The Tracy Moseley Interview

Feb 24, 2016
by Matthew DeLorme  




Tracy Moseley is a powerful force in MTB. Besides being one of the nicest, most gracious personalities in our sport, she’s a DH World Champ, three-time Enduro World Series World Champ, and has numerous national and European titles to her name. She’s an amazing advocate for women in the sport, and runs a development program to foster young British talent. We sat down with Pinkbike’s Female Athlete of the year to chat about her career, her decision to retire, and what comes next.


Why did you decide to retire from a full schedule of EWS racing? Why now?

For me, I think that after twenty years of racing bikes, to stop cold turkey wouldn’t work. This is my way of weaning myself off, so to speak. As to why now? I don’t think there’s ever a good time to stop, but years ago I said I would stop before I started doing poorly, got seriously injured, or it was costing me too much. Those were my three criteria. I think I’ve had an amazing career, I’m still at the top of my game, and I’m still having fun doing it. Before any of those things disappear, I wanted to be sure I was the one making the call, not another factor stopping me.

When I stopped racing downhill four years ago I thought it was the end of my career, but enduro has stretched that time out and it’s been amazing. With biological clocks ticking and such, and wanting to settle down and have a family, I need to be making those decisions pretty soon.

Winning doesn t get old that smile on Tracy Moesleys face says it all.
  

What do you think are the long-term impacts of high level competition? Do you believe it is fair to say that they are more acute for women, as, aside from any obvious biological clock business, it is a particularly sensitive system within the body?

I definitely felt in 2015 that I had some serious ups and downs as far as my health and my ability to train hard. I had a few blood tests to see if there was something that was missing and it was only then, speaking with the other girls on the circuit, that there were quite a few of them that had similar experiences. They had been for blood tests and either their thyroid wasn’t working right or they were low in iron or low in some other thing. You start realizing that maybe we are pushing our bodies to that limit, to almost beyond that. That point of over-training versus not training enough, trying to find that balance. With Enduro being so new and progressing and becoming more challenging every round, where we have all come from different backgrounds and are all trying to find this fitness and are really pushing each other, it may be that we may be pushing too far - beyond the balance point.

Anne Caroline had some issues with her health and had to pull out for the rest of the season, and you think, it’s ACC, she’s the one you would never expect to have an issue like this, that would stop one of the biggest champions of our sport. It was an interesting conversation to have amongst the girls, where many of us are at the age that if you are thinking of having a family, is there something happening with your body that after twenty years of beasting ourselves, so to speak, have we turned the clock up a bit?

One of the great things this year is that there are not back to back EWS races. When I was speaking with Anne it was one of the things she was really having trouble with. It has been an interesting thing to watch and think about. We are doing the same course as the guys, with the same time limits and distances. Maybe we don’t have that same strength and inherent fitness, maybe we are pushing ourselves that little bit extra to keep up with them, and I think it’s just something we as women need to be aware of.


What’s next for you?

I’m going to ride my bike because that’s what I like doing! It’s the thing I like doing the most. I want to continue, I still want to race but my focus will be more on the adventure races like Andes Pacifico and BC Bike Race. I want to take a step back from that super high level of racing that the EWS has become. It’s the pinnacle of the sport, and I’ve loved it, I’d love to continue but I think it’s time to slow down.

There are other things that still excite me in racing that just don’t have that level of intensity and create the strain on my body. I’m looking forward to helping Katie and Casey, to hopefully impart some old-wise-woman-wisdom and help them grow. I’m doing the same with some young riders from home through my development program. I’ve got two girls who are local that come from XC and are wanting to do some more gravity-oriented racing. I’d like to do some more filming and photo projects as well. Basically, I’ve still got a lot on my plate this year but, I think I’ll enjoy it more!

The Tracy Moseley Interview


What is your take on the state of enduro racing and the direction it’s heading in?

