Tracey Moseley has stacked up multiple National Down Hill titles and World Cup victories over her career and since adjusting her focus to Enduro racing she’s taken the World Champion title twice.
The 2015 championship got underway with Round One, in New Zealand, at the end of March. The British favourite was pipped to first place by French rider Anne-Caroline Chausson (Anne Caro), taking second – but she’s looking ahead to the next event with anticipation.
Round Two, in Ireland, is closer to home, and T-Mo told us she hopes to steal back the 14 seconds that Caro leads by, saying: “I know that every race against Anne Caro is tough so I just hope to make a few less mistakes at the next one and hope that it’s good enough to beat her."
Tracy was disappointed with a couple of slip ups along the way – for example she accidentally left 35 psi in her tyres for Stage One in New Zealand – when she’d usually be racing on 20-25 – giving her much less grip and reduced handling.
Round Two takes place on May 24, in the ‘Garden of Ireland’ - County Wicklow. Tracy will be getting to the race in her own camper van, which she enjoys: “It’s certainly a lot easier when I can drive from home. I have a camper van that I travel to all the European races in, so it’s great having what feels like my own bed and all my stuff with me. I love being at races in the camper."
Not that she has anything against travel – just the aeroplanes and airports that accompany further flung races. The positives – “catching up with friends from all over the world that we get to see just at the races… and riding in new locations and testing my skills on different terrain" are some of the reasons T-Mo loves the race season.
Endro racing, where competitors ride long transition stages between timed, downhill stages, mean endurance is important as well as fast reactions on the timed segments.
Everything the rider needs must be carried on the bike - so fueling a full day adds a third element, along with equipment choice. Tracy explained her own strategy, saying: “I try to eat as much normal food as I can, so I pack my Osprey Pack up with fruit, nuts, peanut butter sandwiches, and try and mix that with some CNP energy products to help keep my fuelled up well for the day.
“I also carry 2 litres of water in my Raven 10 Osprey pack and I also have a 750ml water bottle with CNP electrolyte fluid to help keep my electrolytes up during long hot days."
Now 36, Tracey has been racing bikes since 1992 – she’s an experienced rider and asked what she’d done to make her stronger for the 2015 season, she simply noted she was “another year wiser" – but did add: “I wish I had taken a bit more of a break after last season before starting training again, just to give my body a bigger break as the season started early this year and I feel as though the last few years of long seasons are catching up with me."
Sitting just behind the leader in the World Champs standings, it looks like the seasons aren’t catching up on T-Mo too much, and she’d “love to win a third title" – but added: “It’s not the biggest goal. I want to enjoy racing this year, and also take part in a few different events where there is more focus on blind racing [without the chance to practice the course beforehand] and multiple day races."
Blind racing means quick reactions and looking ahead - a skill Tracy said many amateur riders needed to practice. Having run women's MTB skill sessions with Bike Verbier, she commented: "For me the biggest fault of most riders [male or female] is that they do not look ahead enough on the trail. They just look at their front wheel or the rock they are about to ride in to! People need to look head on the trail to help with their balance and also with good line choice."
We'll follow the series throughout - click on Tracy's image below to read more about her and seasons past.