A Year of Change: Manon Carpenter Interview

Feb 7, 2017 at 6:28
by Lauren Jenkins  




Manon Carpenter needs very little introduction. Born in South Wales, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength on the DH World Cup circuit. A consistent threat and podium finisher, Manon has national and international titles to her name, including 2011 Junior World Champion, 2014 DH World Cup Champion, and 2014 DH World Champion. She spent six years with Madison Saracen following her signing with them as a junior in 2011. Following her departure from Madison Saracen, she signed with Radon in early 2017. We caught up with her to talk about injury, the new team, racing, starting her degree and her hopes for the season ahead.

bigquotes It's always such an unknown going into a race season to the first big race of the year and finding out what your speed is like, but that's exciting as well. I want to be strong, fast and fierce! - Manon Carpenter

A new year and a new team, how does it feel to be moving into the season starting everything essentially from the beginning?

It’s really refreshing and I’m excited to get things underway! I wouldn’t say I’m starting from the beginning, I have all the experience I’ve gained over previous years and there are always new faces to get to know within a team. In some ways I’m going back to how things were a couple of years ago, training with Alan Milway again and being based in Wales for the majority of the winter. It’s fun having the new race bike to get used to and I’m looking forward to some trips and testing with Radon before the season kicks off.

Manon Carpenter more likely to hug a tree than chop it up and make you a new garden shed. Despite the family name.
Manon in Andorra last year.

Once your contract was up with Saracen did you get a lot of offers, or was it you that approached other teams?

Joost (Wichman) approached me early on asking what my plans were for 2017 and beyond, but as it was the first time I’d properly looked at moving teams I wanted to make sure I’d considered all my options first! Having never raced for a different team before I wanted to get an idea of how different teams work and figure out what sort of environment I would race best in. It was interesting speaking to and hearing the responses from teams, some who were very supportive including existing sponsors and others who simply aren’t focused on women’s DH racing at the moment.

You finished last season with a broken collarbone and you also had the plate removed from your arm, how are things progressing now?

Everything has come along really well, I’m excited to be getting strong again. The broken collarbone was honestly a blessing in disguise—I’d been scared to make the decision to get the plate taken out of my arm due to the risks involved, but seeing as I already needed one surgery it seemed like now or never to get the metal plate removed from my humerus. I’d had weakness in that arm for a while and pains that we couldn’t find a reason for other than the plate so I’m really glad I had it done, so far so good!

Once everything once healed, we spent up until Christmas rehabbing the parts of me that needed it; right arm, shoulder and other parts of the body that get pulled around during the season as well. Along with conditioning in the gym, I spent some time swimming which I really enjoy, to help get my shoulder strong, and running before I got back on the bike. It was fun to mix things up and I think it’s healthy for the body as well to work in different ways to the norm. It’s amazing how much sorting out little niggles helps and it’s been great riding since with everything feeling like it is working properly. As always, now the aim is to get into the best shape possible before the season starts and I’m glad I’ve got Alan to help me get there!

What’s the story behind Radon, what was it that attracted you to the team?

After meeting with Joost for the first time and hearing about Radon’s plans for the new set up I got a positive feeling about the team. It seemed like Radon were producing some great bikes, then at World Champs, I got the chance to meet most of the team again. I got a really good feeling from the group of people involved and went with that! It’s clear Radon want to make a mark on the World Cup scene next year with both the DH and XC teams and it’s exciting to be involved. At our first team meet it was almost intimidating to realise how many World Championship titles were sat around the table, counting those from current riders and team managers! But everyone has been really welcoming so far. Being involved in an international team was another attraction for me, along with being able to make a lot of important decisions for myself such as who I train with and prioritising which events I put in my calendar.

Radon Factory DH Team 2017
The 2017 Radon Factory DH Team

You spent six years with Madison Saracen and went through a lot with the team, how do you feel looking back on that time?