I think it’s quite exciting really, with what has occurred in three years. It’s crazy, really. The following it’s got, the professionalism, the support from the industry. I think it’s a healthy thing for mountain biking in general, it's found its place and it is still evolving. I think people still don’t quite understand what it is. It’s such a varied format that I think it will always have that air of mystery as to what it is. I do think it will go two ways: one will be the highly professional EWS, the pinnacle of the sport, the peak of performance. Then there will be the more adventure style format, the laid back, ride with your mates type of racing, take in the scenery. More grass roots so to speak, self -sufficient, carry everything, versus the minimalist race format trying to go as fast as possible, cutting back what you carry in your pack. I think those two things will become separate forms of racing that will appeal to different people. I don’t think that is a bad thing. It’s simply the evolution of the sport. There will be the racers who stuff gels in their socks, looking for the fastest lines and those who are there for the journey. I think it’s cool. There’s a place for both. I can’t see it slowing down, I think it’s going to continue to gain momentum.


That 1 plate isn t going anywhere after another dominant performance from Tracy Moseley.

Do you think the fanny pack will see a resurgence?

I think it could well do. I think racers will do anything to save weight, they’ll sacrifice style over the chance of winning a race. I think we could see all sorts of things coming to save weight.


What’s you take on Women in MTB and Cycling? Good Progress, or a way to go still?

We are definitely still a ways behind the men’s field, the exposure that the men get, the pay that they get, but I think we are in an exciting time in the sport. I think in general we are making gains. We just had the first U23 Women's World Championships in cyclocross. How on earth has that not been able to happen up to now? There are still things that are evolving. I think that in enduro especially, there are going to be more women coming into the competition side of MTB. I think it’s more alluring to women than XC or DH. There’s the camaraderie, the more laid back vibe. It’s more appealing to women. It’s great to see young girls coming from a background of XC or DH wanting to come and give enduro a go. It’s an exciting time to be involved, especially as a female, there are all sorts of opportunities for us.


In case you couldn t tell from the smile. Winning never gets old.


What in your mind makes the biggest difference for female participation in the sport?

I honestly think if we had more women competing, creating bigger fields, then we would have tighter, more exciting racing. It would create more appreciation of the racing itself, it would gain more respect for what’s happening, and you would feel like a bigger part of the sport. In a field of 200 men and 50 women, it’s always going to be a struggle to get noticed, to get media. I think if we just had more women out there, it would become the norm. We would then attract more, and then it would put an end to the vicious circle we find ourselves in.


What riders do you see as future champions?

We’ve got a few really. We saw Isabeau and Ines both get podiums in the EWS last year, which is that next crop of racers. Then you’ve got Katy and Rae, and the girls who have been fourth through eighth the last few years, all of those girls now have a shot on the podium. Obviously, Cecile is going to be the favorite. She and Anneke are going to have a really good battle. That third spot on the podium is really open game right now, to the one who steps up their racing. I think that’s going to be exciting racing and a key step in building up that women’s field. It’s going to open up for the racer who is hungry. In turn, that’s only going to help the girls in tenth or fifteenth try and move up in the field. It is the start of building a really competitive field and I think this year will be really exciting to watch the sport evolve.


The Tracy Moseley Interview


Any advice you would give to future women racers?

I think the main thing for me is not getting hung up or put off by feeling like you are in a man’s world. Just get your head down, work hard, and try not to feel like it’s not fair. Get that out of your head, let your riding do the talking. Get involved, follow the guys, try and keep up. Immerse yourself in the sport and earn respect by the way you carry yourself, the way you ride, and the commitment you put into your riding. Work hard at basic skills, be a kid on a bike, pretend you’re still twelve - go out and do skids and wheelies, those are inherent skills the boys have because that’s how they grew up. Those skills served them really well in their cycling careers. Girls don’t really have that, so work on it, don’t feel scared to mess around on your bike. Even when you’re thirty, it’s still fun.


Are there any other hobbies you want to take up now that you are retired?

Maybe the odd jigsaw? That’s what you do when you’re old, right? I’ve seen what the future holds and I’m going to ride a bike for as long as I can.


Tracy Moseley was supreme this weekend and although she eased of the gas on the second stage she still won the first and longest stage today to seal her win by over a minute and a half.

