The news is already out about woman pro Felicia Stancil changing gears for the upcoming USA BMX season. We sat down with Felicia to catch up and learn more about her career and what the future holds as she gets back into the full swing in 2019!
RIDE: You were greatly missed during the majority of the 2018 season. Injury, school, the works. Take us through last year and what it took to get refocused for the upcoming 2019 season…
FELICIA: My goals for 2018 were to focus on the USA BMX races and finish my college degree. I wanted to finish my experience at Marian University off strong, which is why I chose not to attend the majority of the World Cups. I never got injured, but I was battling some intense biology exams throughout the year. School can be exhausting at times, but I am so happy I finished that chapter of my life on a high note. Throughout the year, I was still able to secure the BMX Women collegiate title, a podium at MTB collegiate nationals, World cup finals, and 3rd overall of the USA BMX circuit. It was an awesome year and now I feel I'm going into 2019 the most confident and ready I have ever felt.
RIDE: The word is out that you just inked a new deal with the legendary Supercross BMX. Tell us a bit about how the deal came together with Bill Ryan and company?
FELICIA: Now that my college chapter came to an end, my BMX goals are the priority. With the big goals I have in the sport, I was looking for a great bike and team that would be a perfect match. I have always been a fan of the Supercross carbon frame and after a few conversations with Bill and Melissa, it became easy to imagine myself apart of the team.
RIDE: Take us back to when you first started racing. How did you get involved?
FELICIA: My dad used to be a professional BMX racer, but he quit racing when I was born. Unfortunately, my mom passed away at the age of four, so it was just me and my dad for some time. My dad and I started to go on bike rides every day. It became our thing. My dad started to take me around the country to race, then that started to become our thing.
RIDE: So far you have had a phenomenal career with more than 10 amateur world titles and a slew of other accolades. What has been your main drive to stays so competitive and focused on making a long career in BMX?
FELICIA: Thank you! Different things have driven me at different parts of my career. At the beginning of my career, I really enjoyed learning about training and the sport as a whole. My biggest drive lately is to live up to my fullest potential. I am extremely passionate about BMX and I have a lot left to accomplish in this sport.
RIDE: The women's Pro class has been fairly stable for the last few years. What is your view on the future of the class with the recent rule change for age requirements and the new women pro riders that have joined the class over the last two seasons?
FELICIA: The competition in Women Pro has elevated a lot in the past five years. I was the youngest in the top six overall girls from USA BMX, but hopefully, some upcoming girls can be there with us. I love competition as it drives all of us to work harder and try new things, so the more the merrier!
RIDE: With your new Supercross BMX deal, will we see you making a big push for a spot on the 2020 Olympic team and chasing Gold?
FELICIA: Yes, that it one of the big goals, but there are a lot of races until then I will be focusing on. Women’s Gold is the only medal that Team USA hasn't brought back yet, so that would be a dream come true.
RIDE: One of the unique things for you is that you're fortunate enough to be a full-time student athlete. Having the opportunity to earn a college education while racing BMX for your school is pretty rad. How do you see collegiate BMX evolving in the future?
FELICIA: I graduated from Marian University in 2018 and it was extremely rad to earn a college degree on a BMX scholarship. BMX has been a collegiate sport for seven years now and I'm extremely grateful I was one of the first to take advantage of the great opportunity. Many talented riders start to drop out of the sport as they begin college. I think this opportunity is a great way for riders to earn their degree and continue to pursue their BMX goals. The team at Marian has grown a lot since it began and I hope to see collegiate BMX move in that direction as well. Hopefully, more schools and programs take advantage of the opportunity, which will bring more athletes to collegiate BMX.
RIDE: There are a ton of young girls who look up to you as they mold their own careers. What advice do you have for them as they continue to strive for BMX greatness?
FELICIA: The best advice I can give to anyway is to believe in yourself. It's amazing how strong someone can be with some faith and confidence in their abilities.
RIDE: What can we expect to see from "Flyin’" Felicia over the next couple of years? Any special trips or events you will be hitting?
FELICIA: I plan to do the entire USA BMX and World Cup circuit over the next few years. I want to race and travel a lot, but I don't have any special events currently planned. I typically do a few trips for training in different locations, so be sure to follow me on social media to see where I may be! Instagram – Feliciastancil23 Twitter – Feliciastancil
RIDE: Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to before you go?
FELICIA: Thank you to Supercross, Marian University, USA cycling, Speedline, Oakley, Fly Racing, HT components, and Tioga Tires for the support this upcoming year. Also, a big thank you to Kyle Robinson for being an awesome mechanic. Lastly, I want to thank my family and friends for keeping the journey fun!