Mostly, I’m really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. Simon Wild from Saracen first approached my Dad at Fort William World Cup where I was racing as a first year Junior. It was only the second World Cup I’d raced but Madison, who had just brought Saracen bikes were starting a development team and interested in me riding for them the following year. It was a completely new experience going down to Madison HQ and meeting everyone in charge there! 2011 was the year the team started in the UK, with my Dad supervising my final year as a Junior at World Cups. I won the Junior World Champs in Champéry that year and my bike has been on the wall at Madison ever since.

Will Longden took over managing the team in 2012 for it to become a fully-fledged World Cup team and I moved into Elite. I also began training with Alan Milway for the first time that year and after a promising season despite an injury mid-season, I wanted the chance to see how far I could go in Elite. I was given that opportunity by Madison and have been racing professionally ever since! Even though I always aim for the highest or best result I can get, and I know I’m capable, winning World Champs in 2014 was still incredible and so surreal—I really appreciate everyone who made that possible. I’ve learned a lot in my years racing for Madison Saracen and whenever I look back on photos it’s amazing to see where that time has taken me.

As well as Radon, you’re going to be working with new sponsors, who can we expect to see you working with this year and were there any companies you particularly pushed to work with or continue your relationship with?

We’re actually going to be working with quite a few sponsors who I’ve been with for a long time; I’m lucky to have raced with Fox suspension and Shimano for my entire Elite career and Monster Energy are also supportive as ever. IXS protection and clothing, DT Swiss, Schwalbe tyres, Ergon grips and saddles, Crankbrothers, Raceface, Muc Off, and Acros are all the new team sponsors that I am looking forward to working with—a pretty cool list of brands!—along with a newly confirmed personal sponsorship with FiveTen which is also going to be great.

Have you had much time to try out the bike and get the setup to your liking on the Radon Swoop?

So far I’ve mainly been riding it on all the local tracks at home and been having a lot of fun. The first day out on it after a couple of months off the DH bike and on some really muddy tracks was such a good day! Fox set the bike up to how they thought I would want it and I haven’t felt the need to change much so far, I’ve just been enjoying getting up to speed on a new bike! But it will be good to now start riding on some faster tracks and get the bike ready for world cup races.

Radon Swoop 200 DH WC
The Radon Swoop 200.

As with everything there’s always speculation, so what would you say to the people that think you struggled to cope with the pressures of continuing on from such a successful season in 2014?

Perhaps, I really wanted to follow up 2014 with another strong year and at the end of the season, in my head, there was no reason why I couldn’t. It’s hard to say it’s one specific thing and to not make excuses, but a few things weren’t as good for me going into the following season—which was a reason for me wanting to change things up. I didn’t feel all that happy or confident going into 2015, which is when the pressure of the World Champs stripes comes in, you want to do them justice and be at your best. I feel like I got better throughout the year but again didn’t feel like I had what it took this year. Which can be frustrating when you know where you want to be, have been and should still be—I want as much as anyone for the racing to be close and exciting. I’ve made pretty much all of my own decisions for preparations this year, so we’ll see how it goes!

As we all know downhill is not just physical, you’ve got to be on your game mentally too, would you say you’re in a good place in that respect going into 2017?

Change is good. I like that I’m in control of a lot of aspects of my race season and I feel like I have more freedom this year—so everything is in my own head as such. I’ve been having a lot of fun riding and training at home and I feel like I’ve got some great support behind me. The mental game is huge in downhill, if you’re happy, confident and mentally strong that’s the best place to be to go fast.

Perhaps a strange question, and although I could essentially be guilty of exactly what I’m asking about, are there certain questions you get frustrated about being asked about just because you’re a female athlete?

Simply, why are top guys faster than the top girls? Because we’re different. And yes—more women racing at the top would be amazing, please!

Manon Carpenter looked fast but just couldn t find her groove on the rough and extra long Garbo track.
On track in the Garbanzo DH in 2016.

