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 3 of her monthly Pro Diary for Dirt…
Photos: Matt Wragg, Ben Winder, Urban Engel and ‘various’.
After the Trans–Provence finished my focus was to make sure that I took enough time to recover well to make sure I got the most out of that intensive week of riding. It’s really easy to just keep pushing on and then just feel more and more tired. Having spent over 30 hours on my mountain bike that week I planned to have a few days off the bike and just road ride with some good stretching and core work for a week to help my recovery. I spent a few days in Finale (Italy), just doing a few easy road rides, but it was just too hot, so we quickly headed north to the mountains to try and find some cooler air for sleeping at night in the camper. Sadly it was hot everywhere in Europe and there was no escape from 24 hour sweating!
I still love the travelling part of my job so much and discovering new areas of Europe each summer is always a highlight. We had planned to go to the Swiss World Cup in Lenzerheide, as we had a weekend off racing and I hadn’t been to watch a World Cup since I finished in 2011. On the way I was looking at the map and decided I would ride the last 50km to the town, but instead of taking the direct route I would take in a few alpine passes on the way. Seven and a half hours later I’d climbed 3200m, over three passes and done 90 miles and crawled in to Lenzerheide at 7pm to find James (partner) with the camper set up and food on the table… legend!
Not put off by that mammoth day I decided to explore a bit more of the area around St Moritz and did another four hours with another alpine pass. Time just passes so fast when you have so much amazing scenery to look at along the way.
With a couple of good days training done I then took the weekend off to watch the racing, and also help out our National XC champion Annie Last during her XC race doing her water bottles in the feed zone. It was so good to see Annie finish 10th, her best WC result since 2012, and good to see her back up in the mix after a back injury she has been struggling with for the last two years.
My Trek Enduro team mates were also in Lenzerheide that weekend, so we had planned to all ride together and do a big mountain epic as its local riding for Rene (Wilderhaber) and he could show us some good trails. It was so cool to just ride with these guys outside of racing. Spending a day in the high alpine, watching wildlife and learning about Switzerland and some history as well as riding bikes flat out was so nice.
After Lenzerheide I felt as though I had recovered well from the TP and it was time to put in a good block of training ahead of the (then) upcoming round four of the Enduro World Series in Samoens, but also for the next two races coming up in North America (as we have three races in four weekends). Any time for training between those races was not going to be possible. I met up with Annie again and joined her for what was just an easy three hour road session for her, but for me I was on the limit all the time! It was a great session and reminded me just how much I had suffered last year when I trained with the XC crew quite a bit. I also got back on my mountain bike and did a fun ride around the Portes du Soleil area on some trails I had not ridden for years. It was fun to be back on my Remedy 29er after a week or so on the road.
From there we travelled to La Thuile to race an Italian cup. I decided that this would be a great race to do as it was the weekend before the EWS and would be a good chance to race some long alpine stages again. With the first three rounds of the EWS all being similar, with the focus on pedalling around the loop and short intensive stages, round 4 at Samoens would be very different with the use of the lift and long +10min fast open, vague trail riding.
La Thuile has just that, some amazing natural trails and such a beautiful village and welcoming people. I loved the whole weekend and really pushed hard to make it a good preparation weekend with some extra riding around the racing too. I was happy to take the win and even happier to see my hard working fiancé and mechanic James take a podium spot in the Master men’s race too. Local racing like this is so cool when we can both have fun racing our bikes.
From La Thuile it was just a few final rides and preparation for Samoens. Katy Winton was traveling with us for a few days as her partner in crime Greg Callaghan sadly broke his hand a few weeks earlier, so she was euro tripping alone for these races. It was great to spend time with Katy. She is only in her second year of Enduro racing having switched from XC, so all the big alpine riding is pretty new to her. It was great to show her a few of our favourite places to ride and see her loving riding her bike. At only 21 years old she has a really bright future in the sport I think and will hopefully be flying the flag for GB in enduro for many years to come.
With just a two day race format in Samoens I knew the race weekend was going to go so fast. French rules allow for no practice before the race weekend and just one practice run ahead of racing the stage. The weather in the alps has been so hot for the last four weeks, that the threat of a thunderstorm was growing by the day. Sadly that storm came at the worst time, literally as I got on the gondola to go up for my first race run, it just poured with rain, I had no jacket and no bag to keep my goggles dry and I had just practiced on a bone dry trail.
Sadly it was no longer dry, and when I turned into the first grass section of trail I realised just how slippery it was going to be! It turned into a 17 minute survival stage. To just get down with minimal mistakes, and to keep pushing on the pedalling sections that had become so slow with mud, was my goal. I really felt as though I had ridden pretty poorly but I just knew I had to keep moving and keep it together. Everyone had struggled in the conditions and luckily my struggle had been good enough to take a commanding lead of just over 1 minute. Sadly Anne-Caro (Chausson) found the conditions too tough as she had not been feeling too well going in to the weekend. It left me battling with Cecile (Ravenelle) and Anneke (Beerten) for the rest of the weekend.
Thankfully the sun was back out and the rest of the weekend we were tested on lovely dry, dusty trails. I managed to take another two stage wins and two second places to keep my lead until the end of day two and take the win. I really enjoy the long French style of racing as I feel it allows my all over riding ability to help me through rather than the clinical racing that you have to produce when you have had chance to practice the stages loads.
With only a weekend off it’s going to be a busy few weeks ahead… next stop Crested Butte, Colordao