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!
Our second lady in the 12 Pros series is the 2011 Junior and 2014 Elite Womens’ World and World Cup Downhill Champion, Manon Carpenter.
2016 is almost at an end. Was it a good year for you?
In terms of race results it wasn’t the season I’d hope for, but there are always positives to take away from a season and things to learn from. It feels like such a long time ago now but New Zealand at the start of the year was really special and I also made it back out to Whistler Crankworx for the first time since 2011 so that was good fun as well – both trips involved trying to cart multiple bike bags around airports by myself which is always an experience!
2016 will be the end of an era, with me parting ways with Madison Saracen. It’s been six years and they’ve supported me ever since I was a Junior so it’s going to be a big change for me, but I think it’ll be a good one and I’m looking forward to trying something different.
With off-season in full effect, have you been relaxing or smashing out the intervals?
The 2016 season ended with an injury for me and surgery to fix a broken collarbone, which prompted me to get a few other things sorted out like a metal plate removed from my arm (previous injury) and laser eye surgery so I can kiss goodbye to contact lenses. A lot of my off season was spent in hospitals or recovering, but now I’m back in the swing of things and enjoying being active again, getting training underway.
Favourite ride/race from this season and why?
If Andorra is on the circuit then it’s always going to be up there with my favourite races, closely tied with Fort William. But this year the deep dust in Andorra made it so much fun, especially in the steep natural sections. Steep, corners and natural is my favourite place to be!
Worst race/ride and why?
Leogang – I struggled to get in a rhythm there this year and it showed in my results. 5th place was my worst result since disqualification there the year before. I’m hoping the bad vibes will have moved on by next year.
What was the last ride/race where you finished running on fumes?
World Champs qualifying run. Val Di Sole beats you up so much. I remember my hands and feet burning, it was hot and all I wanted to do was go lie in the river! I only got to experience that the once as I didn’t make it to the bottom for finals…
3 top tunes of your year?
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
Working with my new team! I think it’ll be a lot of fun and we’ll have great times racing together. Also, hopefully competing without any physical niggles, I got the metal plate taken out of my arm after it had started giving me some grief – so far it looks like it’s made a good improvement.
What’s on your Christmas list?
Waterproof socks, although I’ll probably have to buy myself a pair before then. And one of those shoe/boot driers, to dry out my inevitably wet riding shoes!
Will you be eating sprouts with your Christmas dinner?
If they’re on the menu I will be! If it’s ‘good for you’ I’ll eat it.
What will your New Year’s Resolution be?
Stronger, better, fitter, faster – consistently.
What’s your number one stand out moment from this year?
I guess I started the year off strong with 6 weeks in New Zealand. Everywhere we rode was amazing, and everyone we rode with was really friendly. It was definitely an ideal place to spend January and February – riding bikes, training and swimming in lakes in the sun.
Name one rider to keep a keen eye on for 2017.
Miranda Miller. We haven’t seen much of her on the World Cup seen in the last couple of year as she’s been injured but she definitely showed us what she was capable of at Leogang WC this year where she got 3rd place, and by winning Garbanzo in Whistler. I’d hope a team has picked her up for next year and we’ll see another regular threat to the podium.