USACYCLING  • Natasha Visnack
Natasha Visnack Headshot
Olympic Development Academy - Cyclocross

Natasha Visnack

Hometown Bend, Oregon
Residence Bend, Oregon

Meet the Athlete

Initially starting off as a cross country mountain bike racer, Natasha tried her hand at cyclocross at the age of 12. From her very first race, she could tell there was something special about the sport. From the heckling and dollar bill handups to the quick, suspensionless bikes, cross possessed a strange sort of charm that left Natasha wanting more.

The next year she joined a local junior cross team and after a season of chasing around experienced racers, she went to her first national event, finishing 7th for 13-14 junior women. At Nationals, she was able to watch the nation’s top racers first hand as she cheered from the sidelines of the U23 men’s and women’s races. After seeing the racer’s seemingly superhuman power and agility, Natasha became inspired to pursue cyclocross at a higher level. Over the next couple years she worked her way through the ranks of the Oregon Women’s categories, finishing 1st in Junior Elite Women in 2017 and 1st in the 2019 Cross Crusade series in 2-3 Women.

During the Summer of 2019, Natasha attended the USA Cycling Talent ID Camp in Washington. Over the course of the seven day camp, she got a glimpse into the world of professional cyclocross through the camp’s instruction as well as through her interactions with the camp's coaches. Even though she didn’t know yet how she was going to get there, she knew she wanted to be part of that world of talented athletes.

Later in 2019, Natasha got a taste of racing in the next age category at both CX nationals and the Colorado State Championships, where she finished 15th and 3rd respectively in the 15-16 junior women category. Energized by seeing the new speed of her competitors, she approached her training over quarantine with renewed vigor and experienced some success with her short lived 2020 cyclocross season by placing 3rd in two California Women A races.

Looking forward, Natasha hopes to take her racing to the next level with the help of the Olympic Development Academy. After years of looking up to the top US racers, she is excited to follow in their footsteps and race on the world stage.

In addition to her racing, Natasha also dedicates her time to improving the cycling community around her. After being disappointed to find that there was no cycling team at her High School, Natasha took it upon herself to create one. The team, composed of everyone from elite racers to occasional riders, is focused on building riders’ skills and endurance so that riders can enjoy the various trips and overnights the group takes throughout the season.

In addition to the club, Natasha works as a private MTB coach during the school year and has volunteered with various youth cycling groups over the Summer. She also spends her time improving racing in Oregon as the chair of the OBRA (Oregon Bike Race Association) Junior Committee.

Growing up, how did youth sports,cycling or others impact who you are today?
Growing up with competitive cycling in my life taught me to take accountability for my future. Both on the race course and during training rides, your speed on the bike is solely determined by how much effort you put in. Through my racing and training I learned that this dynamic is true for all aspects of life; you get as much out of something as you put into it. Now, whether it be in my cycling, school work, or any other pursuit, I aim to take control of my future by putting in my full effort...

Growing up with competitive cycling in my life taught me to take accountability for my future. Both on the race course and during training rides, your speed on the bike is solely determined by how much effort you put in. Through my racing and training I learned that this dynamic is true for all aspects of life; you get as much out of something as you put into it. Now, whether it be in my cycling, school work, or any other pursuit, I aim to take control of my future by putting in my full effort so I can get the greatest possible returns.

What is something you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
My early cycling career was marked by a lot of doubt. Doubt in my ability to race with faster, more experienced people. Doubt in my ability to take my cycling to the next level as I desperately wanted to. Doubt in my ability to improve. As a result, I often held myself back from pursuing my goals because I was too scared to have my doubts confirmed. If I could, would go back to my younger self and tell her that it's much better to take a leap of faith and fail than it is to wait around till...

My early cycling career was marked by a lot of doubt. Doubt in my ability to race with faster, more experienced people. Doubt in my ability to take my cycling to the next level as I desperately wanted to. Doubt in my ability to improve. As a result, I often held myself back from pursuing my goals because I was too scared to have my doubts confirmed. If I could, would go back to my younger self and tell her that it's much better to take a leap of faith and fail than it is to wait around till your doubts magically disappear.

What is your favorite post-ride snack/meal?

In addition to a healthy serving of recovery mix, I always gravitate towards a mixing bowl sized salad or a slice of pizza with pineapple on top.

In addition to a healthy serving of recovery mix, I always gravitate towards a mixing bowl sized salad or a slice of pizza with pineapple on top.

Points of Interest

N Visnack POI1

1st 2019 Cross Crusade series 2-3 Women

3rd place 2020 CrossOff Women A

N Visnack POI2
N Visnack POI3

3rd place 2019 Colorado CX State Championship Women JW 15-16

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