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- 27. June 2007.

World N0 1 Downhill Mountain Biker Tracey Moseley update

Race Round up May and June 2007
Scottish National Rd 2 – Dunkeld

I had heard so much about this track and seen a few pictures that looked great, that I took the opportunity to race here when it was a venue on the Scottish Series. I had to enter a few months in advance, online at 8am as the day the entries went online the race was full !! It’s great to see racing in the UK in such a healthy state. After all the hype I wondered if the track was going to be as tricky as everyone made out. It looked good when I walked it, just natural wood, littered with roots and rocks. People were making it look really hard and I thought it doesn’t look that bad, but after my first run I could understand why ! The rocks were so slippery it was really hard to hold a straight line anywhere ! It was great fun in practice and with a few showers of rain to liven things up it was great training. I didn’t have loads of girls to race against, but it was great training to have 2 runs against the clock. I did 2 fairly consistent runs with similar times and was pleased with my riding. I took the win ahead of Anja Rees-Jones and Sarah Newman.

British National – Round 2 – Ae Forest, Scotland.
As I was in Scotland I stayed up and did some riding and then race at the second round of the National Series. This year our national series is being run by 2 new organisers. I was impressed as this was the most spectators and best atmosphere I had seen at a national race for years. Sadly the problem with queues for the uplift were there as normal, but this is a problem I believe we will always have in the UK, with a large number of riders and no chairlifts. The track at Ae was pretty much the same as it has been for a number of years. Again we had some on and off rain all weekend which made the new off camber section pretty interesting at times ! It managed to stay dry for my race and I did a good run apart from one mistake which did not cost me too much time. I crossed the line to take first place ahead of Helen Gaskell and Emily Horridge.
Photos “courtesy of James Porteus”

Dunkeld Ae Forest
World Cup #2 – Champery, Switzerland

Champery is a new venue for the World Cup circuit in 2007. It is in a beautiful dead end valley just the other side of the mountains from Les Gets and Morzine. I had heard the track was going to be technical and steep. It was most definitely both ! It was not technical because of the roots and rocks, or tricky lines, it was just so steep that just getting down the track was a challenge in itself ! I was really enjoying practice and managed to stay upright pretty much the whole weekend. To keep on with the theme so far this year, we had quite a lot of rain the night before the race which made practice in the morning pretty tough. I got down fine and was feeling confident for the race. Qualifying time came and the track was drying up quite quickly. I had a good start, but just picked up a bit too much speed in one corner and could not slow down enough for the next one and ended up sliding into a tree. After getting back on I realised I had pushed my brake lever down, so 2 corners later after crashing again because I couldn’t reach my brake lever, I stopped and pushed it back up. I got back into a rhythm and rode the next few sections pretty well. Then another moment of over speeding ended up with me crashing into a marshal and my bike ending up in some catch fencing at the bottom of a chute, another quick stop to realign my brake lever and I limped across the line to a very disappointing 11th place.

I realised for the final I was just going to have to take it easy and stay on. Sadly it went wrong pretty early on. I lost control on the first corner and slid into the banking. Another 2 crashes later and I again crossed the line this time to take the lead, but not for long. The last 10 riders came down and I got pushed back to a 7th place finish. I was really disappointed as I felt like I should have done well on this track as was getting on well in practice. However it was not to be. Local girl Marielle Saner took the win ahead of Emmeline Ragot and World Cup leader Sabrina Jonnier. My poor result this weekend pushed me back to 4th overall and left me with some work to do over the next 3 world cups.

Scottish National – Fort William
With the World Championships taking place in Fort William this was the only chance that we would get to race on the track before September. A new top section has been built since last year, enabling the start to take place from right outside the gondola, increasing the access and viewing for spectators. It has also added on and extra 20-30secs to what was already a long and tough track ! It’s now even more brutal on the body and bike ! The new section incorporates a section of bermed turns and wooden boardwalk, before rejoining the existing track. As always at Fort William, the weather can be very changeable and affect the conditions dramatically. We had a fair mix of weather over the weekend, but the majority of the time is remained dry and it was just the ferociousness of the midges that caused most of the problems !! You couldn’t stop in the woods to have a look at lines for more than 5 secs, otherwise you were eaten alive !

Again I didn’t have a huge field in the women’s race, but this for me was all just great training for September. With that in mind I did a lot more training than I normally would and I think ended up starting race day feeling it a bit ! However my race runs went well and I posted a 5.44 in the first run and managed to go a bit quicker in the second run, 5.39 being my best time. I was pretty satisfied with my riding and now know what I can work on between now and September. Steve Peat won the men’s race with a time of 4.59.
Photo ‘courtesy of James Porteus’

World Cup # 3 Mont Ste Anne, Quebec, Canada
This was a special trip to Mont Ste Anne for me, as this was the venue of my first ever World Cup race in 1997…10 years ago !! I can’t quite believe how quickly that time has gone and we are still returning to this great venue 10 years on. I’m glad as this is one of my favourite tracks on the circuit, it’s mostly natural with high speed and technical sections mixed together. This year was slightly modified as they had taken a bulldozer to the first wood section and opened it up adding some bermed turns. This reduced the overall time by about 20secs. It was a welcome return to great racing after the weather plagued and steep technical nature of the last world cup. With blue skies and a dry track it made for great high speed racing. I was really enjoying practice and changed a few suspension settings and tyre choices to find what worked best for me. It was also a great track to really put to test our new prototype Shimano XT brakes. I was really impressed with them and very thankful on a few occasions that they have such great stopping power !

Qualifying went pretty well for me, I just wanted to get a good run in without mistakes, just to build my confidence after my crashes in both my qualification and final in Champery 2 weeks ago. I managed that and crossed the line in a time of 5.07. Sabrina was the next rider down and put in a great ride to continue her show of great form with a 5.01. The rest of the field came down and slotted in behind me with Emmeline Ragot in 3rd with a time of 5.12. I knew I could go faster, but how much would be the question…the sun continued the shine and the track got drier and drier as the day progressed. I had a really strong start as I knew that I had lost time to Sabrina in the top half of the course. I soon realised that the dry conditions had made the ground really loose and I was really conscious that I was fighting with the grip on my front wheel. I made one big mistake clipping my pedal on the edge of the track as I went into one wood section, it bounced me off line and into a stump where I proceeded to lose both feet off the pedals and have a very sketchy moment. I regained my composure quickly but I lost valuable speed exiting the wood section and therefore had to really accelerate to get back up to speed. I knew this would be a costly mistake, but I pushed hard to the finish and took the lead with a time of 5.06, with just Sabrina left to ride. She had another solid ride, but went slower than her morning run, but with a time of 5.04 it was enough to push me down to 2nd spot. Although disappointed not to take the win I was satisfied with the way I was riding and gained some solid points for the overall. Now I have a weekend off and then to Schladming to try and claim that no.1 spot.
Photo Courtesy of John Gibson www.gibsonpictures.com
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