During her preschool and early elementary years, Missy was involved in pageants. Once crowded Little Miss Minnesota, she soon hung up the frills and jumped into race suit at the age of 8, to begin driving NHRA junior dragsters. Throughout Middle and high school, Missy spent her summers at the drag strips throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, taking home track championships and qualifying for national competitions. She was also a multi sport athlete in school, participating in cross-country running, softball, basketball, nordic skiing, and track and field. In high school, Nordic skiing was her primary sport. She was named Diamond in the Rough, MVP, all-conference, and qualified for the state tournament three years running. She was also team captain her senior year. Her dreams were to attend the Olympic Games as a winter sport athlete.
In 2005, Missy got her first road bike, as a tool for cross training for her nordic ski season. But it soon became clear that she was destined for another sport. Within the next few months, she won the state championship titles in Minnesota for the junior women, while also competing and winning many women’s category 3/4 events. In 2007, she traded the wheels of her junior dragster in for the wheels of a new road bike and took him a silver medal in the women’s junior criterium national championship race, as well as a podium in the junior women’s time trial. The following year, she again took home the silver medal, narrowly missing out on a national championship title. In 2008, Missy was invited to Colorado Springs for a USA Cycling National Talent I.D. Camp at the Olympic Training Center. Here she experienced her first taste to what opportunities lay ahead of her, and what altitude training was like!
Missy attended Fort Lewis College for 4 years, on a 4-year full-ride scholarship, known as the Tom Danielson Cycling Scholarship. During her freshman year, she was introduced to track cycling, after attending Collegiate track nationals in Colorado Springs, CO. It was here, after 6 days on the velodrome, that she placed on the podium in multiple events, including the points race, team pursuit, and collegiate sprint. She then went on attend over 12 national championships as a member of the Fort Lewis College cycling team, with 24 national medals, including winning the 2009 D1 Collegiate Cyclocross Team National title.
In 2011, Missy qualified for the Kowalski’s Markets Collegiate All-Star team, after competing at the Collegiate Road National Championships, and placing as a top individual in the omnium, not signed to a professional team. This composite team gave her and 5 other collegiate females the opportunity to race the Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race in Minnesota, as a professional team, and get exposure to the elite ranks of collegiate cycling.
It was in 2011 when Missy experienced her first elite track national championships. While traveling with her roommate and fellow collegiate cyclist, Ian Burnett, she competed in the scratch race, 500m, match sprints, and keirin. It was at this moment when she realized she loved the sprint disciplines, as she drove back to Durango Colorado with a bronze medal in the women’s elite keirin. She returned back to FLC to finish her last year, with hopes of moving and chasing her new dream.
Missy graduated from Fort Lewis College in April of 2012, with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Coaching. She competed 3 coaching internships, under the direction of Rick Crawford, and volunteered and was certified as a Special Olympics Volleyball coach. A few days later, she packed up her car and moved to Redondo Beach California, and started training as a track sprint athlete. She began training under Jamie Staff, and in less than 8 months, she was named as one of two female athletes to represent the USA at the 2013 Pan Am Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, where she set a US National Record in the women’s elite team sprint.
In April of 2013, Missy moved to Colorado Springs and became a resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center, where she resided and trained with fellow sprint athletes. Throughout the summer, Missy traveled and raced, gaining UCI points towards World Cup Qualifications, while also setting her first two track records in the 500m and team sprint at the Marymoor Velodrome. In August of 2013, Missy won her first two individual elite national titles in the women’s 500m and team sprint, at the US Elite Track Timed National Championship. These results confirmed 2013 as her breakout year, with just 1.5 years of training.
In October of 2013, Missy toyed with the idea of becoming a team pursuit rider, and attended a US Women’s Team Pursuit Camp in Colorado Springs, before leaving the training center in pursuit of a better training environment in Los Angeles. She resumed training for the sprint disciplines and solidified her decision at the Los Angeles Grand Prix, taking the win in the keirin and team sprint, and a silver medal in the match sprint, as the top US performer. She further established that decision by traveling to Japan in January 2014, to compete in two UCI CL1 events, claiming victories in both match sprint competitions, and taking a silver and bronze in the keirin tournaments. In May of 2014, she met the US international elite time standard, while competing in Moscow, Russia, and is currently the only american female to have done so.
At the 2014 US Elite Track National Championships, Missy won the match sprint and keirin national titles, for the first time. She missed the 2013 championship event, while competing in Europe, after winning two titles at the timed events. Missy was also selected as a member of the 2014 US Pan American team, racing in the 500m, team sprint, match sprint, and keirin, held in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
For 13 months, from October 2013 to November 2014, Missy suffered from a fracture in her L5 Pars. While training at 50% or less, she was still able to establish herself as the only U.S. female to meet the time standard, and has qualified herself as the only level 1 funded athlete to the 2014/2015 UCI Track World Cups. She turned down the 2014 World Cup in Guadalajara Mexico, to begin treatment and physical therapy for her injury, and will resumed racing at the LAGP instead, where she won the women’s CL1 keirin and silver in the match sprints.
At her second world cup ever, in Cali, Colombia, Missy took home bronze in the women’s keirin, after winning her rep heat and also the semi-final. She became the first US sprint female to win a medal at a world cup in over six years. She also qualified for the 2015 UCI Track World Championships held in Paris, France, in the sprint and keirin, the first US female in over 8 years to do so.
In May of 2015, Missy was involved in a training crash that broke her collarbone in three places, fracture and dislocated her wrist, tore ligaments and meniscus, and gave her a severe concussion. After two months, she competed at the UCI Marymoor Grand Prix, winning both the keirin and match sprint. She then later competed at the 2015 Pan Am Championships in September, where she placed 4th in the keirin, the highest sprint placing of both men and women.
After a long fight, Missy did not compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With limited resources and zero funding from her NGB, she turned towards building her business and relocating to Pennsylvania. She then opened ERO Pennsylvania and began coaching with Big Picture Cycling, where she still works. She still competes, and recently was part of Team USA at the UCI Track World Cup Los Angeles, and won the 2016 USA Elite Scratch Race National Championship title.
In November 2016, Missy publicly discussed her experience with sexual abuse from a cycling coach, which took the world by storm. Her story was published in The Huffington Post, and Bicycling Magazine, and was mentioned in numerous news articles across the globe. Over 9 years after the abuse started, she now looks to inspire others in their own fight to overcome abuse, and mentors athletes moving forward.
Missy Erickson is a 26-year-old track cyclist from Alexandria, Minnesota, currently residing in Mertztown, Pennsylvania. She is a 6 x national champion, holds 2 US track records, and won a bronze medal at the 2015 UCI Track World Cup in Cali Colombia. She is ranked #1 in the United States in the sprint disciplines. She has represented Team USA at 4 UCI Pan American Championships, 3 UCI Track World Cups, and the 2015 UCI Track World Championships. She owns and operates ERO Pennsylvania, providing aero testing and fit services to cyclists of all abilities and ages. She is also a cycling coach with Big Picture Cycling.