Podcast: Kathy Sessler Talks About Running the Syndicate, Being a Stunt Woman & Her Race Career

Jun 6, 2020
by Downtime Podcast  
UCI MTB World Cup Vallnord Andorra. - Photo Sven Martin

Words Chris Hall : Photo Sven Martin

Kathy Sessler is the team manager for one of the most popular teams in the world, the Santa Cruz Syndicate. She’s been into bikes since way before mountain biking began, and has a rich history with the sport and some great stories to tell. We talk about her early days as a 13 year old bicycle motocross race promotor. We chat about her race career, her time working as a stunt woman, and what it’s been like to run the Syndicate over the years, working with riders like Nathan Rennie, Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Greg Minnaar, and more recently Loris and Luca. We even find out about the Syndicate’s new no drinking rule! It’s always inspiring to chat to someone who’s dedicated their whole life to the sport, and Kathy was no exception, so hit play below and give it a listen.


You can also listen by searching for ‘Downtime Podcast’ on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts, by asking Alexa, or over on our website www.downtimepodcast.com/kathy-sessler/ and you can follow us on Instagram @downtimepodcast or YouTube.


11 Comments

  • 8 0
 Thanks for sharing @pinkbike Enjoy everyone, and don’t forget to chat out Kathy’s video that we talk about. It’s ace!
  • 1 0
 Recently Red Bull had Warner host a replay of the XC race from La Bresse. He was joined by Jolanda, Annika and Emily, via t'web, to share their memories.
Jolanda told a tale from that weekend involving Kathy, herself, Luca and a "chat" about boundaries. I'm sure it will still be on RB Player. tup
  • 1 0
 @Dropthedebt: ha, interesting! I'll have to check it out.
  • 3 1
 This is a story of the ages. Woman works through adversity with grit, determination, humour and at times bind luck to head up one of if not the most successful and long running MTB sports teams consisting of almost exclusively male athletes and support staff. Don't believe the hype. It is possible. You will achieve. You will sacrifice untold personal sacrifice to achieve career outcomes, if you want to. If you are successful, some personal beliefs and characteristics will bend to accommodate owners and investors, as it does for athletes and suppliers. MTB is diverse and accepting. Those that built the sport are to be commended, not attacked.
  • 5 0
 Man that Syndicate team, PEat, Minaar, Bryceland was legendary
  • 1 0
 Before Bryce with Rennie, it was freaking hellraiser nuts. Then, throw Kovarik into the after party and you've just got a massacre of a post race brew har har
  • 1 0
 Had the pleasure of meeting her in Pietermaritzburg in 2009 (Aaron's first WC win). Such an awesome person and an integral part of the DH community
  • 1 0
 Hung with her for a few minutes at WR and she was telling me about the shenanigans. She is a perfect example of "Wired for Sound" !! Beer
  • 1 0
 Really good listen!
  • 1 0
 Thanks mate!

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