Kacy Martinez might have a hard time following up a rather exciting and success-filled 2015 though this year she vows to work just as hard and say hers as well.
First, she takes home a Bronz Medal in X Games last summer then a few weeks later wraps up her second straight Grand National Cross Country series Championship in the Women's (WXC) class four rounds early. Last month, she took home 2015 AMA Female Racer of the Year (OK technically it occurred in 2016!) but it all got wrapped with a ring placed around her finger, much to her delight.
Martinez, a MotoSport sponsored rider, is busy preparing for the 2016 GNCC series in defense of her back-to-back titles. But we got her to take some time and talk about the upcoming season that starts March 5 in Florida, her plans for entering other racing events this year and, of course, if you haven't heard, her pending nuptials on November 19.
Photo: Simon Cudby
1. How was the off-season? What did you do?
My off-season was great! It started out going to the last round of our local Cross Country series, District-36, with my boyfriend and our best friend where we all raced. Then from there we went to our annual Thanksgiving camping/riding trip in Stonyford, CA. We met up with a bunch of our friends and families and had a good ole time.
Once we got home from that trip I usually don't touch my bike for a couple weeks unless it's just going out and trail riding with some friends or my dad. I like to make sure I take a good amount of time off the bike so I don't get burnt out. But, one of my favorite things that happened during the off-season is that my long-time boyfriend Travis Coy proposed to me! Yay!
2. Wait, what? You're engaged! Congratulations. How did it happen?
We were going to cut down our Christmas trees with my parents and our best friend and his parents also met us there. We were walking around looking for our perfect tree. We found it and he had me start cutting it down. It was pretty hard so I kept telling him to do it and he insisted that I did.
Finally I said, "No you need to do this" and he said we would do it together then all of a sudden he was down on one knee. I was shocked. I never thought that was going to be the day. Of course I said yes and started crying like a big baby. We have been together for nine years. I knew it was going to happen one day but I was never expecting that day. I believe it was perfect timing and I couldn't be happier.
3. Wow, then last month you got the 2015 AMA Female Racer of the Year award. What an honor, what was your reaction?
I was very excited and shocked to win the 2015 AMA Female Racer of the Year. I was a bit emotional also, but in a good way. I put so much in to my racing and training and it feels good to get something back like this award. It truly means a lot to me and I am honored to be able to win it two times now.
4. So, when did you start preparing for the 2016 GNCC season?
About right after Christmas, I jumped right back into it pretty early since I train with my fiancé and his racing season started early into the new year. First we focused with our fitness off the bike and were back in the gym right away. Slowly we started getting out riding more and more.
(Ed. Note: Travis Coy races the World Off-Road Championship series and West Hare Scrambles on the West Coast.)
Photo: Jessica Rankin
5. What does training for off-road racing look like?
Well for me since I live in California and all my racing is on the east coast it's a bit different than most east coast racers. We don't have the tight, slippery, rooty woods like they do so I mix it up a lot and ride a bunch of different terrain to make sure my skills are on par.
6. Did you follow your usual training or try something different this year?
No, everything is pretty much the same, last year went so good I wouldn't want to change up too much of my program.
7. You're the two-time defending GNCC Champ and you've dominated the last two years. Does that bring more pressure or are you somewhat relaxed entering your fourth season?
I don't think I could ever be too relaxed coming into a new season. You want to make sure you're ready and I am confident with all my training before the first race but once that first race is done and I did well there is some weight lifted off my shoulders.
8. Last year you made good on your promise to ride hard even though you secured the Championship with four rounds remaining and won three of the final rounds. Once the starting flag drops is it always "Round 1" or can you dial back on some risk taking that you'd normally take at the beginning of the season?
Yes, I still want to make sure I am doing my job and get on top of that box but once I secured the Championship I definitely back it off a little to make sure I am healthy for the upcoming season.
9. Last year you did pretty well in Endurocross finishing 10th in points, how was that for you?
I didn't know that, I believe I only did two rounds. With Endurocross conflicting so much with my main series, GNCC, I don't put too much focus in to it. I did one round to get ready for X Games and then one round after to always help with my training.
(Ed. Note: The X Games Endurocross event where she took home the Bronz counted as a round and in her points as part of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross series thus she completed three rounds.)
10. It's a bit different than off-road but also somewhat complimentary. Did Endurocross help enhance your skills in off-road or was it more about finding something to do while GNCC went on the usual summer break?
Every time I ride or race Endurocross it is definitely helping with my skills on the bike. Racing that round during my summer break helped me stay in the racing mode. I also went an raced a WORCS race up in Washington which is more like the racing on the east coast that helped me also.
Photo: Simon Cudby
11. Is the plan to compete in that series again this summer?
I don't believe so since I will be racing two series full time this year I already have a busy schedule. But we will see. I could pop in to one, you never know once the time comes.
12. How about X Games?
We still haven't gotten a official word about X Games this year, but if we are invited back then I will for sure be racing. X Games is a great opportunity for our industry to get our names out there and show the world what we do as racers.
13. You'll have one less competitor this year for GNCC now that Jessica Patterson retired. How does the field look this year?
It's still going to be a pretty staked field. More women are getting picked up by teams so they are getting better support and better bikes. It's going to be a great year of racing with some awesome competition.
14. What's your outlook on the future? Do you see competing in GNCC for a while or is there something else we might see you lining up for?
Well for this year I will also be racing the National Enduro series. It's a whole new series for me and a lot of learning along the way. Other than that I can see myself racing the GNCC for a couple more years. It's a really fun series and they put on some awesome racing.
Check out our past profile of Kacy: