We first became truly aware of Alexis Ryan when we interviewed her in her Majorca hotel room, mid-way though her first training camp with Canyon//SRAM. What struck us most about the then 21-year-old was her intense sensibility, maturity, and thoughtful nature.
The US rider has held the titles of Junior National Road Race, Criterium, Cyclocross, XC Mountain Bike and Track Champion - some multiple times. The new season has been successful for the 22-year-old already, and she scooped up the Best Young Rider award at the Santos Tour Down Under.
As well as being a rising star, with a particular focus on spring classics, Ryan is fast growing a reputation for her poetry and monologues. Her most recent creation, which appeared in a promotion for the UCI Women's World Tour bowled us away, as she spoke about the pain and passion of bike racing...
Ryan's passage covers a range of emotions attached to racing - many of which amateurs will understand just as keenly as pros:
It's complete chaos. And I relish in that chaos, because anything can happen. You have to go to hell, and back. You've dedicated your whole life to this moment, and it could just be taken away because you get a flat. And it's almost... it could be so tragic, and I think that's what the draw is. Because if it's not tragic, it's one of the most beautiful things to win a bike race.
The person who has won, has destroyed themselves to win. And so you've overcome, not only the process of training, and pushing yourself to the limits, but you've beat luck itself.
We can't wait to watch the riders attack the UCI Women's World Tour once again- perhaps there will be some tragedy on the way, but we expect a lot of joy as well. And of course, we look forward to watching Ryan and her Canyon//SRAM team mates getting stuck into the mix.