Courtney Nelson

“I ride because somehow completely exhausting myself is the most relaxing part of my day" - Unknown

“You can say that climbers suffer the same as the other riders, but they suffer in a different way. You feel the pain, but you’re glad to be there" - Richard Virenque

Nickname: Short Stack

D.O.B.: 12/4/1983

Birth city and state: Mission Viejo, CA

Current City: San Jose

Height: 5’6’’

Specialty: Climbing

Previous sports: soccer, basketball

Years racing: less than 1 year

Colleges attended: St. Bonaventure University

Degree: Bachelors in Business Administration; Major in Management Sciences. Honors: Summa Cum Laude

Instagram link:

Courtney Nelson grew up on the east coast taking to the snow with skiing which was the door to competitive sports. She played for the World Class Club and Connecticut State Team as the starting goalkeeper and won a National Championship at U-16. Fast forward to present day and Courtney is working at Google and climbing hills on her daily commute.

Courtney has not had the standard cycling development path. She has been riding for 5 years and found her calling for climbing in 2016 accomplishing 2M feet elevation in back to back years. Courtney shifted from endurance to performance climbing when she found a new desire to push each climb to her best ability and set a string of Strava QOMs as a result of raw talent. Her dedication, drive, determination, focus and passion for cycling led her to creating a dialogue with Team Twenty20 and competing in local races. Her balanced mindset, determination to learn from others and push herself to find the limit will allow her to see success with the team and continue improve.

Career Highlights

 • Climbed 2M feet in 2016 and 2017


 • 1st Mount Hamilton Road Race; QOM of Strava segment

 • 1st Nevada City Bike Classic

 • Signed with Team Twenty20

What inspired you to become a bike racer?

I fell in love with climbing - the challenge, the mental and physical testing of limits. Pushing new PRs, logging miles and elevation, exploring new climbs is challenging and I can pour 100% into rides. I was inspired by the challenge put forth by the team to shift my climbing focus to a more holistic and balanced program. 

Who is an inspiration to you in your life, both on and off the bike?

My parents. They supported and continue to support me in all endeavors. I learned the value of hard work, commitment and self drive from my dad. The biggest inspiration and lesson that led me to where I am today is the value of earning what you want. Don’t take things for granted; earn it.

Favorite meal when training?

Nuts N’ More peanut butter and banana sandwiches supplemented with Clif bars on the bike

The best thing about being a bike racer is?

The competition. I love attacking.

What is your biggest accomplishment on the bike?

Improving year over year and setting new PRs on the local Santa Cruz Mountains. Solo hill climbing has taught me mental and physical discipline.

Favorite place you’ve raced your bike and why?

Mt. Hamilton. This is the longest sustained climbing effort at 18+ miles and 3,700+ feet elevation. The view of the city after the climb is amazing.

Favorite cross training or off season activity?


Best tip for a new bike racer?

Failure teaches more lessons than winning. By learning to fail, you will learn to win.

What are one or two things that you do daily that are the key to your success?

Structured routines in the morning before work and healthy eating

If you weren’t bike racing what would you be?

Continuing my career at Google as the Global Data Integrity Manager. This is my dream job (bonus I can wear t-shirt, shorts and flip flops everyday)  and it allows me to race professionally with the team.

If you could spend 10 days anywhere, where would it be?

Hanging on the boat in North Carolina with my family and Colin wearing shorts and my Rainbow flip flops.

Tell us something about yourself that people may not know

Celebrated my 10th Googleversay on 9/8/2018; a full decade at Google.

Favorite things to do off the bike:

1. Walking our little puggle, Kaylee with Colin

2. reading non fiction books

3. managing the Data Integrity Team at Google

4. Netflix movies & shows

5. Visiting my family in NC

Top 5 warmup/pre-race songs on your iPod:

I don’t listen to music warming up.

Favorite things to eat.

1. Peanut butter & banana sandwiches

2. Cheerios (all flavors)

3. Peet’s dark roast coffee

4. Southern style BBQ

5. Turkey meatloaf

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