, touch of luck and the presence of an amazing support network, the stars aligned and everything came together for Summer 2.0 in America to take place – featuring the one and only crit squad that is LA Sweat.
I arrived in late May to kick things off at Winston Salem, a UCI 1.1 race that while still relatively new on the calendar, has garnered respect as one of the harder races in on the UCI tour, attracting a quality field and paying impressive and equal prize money to both the men's and women's fields.
Walking out of the Charlotte airport into a wall of 100 degree humidity off the back of cooling early winter temperatures in Australia was a bit of a shock to the system, but the week we spent there was great fun and a wonderful way to get to know some of the friendliest, most unassuming and hilarious teammates I’ve come across in my 15+ years of sport. Brenna, Kim, and Mel kept the spirits high and the performance anxiety low as we lined up against some of the strongest teams out there over the weekend of racing, which featured the second round of the USA Crits series, and the Road Race on Sunday.
My fresh plane legs and a dose of flu meant I wasn’t able to support the girls on the road as much as I would have liked, but seeing Brenna come home strong on the back of some impressive teamwork, and how proud it made me feel, for sure told me I’d signed with the right squad.
From Winston-Salem we headed to Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Pro-Am Classic, three fast-paced days of hot and heavy crit racing, Friday's race also doubles as the third round of the USA Crits series. A few solid results, some quality coffee and finally being able to meet the mastermind behind the team, Kelli Samuelson, made for a great weekend, and a good lead-in for the one and only Tulsa Tough this weekend.
The combination of fantastic personalities, serious fire-power on and off the bike, amazing equipment and generous sponsors make life on the road with LA Sweat the definition of ‘living the dream’ – the time, passion, energy and care that goes into keeping the wheels turning for this squad is inspirational.
From here we have over 100 hours of driving and a ton more racing to round out the USA Crits series and the American summer of racing, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be doing it all with this wonderful group of ladies.
Follow Emma and all her ism's on the gram @emmacoralroberts