Georgia Gould has high hopes for 2013, starting with a National CX title this month

Gould looks forward to a victorious 2013 - Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Gould looking to medal at Nats and Worlds before entering mtb season.

Georgia Gould ended 2012 with another USGP series victory to add to her already impressive palmares – a great finish for a successful year and the inspiration for another.

Gould had a stellar mountain bike season which included winning the Cross Country National race in Sun Valley, ID, as well as the bronze medal in the Olympic cross country mountain bike race in London. She kicked off the cyclocross season with a win at the Sea Otter Classic and rode to victories at races like the Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup and the Colorado Cross Classic.

"The USGP series is always a big goal of my 'cross season, and this year was no different," said Gould in a December interview with Podium Café. "It was great to see even more women come out to the races. This year several European women came over to contest rounds of the USGP, which helped to raise the level of competition even more. The USGP races were the most competitive races outside the World Cup."

Gould rode strong to win the USGP title, finishing consistently second and third.

"Obviously I would like to win all the races, but really it's not fair to expect myself to race at 100 percent year-round," said Gould. "So I'm satisfied that at least I'm still in the mix. I've been able to stay fit and mentally pretty fresh for a long time now, so figuring how to maintain that has been good."

Kicking off the New Year with new goals, Georgia Gould has her eyes set on a National ‘cross title and possibly a medal at Worlds.

Coming up January 13, the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships will be held in Madison, WI, where Katie Compton will be the one to beat as she defends her elite title.

"Katie Compton is definitely the biggest competition at Nationals. She's been consistently winning World Cups, and I'm guessing that defending her National title is a big goal, too," said Gould, adding, "There are plenty of other fast women who will be very motivated as well: Katie Antonneau, Teal Stetson-Lee, Meredith Miller, Nicole Duke, Amanda Miller, are some of the faces I expect to be at the front, but I never count anyone out."

The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, to follow in Louisville, KY, on February 3, will see even more competition, and due to a lack of international ‘cross appearances this year, Gould’s call-up will be less than ideal. Still, Gould is optimistic.

"Like you said, it's not ideal, but I don't think that a bad start precludes a good race," said Gould. "The start in Louisville is really fast, so I think if it was really muddy and conditions were a little slower it would benefit me a little more. But first things first I have to qualify!"

In looking even further ahead, Gould has no shortage in the goals set for her 2013 mountain bike season.

"For mountain bike season, I want to win a World Cup. I've been really close, but haven't quite put it together yet. So that's a big goal. Defending my National Championship is always a huge goal for me," said Gould. "One of the biggest races of the season- the World Championships- happens at the end of the season. I'd love to medal in that race as well."

Even with the impressive victories and high aspirations, Gould always remembers to have fun and to not take herself too seriously. A fan-favorite, Gould usually has a big smile on her face, will take handoffs in the middle of a ‘cross race – be it a cupcake or a rubber chicken –, and enjoys being heckled.

"I love that aspect of cyclocross. Keeping things fun is really important for me during 'cross season. Racing in front of a crowd is always way more awesome than racing in front of no crowd, and lots of people come out to the big US 'cross races," said Gould. "I love the heckling, the sense of humor, the 'don't take yourself so seriously' stuff. And I love cupcakes."

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