There's rarely a time where you won't see 23-year-old Scottish rider Katy Winton without a smile on her face. Moving to enduro from XC in 2013, Katy has been riding since she was little after her Dad encouraged her to try it. Before signing with Trek Factory Racing earlier this year, Katy raced with the Endura Bergamont Factory Team, posting consistent results throughout the season, and getting herself noticed for being one of the friendliest riders on the circuit. Noticing her potential and on-bike talents, it was actually Tracy Moseley that pushed to have Katy on the Trek team. Signing a two-year deal with Trek saw Katy join Tracy and Casey Brown on the enduro team and take 6th overall in this year's EWS rankings. We caught up with Katy to find out more... Who is Katy Winton?
An excitable wee Scottish lass who’s travelling the world racing bikes! Where are you from and where do you live?
Scotland. Who do you ride for?
Trek Factory Racing. Where are you happiest?
Usually at the top of a hill in the sunshine on a bike or on foot but really just being outside in hills/forest/mountains exploring has me buzzing!
Katy and Casey prepping race fuel.
What’s been your favourite race/contest venue?
Hmm… Hard one that because we go to so many amazing places! Whistler is always amazing but I am really looking forward to going back to Rotorua NZ because I love New Zealand. Ireland is always a special event close to home and just an amazing atmosphere! Where are your favourite trails?
My home trails in the Tweed Valley are my fave but any trail that you get down feeling lucky to be alive is the one. I did a bit more exploring out of the Whistler Bike Park this year and the flow and dirt on those trails are addictively good! What are your strengths?
Katy in Valberg.
What are your weaknesses?
Timekeeping or replying to emails and messages – just ring me if you need a quick answer – and shortbread! What’s been your worst crash over the years?
I have had many spectacular crashes over the years but the only one that did proper damage was three years ago in Finale Ligure in 2013, the first year of EWS and I clipped a tree and broke my scaphoid… took 6 months to heal from that! What’s been your luckiest escape?
Well, this one time I was up a hill minding my own business and got set upon by some Haggis galloping towards me… Jokes. Haha. The real lucky escape was when I decided to give up XC and move to Enduro. I left school to pursue cycling and work towards competing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In 2012 into the start of 2013, I was building up to try and qualify for the Games and overtrained to the point of nearly giving up bike riding for good. All the fun had gone because all I associated with bikes was pain. When I started to race some enduro I lit up, it made bike riding fun again. From a hardtail to a full bouncing bike for the first time blew my mind and you only race down the hills!? Amazing, I guess it was a blessing in disguise because the past three years have been the best years of my life!
Katy riding with Tracy earlier this year.
Which bike from over the years, conjures up the best memories?
The bikes I am on now, they are the best bikes I have ever ridden and I think the technology these days just makes bikes so capable for anything you throw at them that makes riding so fun. What bikes are you riding right now?
Right now the new Trek Slash 29 beast, I have been racing the Remedy which I love but now trying the big wheels. So far all I can I say is the slash is one hell of a bike! Who’s your favourite rider?
I’m lucky to be on a team with my two favourite riders, Tracy Moseley and Casey Brown. Tracy has taught me heaps, and just goes SO fast all the time and is an absolute champ on and off the bike. Casey is a hero too, the style queen, we’ve had a lot of fun this year and she is absolutely rapid, hard as nails and hits massive jumps with so much steeze!
Katy and Tracy sharing tips during race day.
Who or what inspires you?
Those two above inspire me to try and be as good a rider as them but seeing kids out riding bikes or people trying it for the first time and loving it really inspires me because you just know that’s them hooked to this awesome sport too! What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
Running, walking in the hills, I walk my granny’s dogs, I like arty stuff and try and draw or paint I’m no artist but I enjoy it! I also do some talks in schools and youth groups for Champions in Scotland which is something I am really passionate about, it’s a really rewarding thing to do in the off-season! What are you listening to right now?
I have Bon Iver's new album on repeat… it’s quite alternative and a bit different but I kinda like it!
Bikes and food, what more could you need?
What’s your favourite movie/ TV show?
I’m not very good at telly or movies because I can’t sit still long enough, but I caught a bit of First Dates and I’m hooked… it’s like people watching but you can hear what they’re saying and they can’t see you! Haha! What’s your favourite non-bike website?
Social media most of the time or Instagram/Pinterest… recently Skyscanner or Google maps planning my trip to NZ! Exciting! What’s your favourite motto or saying?
If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. – Einstein (apparently)
Looking pinned on race day.
What grinds your gears?
Cable rub on my frame, luckily we are all internal routing now so none of that, phew! What makes you happy?
Sunshine, laughing, getting into the hills, home, people, friends, family, biking of course, a good cup of tea, food, sleeping, the sea, red, when racing goes right, training hard, paintings, a good hair day, I could go on… it really doesn’t take much! If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?
Either some sort of product design or interior design, if I was to stop right now then I would love to do more talks in schools etc.
Looking fast through the roots.
If you were in charge of the sport, what changes would you make?
Rainbow jersey, I’d love to see Enduro with the rainbow jersey but the logistics of that are really complicated. Maybe one day, I would love that jersey! When you hang up your racing/ riding shoes, how do you want to be remembered?
A nice, enthusiastic bike rider, a tough competitor, a true champion and someone that always had time for a good chat. What does the future hold for Katy Winton?