What is your favorite pre-race food?

Porridge, definitely porridge. Fruit, nuts, and honey in it. If it is going to be a really big day, I’ll have some eggs.


How many hours do you put in on the bike a week?

In preparation for an EWS, the biggest weeks will be twenty, twenty-five hours. That served me well for big back to back races like Scotland and Ireland with four to five hour practice days, and around thirty hours for the week. If you’re not comfortable with that amount of time, you won’t do well in that situation. Most often, I’m more likely to ride between ten and fifteen hours a week on average with a few big weeks.


Through your entire racing career, what do you consider your top three races in way of feeling?

Winning World Champs Downhill, that one is going to be hard to beat. Winning my first World Cup, Fort William, 2002. That was my first ever World Cup in Great Britain, and I was the first ever British woman to win a World Cup. There were quite a few firsts with that one. It’s hard to pinpoint one specifically in the last three years, but any race that I beat Anne Caro on equal terms, where I feel like we had a pretty good fair and square battle. Perhaps Finale, the final of 2014 when it came down to seconds between us. There have been a few close ones, but any race when we were on equal terms without having issues and I came out on top I feel is one to remember. She (ACC) was always the one who I looked up to at races and was the girl to beat. So any race that I’ve equaled her, really pushed her and given her a race is pretty frigging special.


Another EWS and another dominant performance from Tracy Moseley.


Was that the biggest battle in EWS racing for you, the mental battle of racing against Anne Caro?

In the end, I don’t think so. In Enduro, it’s so often not down to seconds or fractions of a second like in downhill. It’s more the experience. It’s being on your bike for four days, not knowing the trails. Having some well sketchy moments, ruining yourself. There is so much more to an enduro race than the end result for me. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed, it’s so different from racing downhill against the clock where it’s such an intense two or three minutes. Not knowing where you are through the day, racing to the best of your ability and finding out the result at the end of the day. Knowing that you were racing one of the best in the world and at the end of the day knowing I rode my bike really friggin’ well. Knowing at the end that I was one of the fastest people in the world on my bike right now, that was a really special feeling, but during the race, it wasn’t the driving force.


What has been your favorite part of racing bikes? What has racing given you?”

I think for me there are two things: One is the opportunity to travel, to experience countries, cultures, amazing locations. I grew up on a dairy farm in a small rural part of England, and I would have never had the opportunity otherwise. I would have barely left the county. So there is certainly the travel aspect. Second would be the people I’ve met along the way, the friends I’ve made. The mountain bike community has been amazing. Getting to spend time with people from all over the world, different languages, and cultures- all brought together by bikes. It’s been just incredible. I feel like I have friends from every corner of the world and that’s something you would never get from a normal job. It’s been an experience I am so grateful for.


Tracy Moseley ran for the Mediterranean for some refreshement after her victories.
  Cheers, Tracy for what has been a brilliant racing career. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


MENTIONS: @trek / @mdelorme




75 Comments

  • + 259
 Legend
  • + 13
 Absolutely!
  • + 6
 photos of her kit from the Cycle Revolution show at London Design Museum

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb13018890/p5pb13018890.jpg

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb13018889/p5pb13018889.jpg
  • + 5
 Gotta have your porridge Smile all the best Ms. Moseley!
  • + 6
 Such a cool interview! really down to earth and honest...many racers could learn a lot from her attitude.
  • + 3
 Couldn't agree more, spoke to her before and she is just down to earth and very very good on her bike.
  • + 2
 Takes me back to the trek world racing videos.
  • + 2
 Always been a fan thru dh to enduro. Keep kicking ass on the trails!
  • + 52
 The sign of a true sporting legend is one who still talks about how they look up to a fellow competitor, even when they're just as good (if not better) than them. Always remember seeing Tracy back in the early days of MBUK and thinking how cool it was that she was up there with the boys. A great sporting ambassador!
  • + 45
 Yep, just a great person and a true ambassador for our little love of all things bicycle.
My friend and I were lucky enough to ride behind T on a run in Rotavegas last year - late in the evening and she was very tired from giving a good tilt for the day.

