Pinkbike Awards - Female Athlete of the Year Nominees

Jan 6, 2016 at 6:06
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Female Athlete of the Year: Nominees

From Downhill, to Enduro, to Cross Country, female athletes have risen to prominance - and the worldwide audience has taken note. We've seen a robust international field unleash their A-games in recent years - especially so in 2015, which offered up some of the most technically demanding venues in recent history. To choose three nominees from the cream of a crop of a women’s field so richly adorned, we polled athletes and industry insiders to offer up their three choices for Female Athlete of the Year. After we surveyed our judges and staff, three ladies rose to the top, for their influence, their results, and of course, for their work as ambassadors for our sport. We think you'll agree that our three nominees have left exceptional legacies - while their accomplishments throughout the 2015 racing season speak for themselves

World Champs champagne glory once again for Rachel Atherton after a year of no stripes.

Rachel Atherton

You didn't think we would leave Rachel out, did you? After a 2014 marked with illness that saw Rachel struggle for the top step, 2015 was not going to go to another contender without a fight. Round one didn't go quite according to plan when Emmeline Ragot, pumped up on home crowd atmosphere, came storming out of the gate for the win in Lourdes. Rachel’s season could have been in jeopardy but that was not to be the case. She came back and won the remaining six races, then went and hammered the final nail in the coffin of the 2015 season by snagging the World Champs title too. The thing about Rachel is that she’s a consummate athlete - she’s gracious in her victories and defeats, and she's considerate. If you need proof, look no further than her carrying injured racing rival Emmeline Ragot off the stage after Ragot announced her retirement at Val Di Sole. Beyond racing, this year Rachel initiated a female mentoring program at the British Downhill Series, where she offered ladies-only track walks, tips on bike setup and access to her mechanic for all female competitors. A move that show's she's invested in encouraging and welcoming more women into the sport.

Sadly the day would end in disaster for Emmeline Ragot with her title chase over and no chance of competing at the World Champs after crashing on her final practice run.

Emmeline Ragot

Emmeline the Pocket Rocket has been a heavy hitter of women’s DH racing for 13 years. She’s twice been a world champ, and stood on the podium 60 times at World Cup Races. She’s tough as nails, tiny, quick as a fox and so, so strong. Coming off a hot 2014, where she podiumed every round and took two wins, Emmeline charged into the 2015 season and claimed victory on her home turf in Lourdes, France. The season looked to be set as a battle between Emmeline and Rachel, and Ragot stayed at the pointy end of the results until she came undone in Mont-Saint-Anne with a crash in final practice that would retire her, not only for the season, but the rest of her racing career. For Emmeline, this was the injury that truly made her consider what her health is worth to her, and wanting to be able to pursue a career in physiotherapy after racing, she made the tough decision to preserve herself, so that she could help others. The one title Emmeline is missing from her belt is the World Cup overall, but she’s OK with that. To see Emmeline walking away from a distinguished career with a smile on her face and a sense of accomplishment, we are too.

Two times world champ. Moseley was knew the task at hand and raced wisely this weekend.

Tracy Moseley

It would seem unfair to deem Tracy Moseley anything less than a legend. With a list of podium places and titles across a range of disciplines T-Mo has seemingly done it all. She's been EWS Champion three times, DH World Champ Once, British Downhill National Champ multiple times and had 16 World Cup DH Wins. She was even the British 4X National Champion twice. After a long and excellent career racing downhill, Tracy hopped on the Enduro bandwagon and put in three consecutive years of rock solid performance. The first round of the EWS in Rotorua in 2015 would be a battle between her and long-time opponent Ann-Caroline Chausson, with ACC proving strongest that round. At round two in Ireland, Tracy came back to form and won six of the seven stages to take a dominant victory. She backed up that win n Scotland with another superb performance, and clocked up consistent wins for the rest of the season. Had ACC not dropped out of the EWS due an illness, some claim the outcome would have been different. That, we will never know. After the last EWS race of 2015 in Finale Ligure, Italy, Tracy retired her race plate without fanfare, in the down to earth, unassuming nature that her followers have come to love her for.

Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards.

