Samantha Scott ODA Testimonial

Samantha Scott: ODA CX Standout

By: Samantha Scott  January 10, 2022

Samantha Scott made her mark this cyclocross season and proved to be one to watch in years to come. This past season she competed with the Olympic Development Academy and shared her experiences with the team.

How did you get into cycling?

I got into cycling when my school scheduled a 8th grade outdoor experience trip. It was a 70 mile gravel road bike trip through Oregon and Idaho, for 5 days. Every night we camped on the edge of the trail. This was hard because I had not camped out in my life. Not to mentioned, ride a bike for that many miles! I packed my bags and took my mountain bike with my flat pedals and loved every second of it. This trip opened my eyes to something I really enjoyed and inspired me to continue cycling. Less than a month later after returning home, I joined the local cycling club and my passion for cycling took off.

What was it like being a part of the first USA Cycling Olympic Development Academy?

I will never forget my experience with the ODA! At the start, I set high personal goals that honestly, I didn’t think they where possible to achieve. However I watched myself grow, on so many levels, at every race. The entire staff was professional, organized and gave me a positive team environment and atmosphere. I really appreciate the entire staffs support which helped me reach my potential and goals. I made the best relationships on this team that will last a lifetime. I am truly grateful for being chosen into the first USA Cycling Olympic Development Academy program.

How was your first European racing experience?

My 2nd day in Belgium started with a pre ride at my first European World Cup course in Namur. I felt defeated even before I had even begun. My early morning hour was full of slipping, sliding and falling at, which seemed to be at every corner! Could you imagine traveling almost 27 hours, going through every Covid safe International protocol app and form, to then get to the ultimate race of your career to feeling this way? Frustration and worry about tomorrows performance immediately set in. After all, this was a world renowned course! That night I went back home and focused on what I had learned from the ODA. The following morning my feelings changed as soon as those lights turned green at the start line. 45 minutes later at the finish line, I was proud I even survived the race without a serious injury.

At the end of my 19 day European race block, I realized that the UCI courses are all so elaborate in design-which makes them very difficult and fun! My favorite element in the European CX courses are The Whoops. These were new to me and I quickly had to learn the correct way to tackle these in a race. In the end, they are my favorite element and I hope they might be added to US CX courses! They make for a fun time no matter the results!

What is your most memorable cycling moment?

My most memorable cycling moment was when I crossed the line in 8th place and the second American in the Sven Nys’s race in Baal, Belgium. This was my first race of the 2022 season and I was smiling as I crossed the finishing line knowing of my placing. This was not just memorable because of my result but because I felt I made everyone that supported me, spent their time working with me feel proud. This was the last race of the season and to see all the progress I made was the best feeling in the world!

What are your plans for the rest of the CX season and goals for next year?

My Cyclocross season has sadly came to an end but I am already hungry for next season. My goals for next year are to podium at many UCI races. This will help me to be a top contender for PanAms and Cyclocross Nationals. I am really hoping I will have the chance to go back to Europe to earn a spot on the Worlds Team. This past season I had made me realize my potential and I am so excited to come back next season even stronger!!