Get to Know U23 Member Katja Freeburn

This week, meet…

KATJA FREEBURN

Racing Age: 19
Hometown: Durango, CO
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
Favorite Training Song: “God’s Plan” by Drake
Best Post-Ride Snack: Bananas and almond butter

I was lucky enough to grow up in the town of Durango, Colorado and had parents who were very supportive and tried to get me into sports as a child. My roots are actually in Nordic skiing, which was the first sport I really fell in love with. After that came the distance running and cycling. I started racing mountain bikes when I was in middle school when I realized that I really liked the sport. It was a surprise to my parents because I had been extremely opposed to mountain biking for years. The development program in Durango, Durango Devo, really helped me learn to enjoy the sport and make life long friends. Durango Devo also helped me get involved with the community in high school with coaching some of the junior groups and summer camps.

I also got the amazing opportunity to race in the Colorado High School Cycling League all four years of high school. I got to race some of the fastest junior girls in the country, while having incredible amounts of fun. I met so many amazing people and discovered how cool the cycling community was. My freshman year of high school after my first season of high school racing was when I started to really get serious about biking, even though I still thought of it as my second sport behind skiing.

I always thought of Nordic skiing as my main sport up until last year, where I decided to switch over to cycling full time when I was picking colleges. I had put most of my efforts and focus into skiing my senior year of high school, where I attended Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, in hopes of skiing D1 in college. Things did not work out, so I decided to turn my focus on cycling full time. I currently am a freshman at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and I race collegiate mountain biking and cyclocross for them. I am studying Environmental Studies and focusing on getting my GIS (Geographic Information Systems Mapping) certificate when I graduate college.

Trying to be a full time student and also an athlete, where I will be racing in the professional field this year for the first time has its challenges, but it’s all a learning experience. I’ve learned to balance everything the best that I can knowing that it’ll all be worth it in the end.