But, it wasn't that ride that made it for me.

After the race, when she was so spent, a young girl came up to her when she was on the way back and asked if she could ask T a question for her school assignment. Without hesitation, she gave of herself to a young rider who had the temerity to politely ask a question - how wonderful I thought as I listened to the response.

After T left, the young person sprang into the air and said to her friend "I just interviewed Tracey Mosely...I just interviewed her..." - my experience from the day before faded into oblivion and I realised that that is what keeps everyone on track - gracious humility.
  • + 6
 What an incredible experience for the the young girl. It sounds like it was pretty special for you as well. It is pretty awesome when elite athletes embrace their positions as positive role models.
  • + 26
 Can't say much more than a true Legend of the sport male or female. Crazy dedication to be putting in 30 hour weeks on the bike at this stage of her career and still be peaking. Inspirational to anyone.



"We just had the first U23 Women's World Championships in cyclocross. How on earth has that not been able to happen up to now? "

Best not go there after what happened :/
  • + 4
 Yeah... well those Belgium's do love their e-bikes. What a twisted tale.
  • + 2
 Why not go there..yeah there was a scandal ebike bullshit, but the british girl won fair and square and deserves the spotlight for it, she trained hard raced hard and won - she shouldn't be denied the coverage of her win because some asshat chose to edope
  • + 28
 One of our favorite riders of all time. A huge inspiration to both women and men. May she long be involved in the sport.
  • + 16
 Quote "be a kid on a bike, pretend you’re still twelve - go out and do skids and wheelies, those are inherent skills the boys have because that’s how they grew up."

Hahaha so true, right on spot.

Manuals, bunny hopping, drifting, getting loooose, it what MTB is about : FUN. To grow up but not to grow old !

Great ITW Pinkbike & Tracey !
I would love to go for a ride with you Tracey someday !!
  • + 13
 Another really good article PB, this is the reason why I come here. A gracious champion and great ambassador of the sport, Emily Batty may be doing some good videos (pity they're like 1 long commercial) but T-Mo is a cut above and IMHO, a better bike rider. Congrats on your amazing career, glad to hear that you're still going to be at some of the races

You know you're pretty special when there's PB guys who openly state they'd love to ride with you!
  • + 15
 You made Enduro cool, all the best on the future.
  • + 0
 enduro is cool
  • - 1
 Its not that cool. C'mon, watch red bull rampage then tell me you wanna watch some chick that look like a dude sweat while she 2nd gear creeps up a hill. I'd rather watch early 90s flatland bmx. Get real guy
  • + 14
 Class act.
  • + 9
 Please note how humble and nice person she is. Actually I met her personally and she helped my with my bike suspension set up even when she was busy. She helps everybody during races. A legend and great idol to follow.
  • + 8
 Nothing negative to say about her. Was super nice when I spoke to her for the EWS race at Winter Park a few years back. I'm glad she went on her own terms. I hope Jared Graves can do the same once he's done too.
  • + 10
 Top woman. She's up there with Peaty and Palmer for me
  • + 10
 Good lass. Keep on skidding.
  • + 6
 Such a great example of professionalism and class from an athlete. My daughter is 8yrs and has been following me and racing everything from BMX, XC, DH, Pumptrack. She has had the opportunity to meet some of the top women at events but It probably means more to me than it does her but she's able to recognizes the difference from the focused professional to those just wanting to have fun. Both scenarios are cool but for the women like Tracey M, Anne C, Rachel A, and Jill K. it's always about professionalism and you can see why they have been dominant for so long.
  • + 9
 Good reading for a father of two daughters with high hopes!
  • + 5
 Awesome rider, brilliant attitude and a perfect role model for ALL mountain bikers if they are aspiring racers or old hands who started on rigids. Tracy has always shown that she is a real all round talent and if you have stood on the side of a track and watched her hammer past in complete control - its an amazing site. Look forward to hearing about her next moves in more detail.
  • + 8
 "I think I’ve had an amazing career"

You're god damn right ! Have fun doing whatever you're up to ! Smile
  • + 3
 She’s great - I dig the advice about skids and wheelies!