Looking back on last season, how was it for you, and what you change if you could?

Finishing 2nd overall will always be something to be proud of, but the results I was after at individual races weren’t there. Always trying to learn is good and improving is what motivates me through the winter, luckily there will always be more races. If I had the chance again maybe I would have had the metal plate out of my arm and got my eyes lasered earlier, but it’s a hard decision to make when you’re fit and well. I don’t like to think about changing things that have happened, it’s not going make anything different!


Another big change for you is the fact you’ll also be a geology student this year, how are you going to fit studying around racing and what are your hopes for the future in relation to the degree?

The studying term where I have to actually go into Uni finishes at the end of March so it works out well for the race season. It’s amazing how quickly it’s gone and now I’ve got less than two months left. I’ll have exams in May and I have to be organized but I like it. I’ve not looked too far into the future, Uni is just something I always planned on doing and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity. I did the work in school and now I get to learn some pretty cool stuff about the world we live in and how it works! It also makes me actually sit still when I’m not riding or training. I train in Cardiff University through the sports High-Performance Plan and get access to the facilities which have everything I need to train which makes my life easy, and there are some delicious burritos for after a hard session.

Manon on cloud watch. It turned out to be a very poor time to go out for a ride.
In the pits in Leogang.

Have you got any specific goals in mind for this year, or any events you really want to do?

Alongside World Cups, I’m looking forward to getting out to race more of the Crankworx events this year. For goals, I want to be at my best. It’s always such an unknown going into a race season to the first big race of the year and finding out what your speed is like, but that’s exciting as well. I want to be strong, fast and fierce ;-)

Do you ever feel like you really get any real down time for just riding for fun, or does it always feel in some respects like part of the job, how do you find a balance with that sort of thing?

The riding part IS the fun part. I love getting to ride so many different bikes at home and calling it training or ‘part of the job’. Even the other training off the bike is fun at the moment. There’s a surprising amount of email stuff and logistics, and I’m not a huge fan of time spent in front of a computer like that, but it is more than made up for. And once you’re out riding you don’t have to worry about that anyway!

Not to sound like I’m giving you cliché job interview questions, but look forward to, say, five years in the future, can you see yourself still racing, or is there something else you’ve got in mind, even vaguely, as something you’d like to do in future? And what would you want to have achieved in those five years?

I don’t feel like I need to worry about putting any time limits on anything at 23. I’d love to get involved with coaching at some point, people talk about progression a lot but that is one of the best parts of bikes – trying something you’ve never tried before! Being able to help or encourage others to do something new is a great feeling as well, and the few days I’ve been involved with getting groups of girls together to ride have been a lot of fun and really worthwhile. So in the future, I would like the chance to put some more of my time to that.

Manon Carpenter charging her way to a fourth place in timed training.
Number two in 2016.

Wales is arguably a huge part of who you are, from being born here, to your career, I know you’ve recently moved into a new house, but do you ever get tempted to move somewhere else, possibly somewhere warmer for training, or would you say home has everything you need?

Yes, I’ve finally flown the nest for good. I spent a few years in and out of my parents' house so I love having my own space now, I’m basically a control freak so I like doing things my own way, haha. I took a while thinking about where I wanted to be as I could have gone anywhere really but I decided South Wales is a great place to be at the moment and I feel like everything is working out well. So I have sentenced myself to Welsh winters for a while, but I’ve always liked having our changing seasons anyway – I feel like it makes you appreciate summer so much more and it’s good to toughen up over winter. In the future I would like to spend some time elsewhere, there are lots places to go. I have the option of taking an International year with Uni and I’ve thought somewhere California could be fun for a while. Maybe after the next presidential election haha. I don’t see myself living somewhere else forever, though, South Wales has just always been home for me!

What are you most looking forward to this year and what can we expect to see from you in 2017?

A summer of riding and racing bikes! There are also a few media projects in the pipeline that I’m looking forward to being involved in so watch this space!