MENTIONS: @trek / @GTBicycles


  • 168 18
 T-Mo FTW!! Rachel was pretty dominant this year, but Tracy has dominated her field for 3 years running. She has had a stellar career, inspired many, and is one of the most humble and approachable athletes I have had the chance to meet. T-Mo rocks!
  • 55 8
 "Female athlete OF THE YEAR"
That makes Moseley's 3 year domination irrelevant, no?
  • 6 15
flag Mattin (Jan 7, 2016 at 12:31) (Below Threshold)
 T-MO was already Timo Pritzels nickname since a very long time
  • 5 4
 TMO all the way.
  • 21 1
 It's not really a nickname if it's just your name
  • 143 7
 I vote for the yoga girl.
  • 6 1
 It's tempting to give it to Tracy just because of the fact that her career is over, but I really do think she deserves it. Not only did have as dominant a season as Rachel, but this is the third year in a row she's done it. This award is only looking at one year, but winning a third straight title is very difficult, and Tracy certainly earns athlete of the year in my book.
  • 9 0
 did tracy have the same level of competition that rach had?

was the wc dh series a lil deeper in talent than the ews?
  • 2 11
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Jan 7, 2016 at 16:10) (Below Threshold)
 No it doesn't Uuno. Props for being a big smart a**, though! No?
  • 4 2
 im with you here @stacykohut - other than ACC (who was sick), Cecile Ravanel, and Beerten who else even was competitive? In the WC DH youve got ten or so that could win - Hannah, Nicole, Carpenter, Seagrave, Ragot (already covered), Siegenthaler...Im a DH fan a lot more than EWS soi I had a look at the overall ranking for 2015 and that didnt change anything...

anyway long story short, the award is for the year only. Rachel dominated hard. So did Tracey. Rachel dominated in the premiere element of the sport so Id give it to her. Whilst the three year thing is nice, its not really relevant.
  • 7 6
 No Jill Kintner queen of crankworks?!
  • 2 4
 Tracy Moseley has dominated completely. Give it up for her!
  • 9 0
 Pauline Ferrand-Prevot??? Where is she in this list?
  • 1 3
  • 1 0
  • 3 2
 I thought enduro was when you put signal lights on your mini-bike.
  • 153 22
 Not to take away anything to the nominees, but how could Jolanda Neff not be on that list ? She won 3 out of 6 WC races and finished 2nd twice ... in a discipline where the word "athlete" takes all its sense. C'mon Pinkpike staff, your lack of consideration for XC in embarrassing, unless you don't consider XC as a mountain bike discipline?
  • 29 12
 ^^^^^what this person wrote^^
  • 20 7
 Couldn't agree more - especially after watching the World Cup XC at Mt Ste Anne.
  • 12 6
 I second that motion^
  • 19 5
 What are you new around here? Nearly all of the products covered are Endurobruh. They have had some solid xc race coverage but one look in those comment sections tell you that xc is a minority on pb.
  • 90 6
 Being that the title is Female Athlete of the Year, I submit Pauline Ferrand-Prevot. In the same calendar year, she is the Cyclo X, Road and MTB World Champ. A first by any gender Wink
  • 26 17
 @AbsolutX -> what is this "xc" you speak of? This isn't
  • 23 24
 Pinkbike no XC buddy
  • 9 6
 If you read the article, they polled athletes and industry insiders. No Pinkbike bias for the conspiracy theorists.
  • 24 8
 Emily Batty
  • 14 3
 Guessing the only polled gravity related athletes and "industry insiders" Atherton because she won world cup and champs, Tracey and Ragot get the retirment vote? What about the 3 girls in XC who broke records this year!!! Neff - youngest xco world cup champion in mtb history. Gunn Rita Dahle - broke the all time record for most world cup wins in a career and taking the marathon world championships. Farrand-Prevot - world champ accross 3 diciplines.
Think the athletes, insiders and judges responsible need to get out from under their rock. Wonder why we complain about the state of womens racing? Think it comes down to the media and here's your prime example.......
  • 2 1
 Yeah Emily Batty has had a great season and has been in the podium several times last season. Not on the top step yet, but getting there soon.
  • 7 20
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Jan 7, 2016 at 16:13) (Below Threshold)
 XC?? What, are you riding a beach cruiser?? This is mountain biking, bro bro.
  • 13 20
flag xCri (Jan 7, 2016 at 18:41) (Below Threshold)
 XC is what you did when bikes were too lame to do anything else on them. The world has moved on to more exciting things.
  • 7 3
 Minority sport on Pinkbike or not...XC is covered by pinkbike and therefore XC racers should come into the reckoning too. I think a bit of an oversight by the powers that be...dont make the same mistake for male athlete of the year
  • 3 2
 Agreed stretchza, would hope that a world champs win and world cup champion title would earn Nino a nomination.
  • 2 1
 I'd vote for Emily Batty in any contest!
  • 6 12
flag gnarbar (Jan 8, 2016 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 nobody cares about XC zzzzz
  • 92 3
 What about Pauline Ferrand-Prevot? At only 23 years old she beat everyone in XC, road and CX this year... Next year she's going for olympic's in road and mtb...

