When it comes to mountain biking, it’s safe to say British women are doing rather well. Tracy Moseley has won the overall title at all three Enduro World Series. Rachel Atherton ‘did the double’ for the second time in her career in 2015, becoming both downhill World Champion and World Cup Champion at the same time.
Hot on their heels come Katy Winton, the Scottish enduro rider who signed to Trek for 2016, Manon Carpenter, who took the downhill World Champion stripes in 2014, and Tahnée Seagrave, with multiple podium positions over the last two years, to name but a few.
But drop down to the Junior category in the British Downhill Series, and there’s cause for concern. At a national level, while there are frequently enough male Juniors to run several races, there are significantly fewer females. Numbers are growing, but women are still in the minority at many mountain bike races. While more women are getting into mountain biking, and more parents are taking their children riding, the cost, time commitment and expense of racing can be prohibitive for many.
Both Atherton and Moseley recognise this, and are each taking matters into their own hands, doing what they can to support the next generation of female mountain bikers.
“I’ve been so lucky to have my brothers to help and encourage me, from the very start I just wanted to keep up with them. I never forget that or underestimate how lucky I was to have them and a dad who was prepared to devote his weekend to taking us to the races, which is why I particularly want to help other young women when they are starting out,” Atherton tells BikeRadar, and it’s a sentiment that Moseley shares.
Rising race entry fees
Keeping it local
Podiums mean prizes
You can read more at BikeRadar.com