Mirianna “Muffy” Davis was no stranger to success even before she arrived in Augusta for this year’s USA Cycling National Championships. But the heat and humidity were a bit unfamiliar.
Davis, a medalist in past Paralympic Winter Games on the ski slopes, claimed a handcycling road national championship Saturday in her first race since being officially named part of the U.S. paralympic cycling team that will represent the country in London later this summer at the Paralympic Summer Games.
Though Davis has earned a spot in previous Winter Games, she’s still relatively new to the country’s elite summer competition.
“It’s definitely different,” she said. “I live in Salt Lake (City, Utah). Granted it’s not as humid, but we can get hot. I’ve been trying to go out in the peak hot hours, and I think that helped a little bit training like that.”
Davis was one of 13 paralympics named to the U.S. team at a ceremony in Augusta Friday night.
“It’s great to have that hurdle down,” she said. “One big one down, now a big hurdle to prep for. It’s the same old. You just accomplish one hill and you’ve got another one to climb. So we’re thrilled to have this over and get named to the team. It’s always my dream to represent the United States. That’s the biggest honor, and I just hope I can go give it my best.”
The 40-year-old competitor wasn’t the only athlete to win a road national championship Saturday morning.
The nation’s top paracyclists were the first to take over Fort Gordon’s Major Matthew P. Burke, M.D. championship course in the second-to-last day of the five-day event.
Allison Jones, also heading to the London Games, defended her road national championship with a repeat paracycling victory, and Paralympics teammate Monica Bascio also won a handcycling road national title.
Clark Rachfal and Steven Peace, who both made the U.S. Paralympics team on the men’s side, won road national titles on a morning when paracyclists not only had to deal with heat but also had to avoid a rattlesnake stretched across a portion of the 24-kilometer course.
The morning paracycling events gave way to junior racing in the afternoon. The final day of the USA Cycling National Championships will begin this morning with 17- and 18-year-old men competing in a 96-kilometer road race. The elite women and 23-years-old and under women will follow shortly after in a 120-kilometer event. The elite men will finish the final day with a seven-lap, 168-kilometer race starting at 1 p.m.