Current downhill mountainbike world champion Tracy Moseley has vowed to start her 2011 season in style at the UCI MTB World Cup at Cascades in Pietermaritzburg this weekend on what she describes as the most physically demanding downhill course she has ever raced on.
“In 15 years of racing I have never raced on such a pedally track,” said Moseley. “It’s been lengthened quite considerably and while there are some good technical sections and big jumps there is also a lot of flat, which is going to test the fitness of all the riders.”
She is also keen to benchmark herself in the season’s first World Cup. “You never really know quite where you are at the start of the season, so it will be good to line up and give it my best shot and see how I fare against the other girls.”
Moseley, who races for the Trek World Racing team, put on a fine performance in the muddy tough conditions last Sunday at the CSA National Cup downhill competition held at Cascades where she raced to victory in the Elite Ladies race ahead of rivals Sabrina Jonnier and Fionn Griffiths.
She is desperately hoping that the rains that plagued the nationals last weekend stay away. “If it stays dry then the downhill course will be fast and action packed, but if the rains come back then it will be very tricky. So I hope that it keeps on shining!”
Having raced on the world circuit for the past 13 years, 31-year-old Moseley is well accustomed to the pressures that are synonymous with the sport. After many years of racing Moseley finally claimed her first World Championship title in Mount Sainte Anne, Canada last year.
Moseley also recently challenged herself to finish the Cape Epic, something she achieved along with fellow downhill rider and friend Anka Martin while raising funds for a World Bicycle Charity Relief programme which aims to equip 10 schools in Zambia with bikes with the money raised from the event.
She also put to rest suggestions that she would be tired from her Epic. “The goal was just to have fun,” she said. “We set out to finish each day inside the cut-off time and just to enjoy ourselves.”
She was introduced to mountainbiking by her brother, Ed, who began riding cross-country mountain bike races. It was at one of those races,┬áheld on their farm in 1992 that got Tracy started.
Her first foray into downhilling came in 1994 and in 1995 Moseley competed in her first international race, the World Championships where she finished eighth.