MENTIONS: @ManonCarpenter / @RADON-BIKES / @FiveTen / @shimano / @iXSsports / @crankbrothers




136 Comments

  • + 66
 I'll be damned. I can no longer forgive anyone who voted Trump in. Now she's putting off coming to Cali because of that tyrant.
  • + 34
 I was just discussing with a friend today about how we should get our oft talked about USA mountain bike road trip done before they sell & destroy the original Rampage site.
And then realized, I don't really want to go to the USA right now... It feels... yucky... is the best word I can think of to describe it. It's hard to justify supporting the country, its politics or its economy right now.

Anyway, not to derail into politics... I hope Manon has a great season!
Would be fun to see the women's podium mixed up a bit this year.
  • - 10
flag nug12182 (Feb 9, 2017 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 California sucks anyways! beast coast ftw!
  • + 11
 @HpSauce: I just got back from a trip to Sedona. For the most part it was a blast and everyone we met was super nice. There was still the odd pro Trump anti Muslim conversation going on in restaurants and bars I could overhear though. Quite sad.
  • + 4
 Being from a blue state, I'm having internal issues of planning biking trips/races to red states. Hmm...
  • + 59
 @JDFF: so like, most of the states then...?

If you're putting off a US trip because of the president, then you've got some growing up to do. America is a beautiful place, with tons of great people. Not going isn't going to affect anyone but yourself for missing out on what amazing riding is on offer. Imagine if we didn't travel because we didn't like a countries leader, most of us wouldn't ever travel!
  • + 17
 @atrokz: Thats not what he's saying. Like I said above, the tension can be felt at the ground level right now. Its %99 totally awesome but the yahoos are definatley more vocal these days.
  • + 28
 Well while you have your feelings hour with share bear in your safe space, I'll be riding in all the states not hiding behind a computer posting political nonsense. Make mountain biking great again. #notmytiresize
  • - 10
flag properp (Feb 9, 2017 at 6:21) (Below Threshold)
 Boo hoo I'm going to ride my bicycle now in the wonderful United States of America
  • + 15
 @HpSauce: that makes me incredibly sad. Mostly because I can't argue your points. Fortunately, the majority of us still believe in our Constitution and our founding principles and we understand science and the idea of a global environment AND global community. Whether we can overcome those in power who piss on all of that remains to be seen. Oooops, and bikes. I like bikes. And Manon Carpenter. Go Manon - catch Rachel!
  • + 9
 @SprooseGoose34: build a wall ride
  • + 6
 @Tmackstab: " It's hard to justify supporting the country, its politics or its economy right now". That's what he said that is unfortunate, since there's lots of great people there that aren't responsible for the mess that could use some support. There's yahoo's everywhere, especially in Ontario and BC, so maybe we can make a trade with some americans..... haha.
