20 years/20 questions - Tahnée Seagrave
Truths from Tahnee
TO CELEBRATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DIRT WE’RE SPEAKING TO THE BRANDS AND RIDERS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WE’LL BE ASKING 20 QUESTIONS ON THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY IN THE KNOW. CHECK OUT OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK THAT’S AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER HERE.
It's hard to believe Tahnée is only 21 years old (only a few months older than Dirt!). It feels like she's been at the top of the women's field for years! She's been racing World Cups since 2012 and became junior World Champion just a year later. She thrust herself straight to the very top of the elite rankings and hasn't stopped podiuming since.
She was Rachel Atherton's major threat this year with three second places and twice qualifying first. That elusive World Cup win has escaped her so far, but it can't be that far away now.
We had a chat with Tahnée to talk about mountain biking past, present and future.
20 questions - Tahnee Seagrave
What achievement are you most proud of?
“I raised £10,000 for the charity Coppafeel at Fort William World Cup in 2015. There’s no better feeling than being able to give back while doing something you absolutely love. I got my first 2nd place there too, it was wild."
Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
“I’ve had so many big crashes this year, I can’t remember many on the spot. But one that stands out is I came in to a high speed rock garden in Mont Saint Anne. I got bucked and rode the front wheel for what felt like an eternity. Just when I though I had managed to just pull it back together, another rock hit my back wheel and I just absolutely catapulted through the air haha. Spectators where in disbelief when I got up, and frankly so was I!"
What has been your favourite moment of Dirt's history?
“Dirt has assembled so many rad moments and memories of legends I simply can’t pick one. As a little girl, I would love flicking through the pages and saying “I would love to be in there one day". My name was on the front cover once, and I got a full spread before I even started racing World Cups. That was a pretty cool moment for me ;-)"
How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“Legend Vanessa Quin won worlds in Les Gets back when I first moved there. She was sponsored by you guys, she then came to stay at our chalet an gave me one of her jerseys. She’s been a good friend ever since."
What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“Can we get a printed Mag again please?"
When did you first start mountain biking?
“Around the age of 12."
What bike were you on then?
“Ha, well at the time, Vanessa was dating Nigel Page, so my dad and them made me up a mini version of VQ’s bike. 24" wheel on the back, 26" on the front, everything was the same as her bike, just miniature. That bike got stolen shortly after"
What rider or person has most influenced your career?
“I couldn’t pick out one. Pager took a big part, as did VQ. But most of all the likes of Joel Gebbie, Alex Evans, Paul Aston, Jason Marsh and Killmurray pushed my limits back when I was just a little girl and never made me think I wasn’t capable of anything the guys could do. They played a huge part when I was growing up. And of course, wouldn’t be here without my Mum and Dad, and my forever riding buddy, my brother Kaos."
What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“Lourdes 2016. I didn’t expect much at all. I had prepared extremely well but of course you have no idea what others have done. I qualified first with a crash, the feeling I felt when I saw the clock could never be explained! Complete shock!"
Who would you loved to have raced against or ridden with?
“I got to ride with the people I looked up to when I was little, so I was very lucky."
What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“I can’t get my head round how they would be safe on a downhill? Like… When you go to put a pedal stroke down out of a tight corner, does it not just go flying?! But rad for uphills and more leisurely rides- Dad wants one ;-)"
What’s your favourite wheel size?
“I don’t have a fave, I love them all."
What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
- "Nothing comes easy.
- You make friends for life.
- You race the clock, not people.
- You can’t control the outcome.
- There are nobheads everywhere."
Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“A lot of people. My Dad puts so much in to our team and the sport and never asks for anything back. There are a lot of people out there that deserve more than what they get. It’s a pity the sport is so small. Some riders, also. It’s always just about the top guns, but I’ve seen some local riders do way gnarlier stuff!"
What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Well I’ve seen many questionable products but I won’t mention any names ;-)"
What’s been the best track you’ve ridden?
“If I was to pick one I would choose Champéry world champs track, in the wet. I love that place. So challenging, but fun. Always a good laugh with a group of mates. I’ve had the best of times there."
How would you change World Cup downhill?
“I think World Cups should have a number of limited places, to a/ make them safer and b/ more professional. It might be harsh, but the public want to see the Worlds fastest battle it out, so like in any sport, you fight hard to make it to the top.
"The women’s field has been cut, but I do believe the number of entries for a World Cup should be limited, and the men should also have been shortened for race day. It would make it more exciting and more professional, hence would start making the sport larger. This won’t shorten peoples opportunities, we all start somewhere, and the top step is still the same distance away."
What do you still want to achieve in mountain biking?
“So many things!"
What do you want to see more of from the Dirt website?
“I like stories, blogs, outsiders. Rad people. Just MORE! Ha!"
What do you hope the next 20 years brings for mountain biking?
“I hope the sport keeps growing the way it is. I hope to see the World series as a more professional sport, and televised. People would love to watch it if it were formatted in the right way. And of course I hope to see more girls shredding! Bikes aren’t just for guys, and neither is being badass. It’s not “manly", it’s fun!"