Hannah Report: Reflections on Racing

Aug 31, 2014 at 1:08
by Tracey Hannah  
Hanna report logo

Walking past that familiar face every other weekend becomes second nature after almost five months of racing. All of a sudden the finish line of the final World Cup arches over the track awaiting that final rider to pass through for the last time of 2014. The morning of the race I looked out my window towards the mountain where the final track of the season lay and hoped that when I was sitting in the start gate I could appreciate the moment.

For those of us who made it the whole year without injury, mechanicals, or too many race mistakes it's an exciting feeling. For some the return to racing won’t come soon enough, their seasons cut short and the reality now showing that they won’t even make it for the last round.

Winner Tracy Hannah dropping into the finish line edging out Casey Brown by .63 seconds.

Sometimes driving for hours and hours in the back of a van gets annoying, tripping through airports every second week gets monotonous. By the end of the season have we let World Cups become familiar? If ever you were woken up it's the moment you realize that for the last time you are scrambling through your bag for that special Athlete pass that gets you VIP access up the lift for track walk. You are stopped in your tracks as you realize that in a matter of hours its over. 

Take me back to the long hours stranded in the airport, give me back the ten hours we spent driving across the USA and Canada, take me back to the 3am arrival at our apartment, let me fall asleep at lunch one last time because I can’t handle the jet-lag….. But it's too late.

Tracey Hannah checks the grip on the roots about half way down.

Of course it's not over yet. Track walk in Meribel excited me as much as it scared me. Slippery short turns, deep dark woods, long steep slippery rock sections and flat out off-camber grass turns. If I was going to sleep this weekend it wouldn’t be until the night of the race. First practice was nice and early like usual, it rained the night before and the first run of the track was more than slippery.

As more and more riders rode the track it wore in just perfectly, come Saturday the track was primed for the taking, the sky was blue, the sun was shining and the track was lined with spectators. As I headed up to the top for my race run I was confident in the fact that no matter what happened I had achieved so much this season. My goals of an injury free, consistent season were one run away. I made the most of that race run, I rode the best I could, and that was best enough for 4th which gave me a 4th overall finish.

Tracy Hannah hot off her Crankworx Candian Open win last week and aiming for more.

Well that's it, done and dusted for another year, and it made me think. Hundreds of riders dispersed; where do all the riders go? Gone, spending the end of the summer with friends and then moving into the hard training months that begin over Christmas. That leads into January when the sun starts to shine and the bears come out from hiding. Not much time has passed and we’re at the end of February, we live through March, and then comes April, the month when it all begins again. One rider to win the first race of the year, having not seen a glimpse of his rival since the past season, from each side of the world, from all destinations now separated by a timer that brings riders within hundredths of seconds of each other.

That leaves one last question - who will wear the rainbow stripes? There is still one prestigious, beautiful race left.

A fantastic year for Tracey Hannah making Polygon shapes on her way to 4th in the overall. She managed 3rd in Windham and Fort William and sent it to 4th place this afternoon.

Thanks to my sponsors: Hutchinson UR Team, Hutchinson Tires, Polygon bikes, BOS suspension, E.13, Spank, FiveTen, Formula brakes, ODI, Reverse, VP, 100%, Sony, IXS, Zefal, Ti Spring, Clearprotect, Jetblack, Blackmountain, Coach Central

www.traceyhannah.com


34 Comments

  • + 50
 I LOVE YOU
  • + 26
 dude, don't.
  • + 34
 I don't know whether to upvote this guy for being brave or downvote him for being creepy...
  • + 9
 he's got big balls... I like big balls... well done tracey, good luck at worlds!
  • + 15
 i gave him at up vote lol.. i do believe in fairy tales Wink
  • + 7
 I reckon Tracey read comments once - and once only - never again to return to the horror she found.... below..
  • - 5
flag mtbfun4u (Aug 31, 2014 at 15:07) (Below Threshold)
 man ,you are brave.i'll give you that. maybe we should fix you a date. with MICK !!
  • + 3
 I'm sure she's flattered... maybe!
  • + 3
 gaoxiang89 I gave you a big thumb up. you just went bigWink
  • + 2
 i hope tracey gets to reads these comments.. i hope hehe
  • + 2
 MICK WILL KICK YOUR ARSE
  • + 45
 she is a great writer I love the hannah reports. she certainly has a career as a writer or editor for a magazine after she retires from riding
  • + 4
 I agree, shame its a bit short though, would happily read more
  • + 11
 Well done Tracey, well done! A very good season for you. Waiting the champ!
  • + 10
 Tracey comes across as a real nice person ,god bless her
  • + 7
 Good luck with the worlds
  • + 5
 Awesome read Tracey, and good luck at Worlds Go you good thing
  • + 3
 Great piece, fan of Tracey for sure. Great example of persistence and how to over come injuries. Go Tracey get the rainbow stripes!!!!!!!
  • + 4
 Definitely enjoyed this article compared to the Emily Batty ones.
  • + 2
 Good read! I like how she doesn't dwell on the riding and gets more into the mindset of what the pros go thru in between the riding. Thanks!
  • + 3
 Keep sending it Tracey! You are an inspiration to female downhillers all over the world.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the report tracey! Love these reports from top riders like this. It's so fun to see things from their perspective.
  • + 2
 I don't usually read, but for this report, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks Tracey.
  • + 3
 Fantastic reflection and insight on a great season...cheers!
  • + 3
 Fast. Skilled. Tenacious. Woman's gunna be no.1 very soon.
  • + 2
 Congrats on the great season Tracy!
  • + 2
 Hard work, lot of good people around, some luck - see in Hefjel Smile
  • + 1
 Lots of run-on sentences. And she "trips" in airports? I guess they don't drug test DHers...
  • + 2
 Cool write up with an existential vibe.
  • + 2
 Awesome Tracey.... very good.....good luck...
  • + 1
 that was awesome. Better than any video.
  • + 1
 In so cal there is no winter...we ride 365 non stop
  • + 2
 I didn't want it to end!

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