Abigail Yates (Matrix CC/Richardson BikeMart) was born in the UK, but she moved to the U.S. when she was 7 years old. A few years after moving to the States, Yates and her now Rowlett, Texas family got into cyclocross.
“My brother joined the mountain bike club in high school and it just kind of went from there. My dad joined and then I was like 10 or 11 and was like, ‘I want to join!’ Now I’m here, and I love it,” Yates said.
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That love was part of what brought Yates to Montana Cross Camp for the second straight year last week. A Junior in high school this year, Yates and her family spent a lot of time on the road last year traveling to UCI cyclocross races, and she said she expects this year to be no different.
This coming year will be a big one for Yates. Racing age 18 this coming season, she missed her first Junior/U23 Nationals in Louisville because she was obtaining her U.S. citizenship. Yates admitted she did not necessarily miss all the running and mud when she saw the race on the live stream.
Montana Cross Camp has always been a great opportunity for young cyclists to form new friendships, but for riders in areas that are not necessarily cycling hotbeds, forming friendships despite racing against one another is often a must. We saw that with Disa Doherty and Elsa Westenfelder of Montana, and the same is true of Yates and Tulsan Aubrey Drummond.
“Aubrey and I are best friends, but when we race, we don’t like each other. It’s been great to ride and train with these girls and have no tension with each other,” Yates.
Some of that tension, however, spills over into their choices of favorite riders. Drummond, as we saw, is a big Wout fan, while Yates’ favorite cyclist is Mathieu van der Poel.
“I was a Wout fan for quite a while because I am best friends with her, but then I kind of went more toward Mathieu. I just like him more,” Yates said. “He’s just really good at everything.”
I sat down to talk with Yates during last week’s Women’s Montana Cross Camp. See the video below for our full conversation.