World Champ in three disciplines in 2015.
  • 13 0
 Yea I think that clinches it.
  • 19 40
flag jflb (Jan 7, 2016 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 Those disciplines are a bit snoozy.
  • 6 0
 Well I laughed
  • 2 18
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Jan 7, 2016 at 16:15) (Below Threshold)
 What are you talking about?? That didn't even happen. She didn't win anything last year!
  • 10 22
flag BrianMcG (Jan 7, 2016 at 19:47) (Below Threshold)
 Did you say XC, road & cross bike?! Does she also make clay sculptures, and drink light beer?
  • 2 1
 Going just on the comments I've seen on this page, I'm not sure that @Ryanrobinson1984 has ever formed an intelligent thought.
  • 2 0
 Visser62, no but my time to shine will come. In due time, my friend. In due time...
  • 36 12
 Emily Batty.
  • 25 10
 This post is worthless without a picture of Anneke Beerten (just a picture, she doesn't actually hafta be nominated)
  • 15 1
 Waay better!!Eek
  • 3 0
 Don't care if she's not on the list, she just got my vote
  • 9 5
 Just go and meet her guy and all your dreams will pop like a soap bubble. It's like dreaming of Nicole Scherzinger knowing that you have to top Lewis Hamilton's performance, probably a couple of rappers as well... it's just tha Bas looks like double the bad ass than Lewis Wink better browse for Stephen Hawkings wife... Much safer fantasy ground Big Grin
  • 5 0
 Having looked at those images I feel somehow dirty.
  • 4 6
 A preacher once told me: whenever you feel like having dirty thoughts, just imagine growling at a sweaty and hairy ginger badger. I still haven't figured out what he meant...
  • 1 0
 Oh my damn! Those abs...and stuff
  • 14 0
 Neff should have been mentioned somewhere, maybe just after Rache. Yes Batty is hot, but aside from Pan Am games, not winning.
  • 18 6
 Atherton is definitely on top winning wise, but I gotta vote Moseley for such a long and amazing record. Plus she inspired so many of the current generation of top racers, so a lot comes back to her.
  • 26 3
 How was Tracy not "on top" winning wise? She destroyed everyone all year and fixed their bikes at the same time.
  • 2 1
 Haha true enough, I was speaking in terms of just sheer number of outright wins this season.
  • 13 2
 Surely Atherton or Moseley? Both completely dominant throughout the season. Kudos to Ragot for all she's achieved but the sportsmanship of Atherton carrying her to the podium when she announced retirement. Gave me goosebumps to see that.
  • 13 4
 I would have liked to see a nomination for Miranda Miller. BROKE BOTH OF HER ARMS s in a horror crash at Fort Ware in 2014, and RETURNED to rock top 5 finishes in world cups in 2015. She defines so much of what athletes should strive for with perseverance, performance, resiliency, and an unflappable positive attitude. Still, 3 very deserving women up for consideration here. Would like to have seen a group of four.
  • 1 0
 Def could agree.......but what about Casey Brown, and I'm not even Canadian, although I love you guys. One of the baddest girls on a bike, goes SOOOO BIG. Hope she continues the upswing this year.
  • 13 1
 Rachel for last year, but the other two deserve lifetime achievement awards.
  • 14 2
 Lance Armstrong
  • 7 0
 T-Mo, but as others say Neff should be recognised in the list, and Pauline FP too
  • 6 2
 How can you not even nominate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot? Even if her road worlds win was in 2014, she still held 3 world championship titles at the same time!