  • + 4
 @SprooseGoose34: I think I'll whine about the super bowl #notmychamps
  • - 14
flag AutumnMedia (Feb 9, 2017 at 7:39) (Below Threshold)
 @atrokz: Oh man don't get me started - I spoke with a young European a few years back and he said that they are worried in case there's a war in the U.S. that was over 3 years ago...You Europeans are closer to the front than we are - So keep this political bullshit to yourselves - Enjoy Brexit - Cause it looks muddy over there across the pond - Who gives a flying %%$&* - ride your damn bike and be happy you're alive - be good to the people around you and everything else will fall into place - This idea of ignoring what has always been and will always be - You all love watching American Theater? Hollywood? Yea all of that has been creating movies based on the exact BS everyones standing against - Boycott Hollywood while your'e at it and go live under a rock in Moab!
  • + 19
 @atrokz: What kills me the most is the level of hypocrisy and false indignation. Most of you would probably get really nervous if you were alone walking down the street and saw someone different from yourself coming your way. Having grown up in NYC, I saw it in most tourists eyes and actions, but suddenly you're all warriors for social justice? Please. You care so much about the plight of Muslims but I don't exactly see anyone breaking down the door to get into Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, or Afghanistan to go on holiday or, god forbid put your money where your mouth is, and do some charity work. Or, how about the way they treat women in some of those countries. Honor killings? But lets keep protesting here, safely, about something Trump said, because that's much worse than stoning women to death for going to school. And please, keep spewing your bullshit online, its really helping the cause your all so passionate for.
  • + 3
 @atrokz: Well said!
  • + 0
 @SlodownU: pot, meet kettle.
  • - 4
flag AutumnMedia (Feb 9, 2017 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: Can no one take a joke anymore?!
  • - 9
flag mlr428 (Feb 9, 2017 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 @JDFF: only good parts of the US is the northeast and west coast anyways. Just a bunch of dumb rednecks living in red states everywhere in the middle.
  • + 0
 @HpSauce: don't let the current administration voted in by the minority of our country prevent you from coming to visit. Local economies everywhere in the US work hard to earn your business and it would be a shame for you not to spend a few days here just because you don't like our President. I suppose the good thing for you and other Canadians is that we don't consider you a threatening Muslim country! ????
  • + 13
 Omfg it's a war zone every where in the USA now. I'm too scared to leave my house. Omfg the USA is coming to an end lol you kids.
  • + 11
 @HpSauce: yeah yeah yeah "trump this, republicans that, USA the other"

