Meet Emma White
Young Rally racer shows she’s as formidable on the road as on the 'cross course…
All Photos by Jordan Clark Haggard
Of course, Emma White wanted to win. And she just about did, after launching a long sprint to take second in Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM in Elk Grove, Calif. She finished the sprint, mouth agape from the effort and the realization of the moment. It was a nice step forward for the 20-year-old Rally Cycling racer. We caught up with Emma the next morning to put it all into perspective:
Tell us about how the sprint played out in Stage 1.
I’m really happy with second place. We just kept things under control the whole race. We knew it would be a sprint finish, just by the nature of the course. The team was great. We organized really well early on. They protected me well. Going into 1k, I had to surf wheels and I ended up going pretty early, a little bit of a panic mode/improvisation. I knew I had to go or get swarmed. I wasn’t able to hold it all the way to the line, but I’m still happy with second place.
What emotions and thoughts flooded into your mind right after crossing the line?
Initially, I was upset. For a couple of seconds, I was like, ‘I can win this bike race.’ But after a little bit, it set in that I was second on a WorldTour stage. Last year I was top 10, and that was huge for me. I’m just taking the small gains.
Rally Cycling seems like a good team culture. The men do well. The women do well. What’s it’s like on this team?
This team is seriously the best team! On the bike and off the bike, everyone meshes super well. We trust each other 100 percent, which is huge, especially in a race like yesterday I could not have done that without them.
What are your plans as far as racing both cyclocross and road? Are you going to keep doing both?
It’s kind of to be determined! There are some possible track opportunities so we’ll see what that brings to the table!
You’re a student at Union College in your hometown of Duanesburg, N.Y.
We’re on the trimester system, so we go until mid-June. So, I still have a couple of weeks.
Your professors are pretty understanding of your traveling to pro bike races?
They’re great. Being at a small school really helps. They follow the race. They emailed me yesterday after the podium (ceremony). I’ve lucked out with the school situation.
Your brother Curtis is still a student there, too? (They’re teammates on the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld team)
He graduates later this year.
Do you two get a chance to train much together anymore?
It’s so crazy! When we’re both home, maybe a recovery ride. We don’t get to see each other too much, especially with our class schedules.
What’s it like being a pro based on the East Coast? So many pros live out West.
We don’t really have too many people close by to us. But New England is a really special community. I was in men’s races a couple weeks ago. They’re all so supportive and welcoming and want to see the best in us.
What do you think about the Best Young Rider jersey you’re wearing?
It’s so fun! I love the jersey. It’s very well designed!