What got you behind the handlebar?
A polygon downhill bike, a girl and an unstoppable drive to be good at what I do.
What do you love most about riding?
I love the feeling when you hit a section of track perfect and your bike just moves around in the line as the trees blow by. What an awesome feeling.
What do you love about your polygon so much?
It’s such a nice feeling bike to ride, the first time I got on I was hooked, the way it rolled fast, railed turns and jumped so lightly. Tracey Hannah Mountain Biker stated that, it was an unknown brand so I wasn’t sure but after the first ride it was the best feeling. I’m coming into my second year on this bike and I couldn’t be happier.
According to Tracey Hannah Mountain Biker, what makes Team Hutchison UR so special?
We have a really close team, everyone on the team gets along really well and it’s like a travelling family. We have a lot of fun between races and our team manager “Fabien Cousinie” organizes lots of fun activities.
As a brother and a Teammate what impact does Mick have on you?
He has a huge impact and I couldn’t imagine racing without him around. He’s always been there to give me advice and tell me that I can do it. Since my injuries, he’s been one of the people helping me the most to get my confidence back and feel 100% on the bike again.
What is most challenging about what you do?
The fear of injury. There is nothing like being injured or the feeling that at any moment you could crash and get injured. For me, that’s the hardest challenge and will be something I deal with every day of my career.
Who has been your inspiration? How did you get into mountain biking and where did you initially think it was going to lead?
I guess when I first started I looked up to Anne Caroline Chausson, I watched her on TV and videos and saw her in magazines. She was my inspiration and one of the reasons I dreamed of racing downhill. I never expected it to be how it is today, but it’s amazing.
How many cycling injuries have you had and which was the worst?
I’ve broken my collarbone 4 times, had several stitches, bruised lung, and my broken femur was the worst.
How would you describe your riding style? Has it evolved much? Has the accident affected in any way?
I’d say I’m a little bit of a mini-Mick Hannah, I grew up watching and following him, so naturally, I just took after the way he rides. Since my crash, I’ve been more conservative and careful but I’m working on changing that, I want to be smooth and fast, no hesitations.
What’s are some of your strengths and weakness when it comes to getting on the podium?
One of my strengths is probably going fast in dry loose conditions, my weakness is I get too nervous before my race run.
What advice would you give anyone considering this career?
Always have fun, work hard. If you want to do well then you should never lose the dream and joy of riding your bike fast every day.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
I want to be World Champion. When that happens we can talk about the next goal.
Who has been some of the riders that have inspired you to pursue a downhill racing career?
Watching my big bro race was definitely an inspiration, and then there’s Anne Caroline and also I really love to watch Sam Hill.
You have what many riders would consider being a dream job – travelling the world and riding your bike. What’s the hardest part about making DH biking your career?
Racing world cups is hard, there’s always a nervousness and a pressure to perform so that you can continue
to live your dream job. Every weekend was racing rain, hail or shine. Sometimes you are sick, sometimes you are tired, no matter what you must get out on your bike and do your best.
Which cycling destination would you still like to get to?
I like to be surprised. With the team it’s always a different kind of a place that ends up being awesome for riding, I’m always excited to go anywhere new and ride my bike.
How is your recovery going so far and when can we see you in action?
I’m in full action right now. I’ve been recovered for a while. I’m still working on my mental recovery but that’s also a learning thing too.
What Kind of music do you love listening to? Who’s your favourite?
I don’t have a favourite, I have to go with what mood I’m in.
How do you stay motivated to keep going further with the injuries that have put you off the bike for so long?
I follow sports professionals who make my injuries look like nothing, Moto GP racers, Formula one drivers. I ride bikes because I love it, and my fans love it, I’m doing it because it makes more than just me happy.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the interview!! Thanks to my sponsors: Hutchinson UR Team, Hutchinson Tires, Polygon bikes, BOS suspension, E.13, Formula brakes, Spank, Odi, Reverse, VP, 100%, Five10, Sony, IXS, Zefal, Ti Spring, Clearprotect, Jetblack, Blackmountain.
Courtesy: Tracey Hannah
Picture Courtesy: Tracey Hannah Facebook page