Tracy Moseley has been travelling the world in search of the best mountain biking and biggest races for the entire of 2013 and recently everything has really come together for her, with big wins in the Enduro World Series and even pulling out a huge result in the XC National Champs. Tracy, we salute you for your commitment to the sport and its spirit and look forward to seeing more wins in the coming events.
Here's Tracy's latest blog:
National XC Champs
Words: Tracy Moseley
Just before heading out to North America for rounds four and five of the Enduro World Series I had in my race calendar the National XC Championships, which were being held in Glasgow on the Commonwealth Games course. After my poor performance at the only other national XC race I had done earlier in the year I was a little undecided if it would be worth the trip up to Glasgow. The enduro racing and travelling I had been doing really had taken up so much of my time and energy that the last few months I had found it hard to put any decent blocks of training in, I had just been racing to stay fit.
I felt ok in the week leading up to the Champs so decided to just go for it! It was also a fast, power track without any real long climbs, so I was hoping it would suit my strengths a little more than some courses.
I managed to make the most of the trip up to Scotland to take part in some filming for a feature on enduro that will be showed on ITV’s Cycleshow, so it was a worthwhile trip even if the XC didn’t work out. However, a full day of filming in the summer heat wave that we were experiencing was definitely not in my plan for ideal preparation… but its all part of the job!
Fortunately it all worked out and I managed to take a very surprising third place and a bronze medal at the National XC Champs, definitely a very proud moment for me as that was something I would never have thought I could have achieved a few years ago. I suffered for it and at the end of the race I could hardly get off my bike as my lower back took the toll of 1.5hrs of pushing hard on the pedals. Aside from the pain I really enjoyed it, a great event with equally good spectators and it gave me a glimpse of just how cool the Commonwealth Games race will be next summer.
Off to Colorado
A quick drive home and a day of packing my bags and it was then off to Colorado for the next Enduro World Series race. Packing bikes and travelling with them on a plane gets less and less fun the more you do it, and this time I really missed my campervan! Being able to chuck everything in the camper and head off to Europe really is an easy way to travel.
After a fairly easy flight we arrived into Denver, the ‘Mile High’ city, and straight away felt the dry air and lack of oxygen at 6000ft. Things only got worse as we drove two hours out into the mountains to Winter Park. Most of the trails we were to race on were at around 11,000ft so any slight effort or climb on the trails left me gasping for air! My first test of the air was a steady XC ride where we found some great little trails but the stops to catch our breath were frequent!
This round of the Enduro World Series was again a different format to the previous rounds: a three day format with two racing stages each morning and then the afternoon was free to practice the next day’s stages. A pretty good system so you only had two trails at a time to remember and a short period of time in which to practice them. It did however turn into three pretty long days of riding with the addition of a few weather delays as the daily thunderstorms rolled in and stopped the lift for a few hours most afternoons.
There was a good mix of terrain even though it was all based at the bike park. The Trestle DH trail was used in two stages and gave a pretty technical natural feel to those stages. Two stages were pure bike park trails, with jumps, berms and wooden features. It was quite a shock to me, as I had not ridden in a bike park for ages. They were great fun trails to ride but racing was painful; so much sprinting and squashing of jumps was needed to maintain your speed. I lost a bit of time to Anne Caro [Chausson] on both of the bike park stages, but managed to gain enough on the longest, most natural trail on day two to take the win overall. I was so happy to take a fourth consecutive win, especially with Anne Caro back on form now.
Whistler, oh whistler…
From Colorado we then travelled to Whistler in preparation for the next round of the EWS. We had a weekend off so had plenty of time to explore trails around Whistler that had always been off my radar in the past as I had only ever been to Whistler with a DH bike. Having a trail bike just opened up so many new trails and I began to see Whistler in a whole new light! There are trails literally everywhere you go, some tucked into forest around suburbs and others high up on the hillsides. It was so hard to take a day off the bike as the riding was just so good and there was so much I wanted to explore. We did take a few days away though and headed three hours north of Whistler to do an epic day ride in the Chilcotin Mountains. It started off with a float plane trip that dropped us off 40km away and we then spent the next seven hours riding back on some of the most amazing ribbons of singletrack I have ever ridden, it was a truly amazing bike ride.
From there it was back to Whistler to try and recover ready for the race. I was definitely not fresh for this one, but I don’t think anyone was as we had all been riding all week. The Whistler course was heading in the direction of my perfect enduro race as it was essentially a journey around the area taking in some of the best trails, where you had to pedal up and utilise a chairlift if available and you were self sufficient for the day. Well we didn’t quite do the self sufficient bit as we had feed stations along the route but the rest was almost there… It was a big day out with five great stages. I had a pretty consistent day on the bike, with only a few mistakes, but just couldn’t find the speed to topple Anne Caro again this week. A good second place still earned me valuable points in the race to become the first ever World Enduro Champion. It's all still to play for with two rounds remaining in the series.