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Video: At Home in the Scottish Highlands with Ella Conolly - Live To Ride Ep. 9

Aug 20, 2020 at 5:25
by Nico Turner  

Welcome back to Live To Ride, in this episode, we journey north to Scotland where we’ve got episodes with Enduro World Series racers Mark Scott, Lewis Buchanan and in this first episode we catch up with Ella Conolly. She moved from XC to Enduro 3 years ago where she became the U21 World Champion and has since been working her way up the rankings with her first EWS podium last year. Living in the Highlands she’s got everything from beautiful coastline to epic mountain ranges so we knew we were in for an adventure after the 8-hour journey north.

Ella is based in in the Highlands and her riding reflects that, known for its rugged mountainous terrain she is lucky to have the Cairngorm National Park on her doorstep. However, most of her time training is kept to a local riding spot where there are some classically Scottish single track descents hidden away in the woods...

Photo Kieran Kenney
Photo Kieran Kenney

bigquotesIt’s the closest best trails, I probably ride here once a week, nice features drops and jumps but you’ve also got some real awkward natural trails, whatever you want to ride, it’s here. Ella Conolly

Photo Kieran Kenney

Ellas move to Enduro racing has been an exciting one, with an appearance on the podium at the Madiera 2019 EWS we’re excited to see what she can achieve this season.

bigquotesBefore that podium I struggled with my mindset more than my riding, I’ve almost worked out more how to get into the right headspace for racing. Ella Conolly

Photo Kieran Kenney

A summer at home for Ella has meant time with the family, cooking fresh from the garden and enjoying time hanging out with her year-old collie Flyn.

Photo Kieran Kenney
bigquotesKeeping it fairly chilled, to be honest, it’s been nice I’ve not had a massive lockdown project like some people have, just more time with my family and my dog Flyn Ella Conolly

With the first round of the EWS taking place in Zermatt, Switzerland next week Ella has been trying to get her eye in on those longer rugged descents. We ventured into the Cairngorm National Park to climb Sgòr Gaoith, translated into English it is the “Peak of the wind” and stands at 1,118m tall. Its rocky singletrack descent is the closest thing Ella has to prepare for racing the big alpine stages.

Photo Kieran Kenney
Photo Kieran Kenney

bigquotesI’m feeling really good but it’s a dangerous thing to say because I think everybody with this extra time has put in extra work. I know that I’ve put in a lot over the last year and al to more than previous years. Ella Conolly

Photo Kieran Kenney

Thanks for taking the time to watch another Live To Ride episode, please subscribe for more and don’t forget that in the coming weeks we’ve got plenty more EWS action with Mark Scott and Lewis Buchanan.

Riding: Ella Conolly
Words & Video: Nico Turner
Photography: Kieran Kenney
Sponsor: Cannondale

Author Info:
Nico-T avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2008
40 articles

  • 35 3
 Looks like she can read maps,tend gardens and looks after pets better than I can. Wont even bother to compare our riding abilities
  • 3 0
 pretty good riding in that wet conditions.
  • 18 0
 Cool video. Such a nice, humble girl. I remember standing near to her at the fort bill world cup and some little kid asked her if she rode. She said something like "just a bit". Little did the kid know that she had just come back from an EWS where she had competed successfully at the highest level. Let's hope racing resumes again soon and she can get back on the podium.
  • 12 4
 Scotland at the top of places to visit when we collectively pull our heads out of our asses in Murica and get out of international time out
  • 8 4
 Just worked out you automatically give yourself props, seems a little self indulgent. And here I was thinking someone actually liked my posts. Frown
  • 13 0
 Well, you know what they say: liking your own posts is like masturbating to your own picture.
  • 4 1
 @moloch: what
  • 4 0
 For some reason the right hand turn at 1:58 inexplicably made me really happy. Ella is one of my picks for a racer that's going to make their mark in the next year or two.
  • 6 0
 I think the wheel needs tru-ing in the thumbnail
  • 3 0
 Those space decals on the top tube are epic! I need some in my like, any idea where I can get them?
  • 2 0
 The riding looks fun, not sure I could handle riding in the rain every day. Roots grow claws and sharp teeth and those puddles! I'll melt out there!
  • 1 0
 Its actually been so dry for ages up here. Never seen it so dry. Meanwhile in Inverness it rains. I work in Inverness and live 25 miles away, lots of micro climates up here. Inverness is just the wet one.
  • 3 0
 That’s a lot of hair! Does it affect balance like a water bottle? Great riding
  • 1 0
 Maybe it works miracles like a cheetah's tail?
  • 4 0
 Another great ambassador for mtb.
  • 3 0
 She is so smooth! Looks like she is dancing with her bike.
  • 2 0
 Sgor Gaoith is an amazing decent. One everyone should do if they visit the Cairngorms’
  • 2 0
 One of the most likeable, down to earth riders out there. Hope she does really well.
  • 2 0
 stunning...good luck to you Ella...
  • 3 0
 Such a stylish rider.
  • 2 0
 I reckon she'll win a lot of races in the next few years!
  • 2 0
 WOW... good luck kid ????
  • 1 0
 What a sweet set up she's got! So much style too
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