stop victimizing yourselves
  • + 4
 @properp: Man I did think this was a Carpenter article until the comments started. Funny my after work rides still feel the same as last year. Nice.
  • + 3
 @Pmrmusic26: Behold the Millenials. A bunch of whiny, complaining, shit-stains that can't do anything for themselves and cry when they don't get their way. Complain, complain, instead of doing for themselves. And "yucky"? Who uses that word? What are you, 2? Stay home, no one will miss you.
  • + 3
 @Narro2: Exactly. Just ride your damn bike. Or Sledgehammer haha
  • + 8
 @mlr428: Fixed your sentence. "Only good parts of the US "ARE" the northeast and west coast anyways."

Sincerely your dumb redneck from Texas.
  • + 3
 @Husker2112: right?, take it off some sweet jumps
  • + 1
 Trump isn't King. Business as usual. Resist - F@ck the gov't. He won't be around long. My guess is less than 2 years.

Good luck Manon - rubber side down!
  • + 3
 @atrokz: yeah, I'm not losing sleep over it. Just pointing out its crossed my mind. Thankfully I live in Cascadia and will do just fine with the trails hereWink
Thankfully B.C. is a stones throw away anyhow. The one state that raises issue is Idaho, which has a few races coming up. And yes, I've ridden all over the 48, and we'll aware what other trails are out there. And seriously, I'm not getting to emotional about politics, just pointing out that red states vs blue states is on most people's minds right now, regardless of where you stand on politics. Heck it even varies County to county. I just hope the rest of the world understands that us folks in the US are pretty divided on things right now. It's not that we all love Trump and it's not that we are all ant-Trump protesters. Interesting times, let's ride bikes!
  • + 2
 @JDFF: good, more room on the trails for me!
  • + 1
 I voted for Trump. Country first, all day everyday. No exceptions.
  • + 2
 @shotouthoods: just keep shreddin bro. My life just gets better n better. The more time I spend on my bike the less I care about the bs. God knows PBers can make a 1400 foot downhill run out of a 6 inch brop.
  • + 0
 @SprooseGoose34: east coast flow for me. Enjoy your Texas it is not for me.
  • + 3
 @Wouldhaveletmego: you have crowd problems on trails? Sounds like time to build more trails?
  • + 2
 @properp: Many good times on the east coast, I'm jealous of the trails over there. Texas is great to make money and a easy way of life, but dear God it's so flat. If you enjoy riding downhill living in Tx, you're better off just buying a dirt bike. As well shooting guns and blowing up stuff. Yee Haw!!
  • + 0
 @SprooseGoose34: nothing better than a motorized toy in the desert. I don't care too much for riding a pedal bike in the desert but I love to ride my dirt bike in the desert. I also love blowing stuff up and shooting things with a shotgun. Or any gun for that matter. Which I 110% agree with you that Texas is great for. No better place for a gun lover than Texas.
  • + 1
 @nug12182: California is a great state. It's the people that make it sucked. The state is beautiful especially Northern California
  • + 2
 @properp: I was only kidding.
  • + 1
 Meh, the last time we had Clintons in there, they were impeached. Then they stole over $100k in furniture when they left. The point is, the choices were awful this time around. Our fake news outlets don't help people either. Hell, the New York Times apologized after the election because of it.
  • - 1
 @nug12182: I wasn't I was serious I used to live there and have to deal with those people
  • + 3
 @AutumnMedia: I love jokes. Jokes are funny. The comment I replied to was not funny, thus, I didn't take it as a joke. Seems straight forward. Also, referring to people as kitchen implements is, if nothing else, an attempt to be relatively light hearted on my behalf. A little quick to the trigger, no?
  • + 4
 @nug12182: yeah because nobody wants legal weed, amazing Mexican food, tons of amazing breweries, bigger mountains with better snow.
  • + 7
 @McNubbin: yes, the word yucky implies immaturity, but calling someone a shit-stain is the height of intellectual prowess?
  • + 1
 @Narro2: Well said! f*ck politics, ride bikes
  • - 3
 @SlodownU: Just because you pulled the hypocrisy and false indignation card...Muslims aren't the only people who kill women. In 2013 (most recent stats I could find quickly) over 1600 women were murdered in the US. That's over 4/day. And at least 1/3rd of those are committed by an intimate partner. Often in the south, often with a gun. "How bout they way they treat women in some of those countries" isn't much of an argument. They have honour killings, we have violent and deadly 'domestic violence'. And the Catholic and other christian churches have legacies of abuse. But let's point out all the things a diverse group of brown people are doing wrong. source:http://www.vpc.org/press/more-than-1600-women-murdered-by-men-in-one-year-new-study-finds/
  • + 6
 Breaking News: World leaders turned to pinkbike comment section and realized that everyone is at fault. They all decided to paint with paint by numbers books and play hacky sacks to promote peace

Other news Manon cannot believe that people engaged in a political debate over a joking comment she made.

