Downhill mountain biking is a sport that requires immense physical fitness, skill and determination. It’s also, like any other extreme sport, not without inherent risk.
Charging down a steep mountainside on a bike, jumping gaps, roots and boulders requires a huge amount of technical ability, but even for the professionals at the top of their game, sometimes it can go wrong.
It went wrong for Tracy Hannah in Val D’Isere, 2012. Riding down the World Cup track during seeding, she crashed badly, resulting in a broken femur.
But the interesting story isn’t why the crash happened; it’s what Tracey did afterwards.
Australian Tracey Hannah is an extremely experienced racer. Having previously ridden BMX, she came to the sport aged 13, and by 14 placed second in the elite category in the National Championships. The next year she won, and continued as National Champion for 7 years in total, which is an incredible achievement by anyone’s standards.
She also started racing in the international races, such as the World Cups and World Championship – and worked to support herself all the while. As she says herself, it’s an expensive sport.
In 2012, the year of the accident, Tracey was riding well. She’d won the top spot in one round, 2nd place in another, and was on track for 4th overall in the series. Then, at round 6, the crash happened.
This trailer is a snippet from the forthcoming film ‘A Racer's Dream’, which charts the training, the preparation and the action from the Hutchinson UR Team, the team Tracey rides with. The team also includes her brother Michael Hannah, Canadian Holly Feniak, and Fabien Cousinie and Guillaume Cauvin, both from France.
It’s hard watching, as this section charts the aftermath of the crash, but it’s also inspirational to see the determination and dedication that Tracey had to get back up again and on her bike.
And it did pay off; 7 months after the crash, she became the 2013 Australian National Champion.
We’re looking forward to watching the rest of the film, which is released on the 18th December.