With over 20 years of mountain bike racing under her belt, legendary British rider, Tracy Moseley decided to take a step back from the World circuit in 2015. So what has Tracy been up to, and what does she have in store for 2017?
For many athletes who've competed at the highest level of their sport, taking a step back from competitive racing can be a difficult adjustment to get used to. When they don't have a strict training plan to follow, what do they get up to in their new found time?
Athletes like Tracy Moseley and Emmeline Ragot were at the top of their game when they decided to retire from full-time competitive racing, but both remain inspiring pillars of the mountain bike community.
The Queen of Enduro, Tracy Moseley is entering her 2nd year of semi-retirement, so what's in store for the British athlete for 2017?
"It's pretty cool to ride on ski pistes. It's something I never thought I'd do" - Tracy Moseley
Last month, I headed out to the stunning ski resort of Gstaad to take part in the first UCI Snow Bike Festival. It was a totally new experience for me, and being pretty nervous about what lay ahead, I was comforted to learn that a personal idol of mine, Tracy Moseley, was also taking part in the event.
Being new to fat bikes, snow cycling and sub-zero temperatures herself, I was keen to find out how Tracy found the slip n'slide style of Arctic riding: "Riding a fat bike is a lot of fun and unlike any cycling I've done before. It requires a lot of concentration as it can be very hard to to read the snow and see the contours for the best lines. I've skied on red graded pistes, but never dreamed of bringing a bike with me and riding it down."
Stepping back from the Enduro World Series has allowed Tracy to try new things that wouldn't have fitted into a busy athlete training program. Asking if she missed the full-time life of competitive racing, Tracy explained that although she does, taking a step back has "opened up plenty of new opportunities and events which has been so nice to enjoy, like the snow bike festival".
Although Tracy isn't racing as much as she used to, she still keeps herself busy and fit training with the girls of TMO Racing. She says: "It's been great to help out the girls of TMO Racing. Nurturing from the grassroots has been fun, and their fitness keeps me fit as I have to keep up with them! I'm trying to encourage them to do more cycling disciplines, like cyclo-cross and road because I think it's important to be well rounded."
"This year I will be helping out with the Cross Country British Cycling Olympic Squad which I'm really excited about. I've always loved coaching and helping the next generation of athletes to grow".
Taking a step back from full-time racing doesn't mean Tracy will be missing out. With plans to race a couple stages of this years EWS, and taking part in the legendary Tweedlove event, you can still catch T-Mo in action this year.
One of the reasons to slow the pace of her competitive racing schedule was down to starting a family. Tracy and partner James got married last September, and giving herself two years to adjust to the slower pace of life, Tracy plans on starting a family and entering a new chapter of her life this year.
Along with husband, James, Tracy also hopes to do more mountain bike coaching, and help to promote cycling amongst children.
Taking a step back from competitive racing has allowed Tracy to use her knowledge, skills and experience in order to help nurture the next wave of champion athletes.
Although she may not be racing as much, Tracy continues to contribute to the MTB community and remains an inspiration for riders everywhere.
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