With Christmas behind us and despite the weather here in the UK, many riders will be setting their sights on race season. There is a lot to be said for off-season, it’s more of an on-season at times! With training to do and racing to plan everyone is usually busy preparing for the next few months. It’s definitely interesting to see what different elements of training riders do, and how complex the body is, training is most definitely essential if you want a successful race season, as many riders will know! but it’s not all about training, without the fun of riding, and the adrenaline that comes with racing, there wouldn’t be much point now would there, as one rider knows all too well.
This week we talk to ‘Wee Scottish Pinner,’ Katy Winton about switching to enduro, injury and having fun on her bike.
1. Who are you?
I’m Katy Winton, 20 years old and I’m a wee Scottish Mountain biker, racing Gravity Enduro around the world!
2. What do you ride, bike (s) & discipline (s)?
Currently nothing due to a broken wrist… But usually a Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon – commonly known as the #pivot4amidget as it is XS size! I’ve raced everything: track, road, cyclocross, cross country, Down Hill and Enduro. I’ve spent most of my racing years in Cross Country then dipped my toe into other disciplines and found I had the most fun in Gravity Enduro, it gave me the biggest buzz and a bike that let me go FAST but I could still ride it up hills, so that is now where my focus lies.
3. How did you feel coming back from almost quitting to get a top 10 in the World Enduro Series?
I was in complete shock. When I saw the results, there were so many emotions that I just froze! The beginning of 2013 was the toughest start to a year I have ever had. I don’t do things by halves, so I put 110% into my training to go into the first Cross Country race of the year to realise we’d done it all wrong. I’d suffered from chronic stress for 8 months which meant my body had been in survival mode and had made no adaptions despite my hard work. I was trying to qualify for the Commonwealth Games too so it was quite devastating. But that’s when I made the decision to change to Enduro – the best decision I have ever made! I started working with a new coach and due to the state I was in we had to work together to make biking fun again and Enduro did exactly that. The season became about learning and recovering because I was in no place to expect a result, I wasn’t even training!! So after a season of amazing experiences, so many good times and the most fun I have ever had racing, the 8th place at Val d’Isere was a complete shock. It just wouldn’t sink in. I wasn’t ‘training’ I was just having fun riding my bike as fast as I could, and bam, there you go! It just showed me how important being calm, relaxed and happy is to being able to put together a sweet weekend of riding!
4. What was the highlight of the 2013 season for you?
The discovery of chairlifts, OH MY DAYS! In cross country when I raced in World Cups in Switzerland etc. we’d be there at the bottom of the mountain and I’d always be wondering what it would be like to go up to the top with the downhillers and see what they were riding. Then in Val d’Allos, World Enduro I found out that this was the best thing ever! Lift to the very, very top and told to race down it down as fast as you can??? YES! 20 minutes of going down!!!!!!! Amazing, I was just a little stoked that weekend haha..
5. As a shorter lady, what advice would you give to women looking for suitable kit and bikes to fit?
Try it, everyone is different, there are so many options out there for women’s specific bikes and different sized bikes that sometimes feel better than others, you just have to find what suits you and you feel comfortable on. When I got the wee Pivot I was happy to have a bike that wasn’t a huge lump to drag around and it fits me and feels great. Love that wee bike!
As for kit, again, there is a lot more women’s specific stuff coming out so it is getting easier to find small stuff! I am currently working with Morvelo on a women’s enduro jersey which I’m really excited about it! Just from the prototype jersey I’ve had I can say it’s the best fitting jersey worn! So keep your eyes out for that one.
6. What training do you do to get race ready?
Ride my bike, and ride it some more. Not much of that happening just now though, so a lot of running. Usually I’d be biking with the boys, doing strength work, and having FUN :)
7. Is there anything you struggle with, and if so, how do you overcome it?
Not being able to ride my bike for three months… Overcoming it is ongoing!
It’s quite frustrating at times but you just put it in perspective. There was a guy at Finale where I did my wrist that broke his back, I’ve just got a pansy wee broken wrist. So I just I do what I can to keep fit, my legs still work so I’ve been walking and running (#hikinnotbikin) and keeping active. It could be so much worse so I just keep trucking on. A situation is what you make of it!
8. If you weren’t biking, what do you think you’d be doing?
Running haha! Career wise? Something to do with people or kids, I’m giving talks in Schools as part of ‘Champions in Schools’ Winning Scotland Foundation, and I am absolutely buzzing off it. So probably something like that!
9. What did it feel like to compete in the first ever Enduro World Series?
Quite an honour to be a part of history. The vibe, the trails, the people, it was just amazing. I completely fell in love with it!
10. If you could pick one race at one location, where would it be and why?
My house, to show the world the amazing trails that are here, but that is happening in May!! So somewhere like New Zealand, I’ve always wanted to go and loads of pictures on my instagram keep popping up – it’s just making me want to go even more!! It just looks epic :)
11. What have you got planned for 2014?
Well I have a new wrist in the post so need to get that fitted ASAP, haha, I am planning to do the full World Enduro Series, some French, Scottish, UK and Irish Enduros. It’s going to be a great year, but first all I am thinking about is getting back on my bike and riding it as fast as I possibly can! :)
Vote for Rachel Atherton in BT Action Woman of the Year
4 World Cup Series wins in 2013 means that, Rachel Atherton is the most awarded British Mountain biker in the history of the sport with 19 World Cup wins to her name. Her resounding victory at the World Championships in South Africa this September was her second World Champs win but she’s had a lot to overcome since her last victory in 2008.
Getting hit by a truck wrote off the whole of 2009, recurring shoulder dislocations, broken wrists and cracked ribs could only slow her down temporarily, she took the UCI World Cup Series overall in 2012 and nothing and nobody was going to take that trophy from her in 2013!
Rachel has inspired many women to get on their bikes, and has raised the profile of our sport. There are just a few days left to vote, and she has some tough competition. Voting closes on 19 January. To vote, go here.
Ladies MTB meet up and ride – 25 January – 10am – Meeting at Pedalabikeaway.
This week we have an edit from, Liam Murphy films. This video was released a while back, but it’s still pretty awesome!
How about our first Women’s Wednesday competition?
The lovely Ruth at Trail42 has offered up one of their awesome women’s Tech T’s to be won this Wednesday.
The Tech T features a women’s specific cut, it’s breathable and moisture wicking, it’s made of 100% natural fibres and it’s screen printed, by hand in the UK. They’re perfect for riding in and can be worn as a comfy base layer or on their own.