We catch up with Team Wideopenmag’s squad of pinners about their plans for the 2021 season.
With the 2021 race season hopefully not too far away, we catch up with Team Wideopenmag’s flag-flyers to find out who they are and what makes them tick.
We kick off with Elin Berry, one of South Wales’ brightest MTB prospects, about the year ahead.
Who are you, how old are you and where in the world are you?
Elin Berry 15 years old I live in Cardiff, South Wales.
What bike do you ride?
I ride a Nukeproof Dissent and a Nukeproof Mega.
Where are your favourite trails to ride?
I have a few favourite trails to ride, Conda – Risca Bike Park, Race Track – Dyfi Bike Park, Palletland – Smilog and Corkscrew – Forest of Dean. I love to ride natural, steep, challenging and fast tracks.
How did mountain biking start for you?
I started biking with my mum and dad, riding family trails and going off path to ride little dirt jumps. I joined the kids coaching club at Bike Park Wales and then Little Fodders at Pedalabikeaway. I entered the kids’ races at Pedalabikeaway and that’s when the racing bug started.
And how did you progress to get more seriously into it?
I begged my mum and dad to let me enter one Mini Downhill at the Forest of Dean, from that first race I knew that’s what I wanted to do, so I entered the rest. After the mini downhills I raced in the Pearce Race Series to experience longer tracks and I am hoping to race the Nationals if COVID restrictions allow.
What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
I won the overall at the Pearce Race Series and in one of the races had a finish time that would have placed me 3rd in the Elite women’s category.
Tell us about your 2020 year. How did it go for you, where were you and what went down?
2020 was a tough year with no races. I had been working hard with training to be ready for my first National races and had been really looking forward to experiencing them especially with the support from the Wideopenmag team.
With no racing I just had fun riding my bike with friends and my mum and dad. We did weekend trips to Revolution and Dyfi bike parks. Then in lockdown periods I rode mainly at Risca bike park and Smilog. It’s been a long time since I have been able to meet up and ride with my friends.
What motivates you as a mountain biker? What are you really passionate about and what makes you want to push yourself to do it more?
Since my first mini downhill race I knew I wanted to race World Cups. I watched the World Cups on TV thinking ‘yeah I want to be there racing those tracks at that level.’ I love any time spent on my bike whether it be racing or just riding and believe it should all be enjoyable. What motivates me is wanting to go as far as I can career-wise in the sport that gives me so much enjoyment.
What do you do outside of riding bikes?
If I’m not riding bikes I play a lot of different sports in school. I spend time having a laugh with my school mates. I like taking my springer spaniel Floki on walks (he is definitely no good as a trail dog).
What are you excited to achieve in 2021? What’s on the cards and what are you hoping you can make happen?
In 2021 I am hoping races will go ahead. I hope to get to as many races as I can and I am especially hoping I will get to finally race the National events. If races do go ahead I want to progress as a rider and get some good experience and good results. A trip to Morzine in the summer would be awesome.
Who do you look up to or use as inspiration for your riding, where did you first see/hear about that rider?
The main two riders who inspire me are Rachel Atherton for what she has achieved in her racing career, her dedication, hard work and focus with regards to her racing career. Veronique Sandler for her riding style, she is such a stylish rider and her media content is great. I aspire to ride as stylish as she does.
You can keep tabs on Elin’s season as it progresses on her Instagram feed here.