Back to Todd for sports
  • + 1
 @sdmgz: "diverse group of brown people"? Diverse because they are all 'brown' according to you, or because they all follow the same abrahamic religion? Diverse is the last word I would use to describe religious people of any kind. - lived in 7 countries including ones you think are full of diverse 'brown people'. lol
  • + 4
 @Narro2: Maybe I'llb build her a cake or something
  • + 2
 @VwHarman: Just responding to the utter stupidity of the post. And this is the internet, I don't need to apply my intellectual prowess to a bunch of a*sholes looking for every excuse to bash the US, god forbid anyone said anything about Canada, I'd be flamed to death by the Canadian mafia here, eh?
  • + 2
 @McNubbin: I think it would depend what you said about Canada. If it was a fair comment I think we would be willing to listen. Good question. I'll ask my fellow brethren at our next CM (Canadian Mafia incase that wasn't clear) meeting. Also, bashing a person (in the message boards lately, generally Trump) is far different than criticizing the Country he represents or the populous of that country.
  • + 4
 @Husker2112: girls only want boyfriends who have great skills
  • + 0
 @VwHarman: Yea, that's a great sentiment, but go back and read all of the crap in this thread and the 100's of others on PB, where people are criticizing the country and populous, and pretend to not understand why some of us are sick of hearing this bullshit.
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: Interesting comment. I'm not sure if you're trying to equate "king" to president but if you are the last I checked Bush is still president according to your local representative Pelosi.
  • + 1
 @MrKona13: Meaning that Trump is 'only' the President and not the supreme ruler.
  • + 0
 @atrokz: I was reducing it to 'brown' because that is one of the chief characteristics much of the right-wing media in the U.S and many of its citizens categorizes those whom they fear. And seeing how one can be brown and from India, Afghanistan, North Africa or parts of central Eurasia and other parts of the wort....how is that not diverse exactly? Many Americans can't tell the difference between and Indian and a Syrian and think they're all terrorists anyway.
  • + 2
 @McNubbin: fair enough, it would sure be a bummer to read shitty comments about my country from all around the world. That said, if the entire world is questioning something, isn't it worthwhIle to take a second and consider what they are saying? Maybe not the way it's being said always, but you have to admit that in what is now a very small world, the actions of a country which has its fingers in nearly every corner of the globe do have effects on the rest of us.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: That is correct, he is "'only' the President" and not "the legislative and judicial branch". At least you acknowledge he is the President. The supreme ruler/leader could be 2 people depending on what country you reside in, ayatollah khomeini is Iran and kim jong un is North Korea.
  • + 1
 @MrKona13: I'm just saying don't sweat it bro. We got this.
  • + 1
 @sdmgz: Question for you. When you say" Many Americans can't tell the difference between and Indian and a Syrian and think they're all terrorists anyway." Is it correct/proper to interpret the word "many" with majority? If that is the case, technically the ones who voted for Clinton think Indians and Syrians are terrorist. I mean, she did win the popular vote though. I'm staying purely objective here.
  • + 1
 The next presidential election cycle is 2020 so if you want her to visit sooner you can always sign the Calexit petition. So technically Cali would be it's own independent nation. Should be fairly easy, Clinton got roughly 8.8 million votes I'm sure most of those voters would be ok with that.
  • + 2
 @AutumnMedia: to be fair though have you actually watched Canadian TV dude, it's all my little hobo and degrassi high lmao
  • + 2
 @atrokz: I agree! My wife's friend decided not to go to San Diego for spring break as a form of political protest. You might ask where she is going instead? Cuba...
  • + 1
 @MrKona13: most of those voted were illegals
  • + 1
 @McNubbin: I completely disagree. Sounds more like Gen X than a Millennial by what you described. I am constantly surrounded by Millennials and yes, they do constantly ask for the easy answers, but they also know how to move people and get things working.
  • + 2
 @Narro2: do you think I got where I am today, because I dress like Peter Pan over here?!
  • + 1
 @Husker2112: I hope so, if only because then you might tell us your job, and then we can all dress like Peter Pan for a living. Jackpot.
  • + 3
 @VwHarman: ???

