Tracy Moseley needs no introduction – when it comes to racing she has done it all… National Champ, World Cup Champ, World Champ (all in downhill) and lets not forget that she is the current Enduro World Champ too. Here is part 4 of her monthly Pro Diary for Dirt…
Photo: Ian Linton and ‘Various’.
Seven months after I left for New Zealand to start the 2015 season I find myself in September still with a quarter of my race season to go! Being back home for the last few weeks has been great, but everyone has been saying ‘Well done’ and ‘I bet it’s good to be home now the season is done’. With the World Champs out of the way and the World Cup season finished I admit I have found it hard to keep my focus and motivation over the last few weeks, but for me I still have two more rounds of the 8 race World Enduro Series to go. I am currently leading the series but there is a still a lot of racing to do before I cross the line in Finale.
Maintaining focus, fitness and health is a hard thing to do over a long season and I have certainly had my ups and downs along the way. I was really keen to have a good block of training at home as I felt as though I had been away a lot and raced loads since June but not managed to fit in too much quality training time.
After Canada I had a few easy days to recover and then I headed into a hard week of training on the road bike. The weather was not being kind and I found myself out in massive rain storms every day, even having to take shelter one day in a local village hall while the thunder and lightning passed. I managed the week of training but just felt tired all week and decided that I really hadn’t recovered enough from the US and Canadian trip and had to back–off again to let my body recover. It’s such a fine line, learning how to get the best out of yourself, and I’m still learning all the time. Travel can often be such a stress on your body and every trip can take a while to recover from.
After a few easy days I travelled up to Scotland for round 4 of the UK Gravity Enduro Series. I have always really enjoyed supporting the UK series and catching up with all the girls, it’s a great social and a good weekend’s riding. Having been away so much this year I was out of practice at tight, awkward UK riding and it took me a few runs to get comfortable again in the slippery conditions at Ae Forest, but as my confidence grew I ended up really enjoying the challenge of trying to keep my feet up in all the muddy ruts.
I had a good race, riding pretty clean, still feeling a bit low on energy but good enough to take the win ahead of visiting Kiwi Raewyn Morrison and old time rival Helen Gaskell.
During the weekend there were rumours that this would be the end of the UK Gravity Enduro Series as Steve (Parr, series organiser) and his crew would not be running the series again in 2016. Thankfully between then and now there is news of a new series (or two! Ed) in the UK for next year, but I’d like to say a big thanks to Steve Parr for setting up the series before Enduro became what it is now. They have helped developed the discipline in the UK to a really healthy place. Thanks Steve and Charlie and all the best for the future.
My original plans had been to head out to Europe soon after that race to have a couple of weeks riding in Verbier and the local area before driving down to Spain for the EWS race, but I still didn’t feel very rested and ready to be back on the road so I decided to stay at home a while longer to try and get some good training time in. With both the final two races being pedal access races with two days of racing with around 4/5hrs on the bike each day, I wanted to work on building up that fitness again.
I think being the end of a long season, I was mentally tired and I just struggled to train on my own, which is never normally and issue for me, so I just had to make plans to ride with others to get me to suffer as much as I needed.
I joined in my local cycling club road rides, I even did a hillclimb time trial which was just sheer pain! I met up to ride with a couple of XC whippets to ride at Bike Park Wales and a Forest of Dean XC session. All good fun and it got me back into the hurt box on a regular basis.
It also gave me the time to do some jobs at home. I finally hung up my jerseys I have had framed but never put up on the wall, so that was cool. I had time to enjoy riding on my local hills in the summer months when the trails are dry, which is rare! I only ever seem to ride up there in the winter. I even took a day to help my parents on the farm, doing some tractor driving bringing in the straw. Back to my roots and making myself useful felt good.
I also had the opportunity to see some of the youngsters from my local cycling club take part in the final national XC race. They have all come on so much this year and to see young Hattie racing in her new National XC Champs jersey was pretty cool… I also got to follow the UCI live timing as I was out riding, gripped to every update as our local junior XC racer Evie Richards stormed to a silver medal at Worlds. So exciting to see her progress in just three short years. She started a medal haul for GB at the World Champs that has to be one of the most successful to date across both XC and DH. It was great to watch the action unfold and see GB still dominating the sport of downhill.
It’s certainly an exciting time for mountain biking as the sport continues to grow at all levels. Just seeing how many people are out in the evenings riding in my local area is incredible, people of all ages and all walks of life. That’s what made me want to support the recent Trails for Wales campaign, to try and help encourage greater access for mountain biking across Wales and hopefully into England in time.
So with just a few days to go until round 7 of the Enduro World Series in Ainsa, Spain, I feel rested, a bit fitter than a few weeks ago and I am excited to be getting back to racing and really looking forward to the opportunity to defend my World Series Title… bring it on.