Emma Maaranen, Fairlee Mondin-Frey, Jen Malik, and Nikki Peterson met in 2017 on the elite women's mountain bike circuit. They quickly formed friendships and started talking about their 2018 plans. With limited space on other domestic teams, they decided to form an elite UCI team together. We are looking forward to supporting them and following in their race adventures in 2018. Be sure to check back with us for updates through out the season! You can also check out upcoming news and events through their website linked below:
Emma found herself at the first mountain bike start line the year after she was in a near fatal mountain bike crash where she fell off a three-story cliff. After Life Flight and countless surgeries to save her left foot, she was determined to become a better bike handler so she would not have to repeat the event. She started racing not to race, but to meet women who were shredders to ride with. Now, as an elite mountain biker, she races to challenge herself and connect with women to share her passion for the sport. She has been racing in the elite ranks for three seasons after winning Cat 1 women XC at Sea Otter Classic in 2015. Since then, she consistently places in the top ten at Pro XCT and STXC events, was crowned the 2016 Pro Woman Fat Bike National Champion, earned second place at Breck Epic after six grueling days in the mountains, and most recently placed second to Katerina Nash at Downieville for the All-Mountain World Championships. Her stoke is found working on technical lines and methodically expanding her bike handling skills. She regularly finds herself helping strangers on the trail step up a large boulder or sight a line through the unforgiving lavarock baby heads, and this has evolved into regular mountain bike skills clinics. Off the bike Emma is a professor at Central Oregon Community College teaching physiology based courses to vocational medical students; a professional background that she applies to her mountain bike, road, and triathlon clients as a coach at Wenzel Coaching.
Jennifer Malik is a PhD student studying Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University, but also an elite athlete who gives back to the community through volunteer activities in Columbus, Ohio. Introduced to the sport later in life, she’s excelled over the past three years. Passion, community, and adventure drive Jen as she continues to work towards her aspirations of competing in a World Cup race and eventually racing on the US National Team. She had her breakthrough season this year placing 10th at in the Missoula Pro XCO race (C2), 11th in the Pro Women’s field at Mountain Bike National Championships XCO, and 17th in the Pro Women’s field at Boston Rebellion XCO (HC). When she is not in the lab or racing, Jen actively recruits women to try mountain biking as well as volunteers at local mountain bike clinics and practices to teach new cyclists. She serves as an active board member in the Central Ohio Mountain Biking Organization (COMBO) specifically focused on local trail maintenance and building with her biggest accomplishment being the project lead and coordinator for the installation of a 100ft rock garden. In conjunction with being an active COMBO member, Jen volunteers with Cap City Collective to organize and help run the local short track mountain bike series; the only USAC sanctioned mountain bike events in Ohio.
Instagram: @FairleeMondin-Frey www.fortheloveofriding.com
Fairlee discovered the sport of mountain biking while attending nursing school. She was a collegiate ice hockey athlete as an undergraduate, and found herself in need of an outlet from the rigors of intensive clinical rotations and classroom time. She qualified for a professional upgrade that same year in the 2013 Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships but continued to race locally and focus on her nursing career. One year later, she made the difficult decision to leave her dream job in the ICU and pursue her new passion for mountain bikes. Since that time, Fairlee has moved up quickly within the elite field and has only fallen more in love with the adventures, travels and amazing people she has encountered while pursuing her goal of racing at the World Cup level. Fairlee is passionate about spreading her love for mountain biking throughout her community and beyond. In Boise, ID she volunteers as a skills coach with the Idaho NICA Mountain Bike League and Dirt Dolls (a ladies-only ride group). She is also a member of the Oregon-based Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, where she works with the tribal community to promote healthy lifestyle choices and higher education.
Nikki started racing mountain bikes in January of 2015 in the Expert race at McDowell Park near Scottsdale, AZ. She finished mid-pack and was instantly hooked. She made significant improvements throughout her first season. At USA Cycling Nationals, she finished 6th in her first ever Short Track and 2nd in the XC Cat 1 25-29 Category. She was then granted a Pro upgrade. Her first year as a Pro consisted of being a Weekend Warrior, little riding throughout the weekdays and racing nearly every weekend. Being on the line with Olympians, National Champions, and other high level female athletes sparked a drive in her. She was fortunate enough to be signed with Team RideBiker near the end of the season. In her first race for the team she finished 11th in the women’s Pro division at the USA Cycling National Championships. Once joining Team RideBiker, Nikki began working with Carmichael Training Systems coach Adam Pulford, which has had a huge impact on training and thus racing. The 2017 season saw many successes. She improved 5-20 minutes on courses she had raced on the previous season. She also reached her goal of earning enough UCI points to be UCI World Cup eligible by mid-season. Nikki is hoping that the 2017 season will catapult her to even higher levels in 2018. With aspirations of World Cup racing, she is more motivated than ever to race at her highest level, represent sponsors to her fullest ability, and continue improving. Furthermore, Nikki loves attending group rides, fun events, and especially women’s rides! When not on the bike, Nikki is likely doing homework as she is working towards a Master’s in Education for Elementary Education.