This week we talk to 2013 Junior World Champion, Tahnee Seagrave. FMD and Intense rider Tahnee has had one hell of a season, with dreams of becoming a Downhill World Champion in future she will let nothing get in her way. Making the move from school to full time athlete and moving forward following an incredible season, there is no telling what will happen in 2014, though undoubtedly big things are on the horizon for Tahnee, she has big dreams and will stop at nothing to achieve them!
1. Who are you?
Tahnée Seagrave, 18, DH world cup racer, British but based in France!
2. How did Follow My Dream start?
In every sport I’ve ever got in to I’ve wanted to be the best, so when I got in to downhill I told everyone my dream was to become DH World champion! It’s tough for juniors to be able to get around the world and race, so my dad put together FMD Racing, with the aim to help people who he believes has the talent and put them out there in the big wide world and show them what they’ve got. This season is a perfect example with taking on board Mike Jones, who won 2 world cups, came 3rd at worlds and came 2nd overall by just a few points!
3. How did it feel to become Junior World Champion?
I’ve been asked this question so many times and I still do not know how to answer it! It’s been over a month now since it happened and I’ve really had time to think about it… To be completely honest, more than anything I felt relief. For me personally it was just a box ticked off of a huge list, I hate to admit it but it wasn’t much of an achievement as I didn’t feel like I had to fight for the win, whereas at world cups, racing amongst the Elites I am constantly in for a battle. Of course I am over the moon with the title, but I want to earn it, and this year I just felt like it was handed to me. Next season is going to be a completely different story as I will be an Elite, so I’ve never been this eager!
4. What are you most proud of this year?
I improved every result from last year except one, even If I crashed. When I didn’t crash, I got a top ten! I managed to finish 9th overall with the Elites in the WC series even with some fairly bad results. Mont Sainte Anne was my proudest moment, as I was one of the 4 women to jump the last double at the end, and one of the first to actually hit it. I remember sitting in the start gate wondering whether I should hit it or not… I ended up hitting it, and I think I lost a bit of time for it, but I got a fair bit of coverage and a few pats on the back!
5. Would you say women get equal support and coverage in MTB compared to the guys?
Obviously not, but I definitely think it’s getting better. Yes people will say that there are a lot more guys and the competition is tighter, and they do go faster than girls but at the end of the day we fight for the win just as much as they do and put just as much effort in…
6. What does an average training session involve for you?
I’ve just started training properly as a “Pro Athlete”… Like literally yesterday! Haha. Turbo, Gym, Turbo, Gym, Turbo, Gym…. and it goes on….
7. What changes would you like to see within MTB for women?
More women need support… I think if there was more support involved there would be more World cup level racers = more coverage. And girls shouldn’t be scared to turn up to races… we all start somewhere!
8. Do you have any tips for women who want to try racing?
“No guts, No glory” ;)
9. What has been your biggest challenge in the sport so far?
Racing is always a challenge. The thing is, you could challenge yourself to do bigger jumps or scarier lines, but once you’ve done them you just keep going bigger and scarier so it becomes normal to keep improving. Where as racing always seems to get me, the start gate and the beeps before my start always manage to put me out of my comfort zone, even if I’ve ridden the track a thousand times and know every detail off by heart. But maybe that’s the exact reason why I love racing so much.
10. What do you have planned for 2014?
As I said I’m now a full time Athlete so things are looking bright. I’m planning on doing the full series, hopefully I’ll be selected for worlds, and hey, a world cup podium wouldn’t be too bad either…
Video of the week
Enduro rider, Katy Winton ripping it up on her Pivot! Find out the latest from Katy on Twitter:@katywinton