Interview: Jill Kintner on Not Competing at Crankworx Rotorua, Tackling New Challenges & Finding Motivation

Mar 20, 2019
by Sarah Moore  
This is Home Jill Kintner
Photo: Paris Gore / Shimano

You've been Queen of Crankworx three years in a row, why did you decide not to contend the crown this year?

Honestly, I love Crankworx but was out of goals and motivation to be there. It wasn’t an easy decision to walk away as the reigning champion, but after 5 titles and almost 40 gold medals, I had accomplished every single thing I could in that arena across 4 disciplines. What inspires me is the process of reaching goals and learning new things, so when you "arrive", sometimes you have to shift to find that next gear. It was just time for a new challenge.

A very happy Jill Kintner after taking the win.
Jill Kintner going it for the next generation.

What races will you be doing this year?

Luckily, I have great sponsors who believe in whatever I want to do, so I hand selected events with the best exposure or trails I wanted to ride. I will do 3 EWS rounds depending on how they go, Sea Otter, Crankworx Whistler, National Champs, some North American Enduro rounds, and maybe an e-bike event to check it out. There are so many cool events that I never had time for that I would like to see.

I also have a really cool video/art project with Red Bull that will take quite a bit of my time. It is maybe the coolest thing I have ever been involved with, so I wanted to give that a lot of attention.

Is it hard for you to step away from the prize purse that Queen of Crankworx offers?

Totally, but it’s harder to see other people win “my events” haha. Nobody is in mountain biking purely for the money, we all love to do it, so my decision is to bet on myself, learn something new, and not worry about money.

Women s Pro winner Jill Kintner narrowly beat second place finisher Vaea Verbeeck.

What excites you the most about racing enduro?

Probably that I have no idea how I will do. I had millimeters to gain in the events I was doing, and enduro teaches me something about myself almost daily. At first, the challenge seemed overwhelmingly difficult as I have been a sprinter my whole life and not great at climbing, but each day I would surprise myself and get over a hurdle. It’s been fun and hard and stressful, but I’m excited to test out all the hard work.

What have you changed up with your training in order to compete in enduro this year?

Well, I got a new coach, Spencer Paxson, who is a very smart and talented endurance/XC athlete, so we just made a plan, committed to the task, and never looked back. The main thing was just to take on big days. I still think 6 hours is a crazy long time, but I learned how to pace myself, improve my wattage, and still be powerful and efficient on the downhills. The fueling part has been the hardest thing for me honestly. When you ride for an hour and a half or 2 hours, you really don’t need much, but anything longer than that you have to eat like every 30 minutes, know when to use sugars, hydrate, and carry a bunch of bullshit!

Credit Mitch Chubey Crankworx 2018

What are your expectations for the season?

It’s sort of nice to be free of expectations for a minute. Starting over is a process, and my goals are to really be in the moment and ride with good technique and confidence. For me, it’s more about ticking off daily goals to test myself. Enduro seems like an effort and energy game, so when you are prepared it’s easier to take things in and enjoy the ride, but I have never done this before, so we will see. Hopefully, my million years of race experience will keep me smart, safe, and in a good place to be a contender.

Jill Kintner in Bellingham WA filming for Shimano s This is Home series.


  • 21 2
 You are rad on all levels. Positive energy, humility, creativity, and all around awesome rider. I definitely see you as a role model for my daughter as she starts to show more and more interest in riding. Thanks Jill. Looking forward to what you get up to as you write the next chapters.
  • 40 18
  • 47 3
 Jill's one of my hero's but...pretty sure ACC is the GOAT.
  • 6 5
 Nope...great rider tho
  • 10 9
 Not at all...only 1 world cup DH podium in entire career. Great racer though.
  • 9 0
 C’mon. Jonnier, Chausson, Moseley, Atherton. . .
  • 12 0
 "When you ride for an hour and a half or 2 hours, you really don’t need much, but anything longer than that you have to eat like every 30 minutes, know when to use sugars, hydrate, and carry a bunch of bullshit!"

This. And for all of us Type 1 Diabetics, This x 100! Thanks for being honest and real!
  • 8 0
 I have T1D - I have found that eating a super low carb diet allows me to ride all day without needing to eat. It takes a while to get fat adapted but the results are amazing. I know the current fad is keto this and keto that, but this type of lifestyle has existed long before keto - research Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution.
  • 3 0
 Just make sure it's the right kind of bullshit, not the type that's going to appear as an abnormal finding in a test!
  • 4 1
 @dro-cfr: Even not being T1D I have found that a change to a more fat/ protein based diet and less carbs I have a far longer fuel endurance than I used to have and do not need to snack during rides anymore. Worth the effort to experiment and see what works for you.
  • 2 0
 this in Czech language, but maybe the translator could be usefull at least partly and maybe it could be something new for you
  • 1 0

Was scrolling down straight away to look for this comment Wink
  • 8 1
 World Cups? World Champs? Seems like some logical obtainable goals in there.......
  • 12 1
 She raced some WC DH and results were good but not great - kind 5-15 range I think. She has mad bike skills, but I'm not sure DH was her thing. I commend her for having the courage to step outside her comfort zone though - inspiring and awesome.
  • 6 0
 This suggestion (UCI World Cup DH) came up pretty frequently in the past few years while she was winning a lot of Crankworx events.

Jill Kintner did race the UCI WC DH circuit several years ago. She got a 3rd in 2014. Her website says she has 5 UCI WC DH podiums and that seems to match what I found here:

She raced BMX for years back in the 1990s and was a peer of ACC in 4x when she moved to riding MTB.
  • 8 1
 Here's her World Cup DH history - really solid, and a bunch of podiums.
  • 6 0
 Personally I'm hoping that film project has some local flavor- Seattle represent
  • 5 0
 Wow, that's amazing! Top of your game and moving to different goals, that's awesome. Love watching you ride, little doubt you'll crush it! Go Jill!
  • 7 1
 ".............and carry a bunch of bullshit!" Haha love it! Go JK!!
  • 5 1
 Spencer Paxson as a coach? Damn Jill is gonna destroy the enduro competition soon.....
  • 5 0
 Go get em Jill! You're the people's choice!
  • 5 1
 Goooooooooooooooooooooo Jill..
  • 1 0
 An excellent rider and good person. Like Moseley and Ravenel. When you're dominant with no real contenders you have to look to other places that you can feel the trill of the hunt again.
  • 1 0
 I'm calling bullshit on her No Expectations line... Jill is as tough as they come and she doesn't show up with goal of just finishing.. She puts in hard work with high expectations for herself... Go get'em Jill!
  • 3 0
 Jill for Pickleball world champ! Hahaha for real though, good luck!
  • 1 0
 Jill Thanks for bringing us all along on your journey- its going to be fun and inspiring to see where these new paths take you. Rooting for you 110%
  • 3 1
 Awesome! You're going to crush it! Ladies field is getting deep in ews.
  • 1 0
 It’s going to be a great year for racing is so many sports. EWS, XC DH and F1.
  • 2 0
 Have your great year Jill!
  • 2 0
 Carry a bunch of bullshit hahaha. In a bullshit bike bag.
  • 1 0
 Love the spirit! Variety is the spice of life. Someone else comes to mind in the DH world who should follow your example...
  • 2 0
 Yeah Jill!!
  • 1 1
 PB it’s called evolving and progress no one sits in same location that’s dull
  • 1 0
 Hell yes, Jill!! very well said.
  • 1 0
 You got this, Jill!

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