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

Does Tahnee like sprouts? Does Gwin love a roast? Does Peaty get presents? Tune in to find out!

Next up is Bex Baraona, 50% of Gowaan Gals and your British Enduro Champ.

Photo by Martha Gill.

2018 is almost at an end. Was it a good year for you?

A cracking one but of course had its ups and downs!

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

Well, I’m not sure riding 1000 miles, Land’s End to John O Groats, over 10 days was quite what my coach had in mind for a bit of off season downtime… but it was a biggie ticked off the bucket list. I’m actually now taking the whole of December super easy, completely off the bike and fixing an overuse injury on my knee.

Favourite ride/race from this season and why?

My stand out favourite race was National Champs up at the Tweedlove Festival. Was unreal to win up there, my riding was the best it could be and the trails were in prime condition. Innerliethen is always my favourite place to ride.

Photo by Dave Trumpore.

Worst race/ride and why?

Worse race this year was EWS France, it stripped me of all the amazing feelings I get when racing and just left me scared and uninterested in riding my bike like I usually do. The weather absolutely let loose and the rocky, French style tracks just turned lethal and I wasn’t prepared to risk life and limb on some of the 50/50 chance chutes.

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

Like buzzing fumes? Probably the last few rides up my local hill on the trails I’ve been digging. No better feeling than hitting some fresh loam with mates.

3 top tunes of your year?

Freewheel clearanceFreewheel clearance bikes

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

Reaching 10k followers, pahahha, nah I’m just buzzing to keep doing what I love everyday and hopefully back it up with some results that get me on the international box (that’s the big goal). Also, buzzing to be organising and hanging out at Gowaan Gals MTB Festival in September… been a lot of graft but the response to Gowaan Gals has been amazing, thanks everyone who likes mine and Martha’s antics!

What’s on your Christmas list?

A new knee and good health for my family & friends.

Will you be eating sprouts with your Christmas dinner?

Oh yes of course! There’s not much food I turn down.

Photo by Dave Trumpore.

What will your New Year’s Resolution be?

Not really into setting New Year’s Resolutions but there are a few things I am trying to currently make a bit more of a habit in my life, like meditating and taking time to work on my mobility and flexibility.

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

Being denied entry to Mongolia and then in a change of fortune, ending up in Malaysia, completely unplanned, but absolutely amazing trip!

Name one rider to keep a keen eye on for 2019.

Me, then I might get to 10k followers! I think the womens’ field in EWS is pretty exciting and at any point the top 10 can mix up.

But I think Joe Nation from NZ is a determined bugger that goes a bit under noticed. The guy top 20s at EWS and he was a privateer this year.

You can follow Anka’s progress through the winter months and into 2019 on and Instagram.

Keep an eye out for our other eleven Pros of Christmas that we’ll be rolling out through December.


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