Failing that, I vote Emmeline Ragot.
  • 7 2
 The British women ( and men) need more recognition outside of the MTB scene. We are damn good at the sport as a country!
  • 7 0
 What about manon!!!
  • 4 0
 Rach dominates. Ragot inspires me. Tracey rocks my world. Manon the adorable humble slaying machine. TMo will kick your ass! Five winners as I see it mates Smile
  • 5 2
 Go home PB you are drunk!
MTB awards and you didn't include Pauline Ferrand-Prevot???
The ladie is XC champion, CX, champion, road champion and team relay.
She is not even mentioned in this post.

Shame on you PB....
  • 4 3
 wrong website pal. nobody cares
  • 7 1
 Tmo! Tmo! Tmo!
  • 6 3
 What a joke ! Pauline Prevot is world champ in 3 categories in 2015.! And came back from a back injury, yet not worthy of at least being nominated ! AWESOME JOB FELLAS
  • 6 1
 Are we going to nominate Caitlyn Jenner?
  • 3 0
  • 6 2
 Has to be Tracy...legend for sure!
  • 5 1
 Where's Batty and Pendrel! Does XC not count !?
  • 3 0
 I don't think so
  • 3 1
 Y'all are freakin' crazy for not including Jenny Rissveds! She is the overall World Cup champion for U23 XC and won 6 damn world cup races! She also wins CX and DH races.
  • 3 2
 T'mo - is XC even a real MTB discipline? Nothing like going around and around a smoothsville circuit to discover you were riding the same course the whole time at the end ????????????
  • 1 3
 too much common sense here. they keep talking up the courses saying how "technical" they are. a rock and two roots don't make technical. just because Lycra clad geeks endo down a slight incline, doesn't make it tough. just walk your bike down. much safer
  • 4 0
 Does Manon Carpenter not deserve a nomination?
  • 4 2
 T-Mo. Seems fitting. If she's hanging it up then this is as much as a career awards as it is an award for this year.
  • 3 2
 has to be T-mo and gunn-rita dahle, rach and emmeline killed it this year but trace and gunn-rita were completely stellar and nigh unstoppable
  • 4 0
 Where is Tahnée??
  • 5 1
 Wheres manon?
  • 4 0
 jolanda neff.....?
  • 2 1
 Sure if you only care about winning you've got some winners there. Casey Brown is in a league of her own for being straight up awesome. Peoples choice for sure.
  • 3 0
 1st Pauline Ferrand-Prevot 2nd T-Mo 3rd Jolanda Neff
  • 4 1
  • 5 2
 Manon!? Come on now
  • 3 0
 girls! all of them!
  • 6 8
 Emily Batty all the way! Her Ambitions series hypnotizes me. If I listened to her podcast on the smartphone, while on the last lift of the day, and haven't finished before the top, I wouldn't leave the seat and would go down. Her voice and smile crosses my eye balls into Me Gusta face saying "she's such an angeeel". Yes I am a creep but I'm glad I could get it off my chest... EMILYYY Big Grin
  • 3 0
 jolanda neff??
  • 1 0
 1000year oid two.---------hannah???汉娜为什么每次都是第二???Hannah, why every time is the second!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Wow, My top 3 picks for Female athlete of the year aren't even on this list... lol
  • 6 5
 Could the winner be anyone other than Rachel?!?!
  • 9 3
  • 4 2
 Angie Hohenwarter!!!!!
  • 3 1
 the world needs more Angie like it needs more cowbell, which is a lot.
  • 7 5
 Casey Brown
  • 1 0
 Gee whiz... I wonder who will win?
  • 3 2
 T-Mo no question. So down to earth
  • 3 1
 Definitely Tracy.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Catagories have been so bad this year, finally one i can get behind.
  • 2 0
 TMO is my vote
  • 1 0
 3 way tie. All 3 are amazing!
  • 3 1
 No Throop? lol
  • 2 1
 No. XC doesn't count here... Gravity Mtb here
  • 2 2
 Rachel should be athlete of the year, male or female. Great ambassador for the sport
  • 2 0
 Tracey... Easy
  • 1 0
 Ragot - just because she rides Marzocchi - or did.
  • 1 0
 TMO without doubt. Approachable, awesome and great for the sport ????????
  • 2 1
 Ragot, hands down.
  • 1 0
 Emmeline !!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Anneke Beer10!
  • 1 0
 Casey Brown bitches.
  • 1 1
  • 8 11
 Batty for the Hottest..
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