@Husker2112 you think anybody wound want a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys?
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: In a capitalist democracy the best to put your money where your mouth is, is to literally put your money where your mouth is.
  • + 4
 @VwHarman: Forget about it!
  • + 2
 @alexhyland: Back in '82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: hell yea!
  • + 0
 @sdmgz: big difference is that in the Muslim countries the violence is state sponsored and condoned. Here in U.S., it's a crime and gets investigated.
  • + 34
 It's going to be a good year, Carpenter, Seagrave and Miller are all just on the cusp of hauling Atherton in. And as Manon proved in 14, Rachel can be beat. Bring on Lourdes.
  • + 15
 Don't forget Hannah or Nicole!
  • + 15
 Seagrave post atherton era will dominate
  • + 3
 @russthedog: I'm with you on that Nicole was looking rapid in her training footage last week
  • + 1
 @Bigwill13: Where did you see that?
  • + 1
 @russthedog: on her insta
  • + 21
 I love Manon, she's such a charger, had a great attitude, takes slams like a boss and bounces back up and the couple of times I've met her she's been an absolute doll. I hope she does really well on her new team and has the best luck this season!
  • + 25
 Sounds like Manon's got good apatite for a gneiss season.
  • + 18
 bone app the teeth?
  • + 15
 It'll be good for her to start with a clean slate
  • + 12
 Too many people are taking your pun for granite.
  • + 2
 PB puns, Geology edition...
  • + 6
 My sediments exactly. She's in for a metamorphic season.
  • + 6
 I hope she doesn't have to put up with more schist like broken bones.
  • + 6
 @kjjohnson: I'm her most alluvial fan
  • + 5
 It will be great to see her try to reclaim the mantle of champion with a basalt on the World Cup. She's got her faults, but she won't fold - quality character right down to the bedrock, a real clastic act. Thank karst no moraine made a comment about cleavage...
  • + 8
 As a geologist with roughly 20 years of experience, I highly recommend that some engineering courses are included in your curriculum. Make sure to take both soils and rock mechanics classes. Knowledge in these areas will certainly make you a more versatile geologist starting out a new career. Good luck!
  • + 13
 Go smash this season
  • + 5
 go smash this session
  • + 3
 Go smash this, Season.
  • + 10
 Hoping you'll smash it this year ! .... proud to be Welsh when you're racing Good luck this year
  • + 9
 Good luck Manon on your new venture we are all wishing you the very best from everyone @DonSkeneCycles.
  • + 4
 Was talking to a friend of mine after we just finished watching the world championships and I was like "Manon needs a shakeup, new team and everything or she will be forever stuck where she is in the standings and what not"

Boom! Well so far everything is coming together as I said so.... Come on Manon!!! Just take a couple wins so it looks like I know what I'm talking about!!!
  • + 5
 Manon is a star - Great interview. Looking forwards to following what she gets up to this year Smile
  • + 5
 Nice interview, that Radon Team Photo still has the ability to shock at its awfulness.
  • + 6
 ...what happened to the sneak preview of her bike earlier this week..?
  • + 2
 Disappeared after 20 mins or so, guess it wasn't meant to be released yet!!
  • + 1
 Well Britain did vote for Brexit. So there are plenty of people who are tired of the bullshit and are taking a nationalist stance. Not to mention Le Pen in France, and Wilders in Netherlands. Look at France and Belgium and Germany. How's being " inclusive" working out?
  • + 1
 That really made me laugh
  • + 2
 Didn't think I could swoon any harder for Manon and now to find she is a fellow student of the earth sciences. Be still my heart, be still.
  • + 3
 "23 and not slowing down in the foreseeable future"- damn son, I want her secret ingredient
  • + 14
 It is called being 23....
  • + 1
 It's called hard work and lack of laziness
  • + 3
 Great to see a rider thinking about their education. Good luck for 2017.
  • + 3
 U do'nt even ned edshewcajun
  • + 2
 Check the team photo out... Is Manon and Raphaela the same person? Uncanny likeness?
  • + 3
 Big up CUMT! (Cardiff University Mountainbike Team)
  • + 1
 At least Trump hasn't killed hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children like the Clintons over the years.
  • + 3
 I love Trump !
  • + 5
 Everybody loves ripping a good fart
  • + 2
 @cassdh Why? help me understand
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: Because it's bloody amusing/interesting. What a freakshow. Good ol USA going next-level.
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Freakshow is right, I'll give you that.
  • + 2
 Best of luck Manon with uni and the racing!
  • + 1
 Ha theres always room for trump criticism
  • + 1
 Gotta love a bike rider and STEM student in one package ! Go Manon
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson No, I really do love Trump
  • + 1
 Woah, laser eye surgery? Thats pretty gnarly
  • + 3
 Not really. It's pretty standard these days. Fairly low risk, quick turnaround time and relatively short recovery period
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: Oh thats cool, I have short sight and I always thought it was pretty risky
  • + 2
 @Joebro1995: I would totally recommend it if you are considering having it done
  • + 2
 tree huggers
  • + 1
 Please adjust that upper chainguide on her new bike
  • + 1
 Is that a dual ply Rock Razor on the back???
  • + 2
 Hope she kills it !!!
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