A blown knee. A dislocated shoulder. A painful crash onto pavement.
It’ll take more than that to stop Rose Grant.
Last weekend the 34-year-old Columbia Falls cyclist continued her remarkable comeback from surgery and powered through 50 miles of intense racing to win her fourth consecutive USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship.
Grant captured the title on a fast, winding course in Arkansas that featured elite riders from across the nation chasing the coveted stars-and-stripes jersey. Grant, riding for the Stan’s-Pivot pro team, edged Crystal Anthony of Massachusetts in a competitive conclusion that saw both riders fly through the finish line.
“It was like trying to kill each other by ripping each other’s legs off,” Grant told CyclingNews.com afterward. “The second half of the race we took turns at the front. Crystal put in some really aggressive efforts. Yeah, we were burning matches right down to the finish.
Grant’s championship victory is even more remarkable considering the harsh series of events she’s navigated in the last year. Since last fall, she’s recovered from a snapped ACL and torn MCL. In one of her first races this spring, she landed in the emergency room with a dislocated shoulder. But in no time at all, she was back racing. And then, at the recent Whiskey Off-Road event in Arizona, she crashed onto the pavement near the finish line.
Not surprising, she was back racing the next day, and last weekend she was defending her national championship for a fourth straight year.
When asked by CyclingNews.com what last weekend’s championship meant to her in light of her recent challenges, Grant responded, “It means how important it is to trust the process, and stay faithful to the calling that has been laid before me. I just think it is an honor to race my bike for the glory of God.”