Why is the article titled, ‘THE’ Tracy Moseley Interview? Is it the only one? The best? Are the questions curated as well? Reminds of THE Mercedes Summer Sales Event or THE Enchanted Collection from Zales or something.
  • + 4
 "go out and do skids and wheelies, those are inherent skills the boys have because that’s how they grew up".... I still don't know how to do a wheelie!!! Shame on me!!!

Anyway, big respect for Tracy!!!
  • + 3
 A staunch and classy spokeswoman for the sport, a fierce competitor, a seemingly genuine no ego type, and a heck of a person! My hat's off to you Tracy, you've done a lot on two wheels and may you continue to do so for many years to come. Thank you!
  • + 6
 Our Trace seems to achieve a supreme balance between femininity and aggression. Respect.
  • - 1
 That also would describe a trangender UFC fighter, but i see what you were trying to say.
  • + 1
 Haha! #makesmyweinersoftalot
  • + 5
 She's the reason I'm riding in my first race this season. Gonna miss watching her. Huge inspiration.
  • + 2
 I'd love to know how many crashes she's had?

I can remember one or maybe two that made her miss a round of a WC. One in EWS I think?

Absolutely ridiculous considering the years she's been at the top level.

Easily in the top ten all-time for me.
  • + 4
 Yay! More videos would be sick. I think her riding is inspirational. More so then some of the men for me... Keep it up!
  • + 4
 Tracy thank you for being an inspiration to us women :-) you will be missed x
  • + 2
 You know you have made it in life, not after winning so many races, but after seeing so many positive and revering comments below your interview. Congrats T, you are winning in LIFE.
  • + 3
 Classy and humble, and knows that remembering to be twelve years old again over two wheels is the best way to ride.. Beyond legendary.
  • + 5
 This is the kind of thing i love to see on pinkbke
  • + 6
 I love her smiles
  • - 2
 Her smiles make my Weiner grow for miles!!! Kidding she looks like the guy that changed the brakes on my Tacoma at v.I.p yesterday. #makesmyweinersoftalot
  • + 4
 Top class answers. Great achievement but still humble. Hope for a great life after racing for her.
  • + 2
 I was surprised to hear that so many high level female racers were having health issues. Is that common in other cycling disciplines?
  • + 3
 if you go to the home page now it looks like tracy has a short body with massive legs haha
  • + 5
 BBC Athlete of the year
  • + 2
 It will be cool showing your grandkids all the medals and number plates in the garage. Congrats on a stellar career and thanks for the insights!!!
  • + 2
 LEGEND thats all there is to it. Ive never met her but reading articles and interviews and the comments from you guys on here just shows what an awesome humble person she is.
  • + 3
 Salute! Thank you for the great times with us and your great contribution to this sport!
  • + 2
 So gracious, unassuming, honest and with evidently a real love for sharing her experience with other racers. A true legend, congratulations on a glittering career Tracy.
  • + 4
 Pure class, hat off to you first queen of Enduro
  • + 5
 Absolute legend
  • + 5
 So classy.
  • + 5
 #skidsandwheelies
  • + 3
 ^ #this #pretendyouretwelve
  • + 2
 haha! Interesting that I'm eating my pre ride porridge while I read the interview.
  • + 2
 great read. respect to Tracy. at some point, things change. she's smart. but still headin for more adventure
  • + 2
 Final Picture: Running back to the ocean, where these mysterious creatures came from.
  • + 3
 Absolute legend signing off the way she wants to - awesome stuff.
  • + 4
 class act !!!
  • + 3
 High 5's Tracey. Hope to see you on the trails one day!
  • + 2
 Great racer, feel sorry for the women still racing. Tmo's shadow will linger for some years to come
  • + 2
 What a great human,carry on.
  • + 2
 She is going to slay BC Bike Race!
  • + 3
 legend
  • + 3
 OG
  • + 1
 Nice! I can't realize that these pre-race foods are enough
  • + 2
 Superclass.
  • + 1
 Wow she is beat!!
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