There was a nice 6 week break between Whistler EWS and the final round in Finale and I came away from Whistler, felling like I needed to put my head down again and get refocused. I still had the overall lead in the series, but it wasn’t by a big margin and I knew Anne Caro and Cecile would be pushing me hard at the last race, as just one mistake or a problem would be enough to lose the title.
I managed to get in a few weeks of good training again and started to feel better. I did a UK Enduro race at Grizedale forest which I really enjoyed and felt as though it had been a great weekend of training as the liaison times were quite tight, so it was a good workout !
It was also great to see the UK enduro scene growing year on year and great to see such a good group of girls out having fun racing their bikes. A bit of sunshine always helps a race weekend vibe too, but it was fun to be back racing at home again !
Also whilst I was home our local club hosted a cycling training day and race on my parents farm. It was so inspiring to see nearly 100 kids aged 5-16 all just having so much fun riding bikes ! Its so cool to be able to help out the next generation and hopefully they too will be loving riding their bike like I am now when there are in their 30′s !!
It was then time for me to head out to Europe and before the final race it was that time of year again for what is turning out to be an annual girls week of coaching and riding in Switzerland with Bike Verbier ! Eleven ladies came out on a riding holiday to meet new riding buddies and above all improve their general bike skills. We did flat land bike skills and then took the skills out on the trail and did some great big day rides in the mountains. It’s aways great to see how much people’s confidence improves on their bike after a few consecutive days of riding and also a few small pointers along the way.
Check out one of the girls reports here - http://www.pinkbike.com/news/trip-report-womens-skills-week-with-pro-rider-tracy-moseley-2014.html
It was then time for the big finale, and I felt pretty ready, I was riding well again and I decided to stick with my Trek Remedy 29er who had treated me well all year. I chose to add a few extra security measures, with a bash guard plate on my E13 chain device for this race, some stronger tyres and more air pressure for day one and I made sure I carried a lot of spares so I could attempt to fix anything that could go wrong !
Even with all those extra security measures in place I was still nervous and the whole weekend was a pretty stressful one for me, just knowing that one mistake and the title would slip away..
Day one was the more technical of the stages and I even without trying I was riding safe, there were so many awkward rocks that could have taken off your mech, caught a pedal or flatted on ! It felt like it was a minefield to survive each stage ! Thankfully I managed to come away unscathed, but my cautious riding left Anne Caro with a big lead and I only had a small margin over 3rd place Cecile Ravanel.
Day two was thankfully a little easier on equipment and comprised of a long 2 hour climb up to stages 5 and 6. When you have a World Title resting on how your ride these final two stages, that 2 hour climb seemed long, with too much time to run through all the possible scenarios in your head ! I just needed to stay focused and ride well.
Fortunately I managed to do just that and stayed within a couple of seconds of Anne on both stages and managed to squeeze some more time ahead of Cecile Ravanel, putting me comfortably into 2nd on the day but that was enough for my second World Enduro Title !!!!!
The sense of relief that the season was done and all that pressure on me was finally over !! To win this title once was amazing, but to do it for a 2nd time was a feeling that I will never forget !
As a a team Trek Factory Racing also won the Overall Team for the 2nd year in a row, so a massive thanks to my team mates Justin and Rene for another amazing year, and a big thanks to Ray our team manger and also to James my mechanic who is also my partner (so he has to put up with a lot over the season !!)
I also want to thank all of my sponsors for another amazing year of support and belief in me, and a final thanks to Phil Dixon for his help and advice with my training as I tried to qualify for the Commonwealth Games XC race and win this World Title again !!