12 Pros of Christmas: Hannah Barnes

We’re counting down to Christmas with 12 of our favourite UK pro riders.

Does Manon like sprouts? Does Ratboy love a roast? Does Peaty get presents? Tune in to find out – this time its Hannah Barnes!magical

Hannah Barnes has had a great year of adventure, riding and racing with Specialized. Here’s her 12 pros of Christmas!

2015 is almost at an end. Was it a good year for you?

The year has flown by, I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already! A lot has happened in a year, it has been incredible! I wouldn’t change a thing and feel so fortunate to be able to do what I do.

With off-season in full effect, have you been relaxing or smashing out the intervals?

Smashing out intervals, you must be joking! I have been home for about 2 weeks now from my last race of the year, La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica. It was one of the hardest races I’ve done, 3 days across Costa Rica with 8000m of climbing. It was incredibly beautiful, mentally and physically exhausting, and just a generally awesome race!

I definitely feel in need of a rest after a long and busy season (March to November). It’s so lovely to be at home, unpack and unwind, see friends, play my fiddle, do a bit of nursing, the local XC races are always fun, and just enjoy being at home! I’m still riding and running, but no hard efforts till the New Year, just fun stuff with friends.


Favourite ride/race from this season and why?

Ooh! that’s a tough one! No Fuss 10 Under the Ben is always one to remember, it’s great to do such a tough race on home soil and with great local support.

I would also say La Ruta, that was awesome! Having the support from Specialized Costa Rica and Specialized Latin America at the race made everything possible and I felt so welcome. It meant I could concentrate on racing, with all the logistics, mechanics, race support, nutrition, everything taken care of. The country, people and race organisation was incredible so it was a real honour to be asked to go and take part. Coming 2nd was the icing on the cake!

win now!


Worst race/ride and why?

Hmmm… I would say the MB race in the French Alps. It was 40 degrees Celcius, and 70km, 3500m climbing (I only managed the half distance, 140km was the full distance). The stats weren’t too bad, I think it was the combination of the heat, the huge amount of racers made the singe track really busy and slow, and lots of pushing up steep climbs.

Normally I love those tough races, but I didn’t enjoy that one for some reason. It was incredibly beautiful, but the extreme heat made it particularly unpleasant for racing. I was so pleased to see the finish line!

Hannah Barnes riding Rotorua on Specialized
Hannah in Rotorua, New Zealand. Sven Martin photo.

What was the last ride/race where you finished running on fumes?

I finish every race running on fumes, but the last race I did was La Ruta so I will say that one!

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3 top tunes of your year?

Ooh hard, I’ll put the first few on my most current Spotify playlist … (that’s definitely more than 3  – ed!)

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

More racing, travels and good times travelling the world with Specialized!

What’s on your Christmas list?

Hmm nothing in particular, I would be happy with any gift! Christmas is more about eating amazing food, seeing family and friends, the Christmas spirit, sledging, ice skating, mulled wine, watching Love Actually, christmas markets, mince pies, I love it all!

Will you be eating sprouts with your Christmas dinner?

Of course! I love sprouts. Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without them!

What will your New Year’s Resolution be?

I don’t believe in those, if you decide to make a life improvement then there is no time like the present to crack on with it :)

Hannah in Rotorua for Paris Gore
Hannah in Rotorua for Paris Gore

What’s your number one stand out moment from this year?

I can’t think of one particular moment, it has been overall a lot of fun! Joining Specialized has been amazing. It sounds cliche, but riding bikes and travelling the world with awesome people really is something I feel so fortunate to be doing so I am just enjoying every minute of it!

Name a rider to keep a keen eye on for 2016.

Isabeau Courdurier and Josh Carlson.

Hannah Barnes Specialized Paris Gore photo
Paris Gore photo