MOUNTAIN BIKING

Wanaka's Phoebe Young tackles Rotorua's infamous trails Wanaka's Phoebe Young tackles Rotorua's infamous trails CREDIT: Photos4Sale

Wanaka athlete on a mission

Thursday 3 August 2017, 9:11AM
By Black Dirt Media
369 views


BAY OF PLENTY

How far would you travel on the weekend for an MTB race?

Amongst the favourites for Sunday’s second round of the Cyclezone Winter Series will be 17yr Mountainbike New Zealand Performance Hub athlete Phoebe Young. A rider in a hurry, quite literally. She will be one of the few riders excused for racing off immediately after the race concludes on Sunday, as she is due at school on Monday morning... in Wanaka…

A 2000km round trip. That’s some commitment. But as it turns out, it’s not a one off.

“Originally I had entered the first race of the series last year as I just happened to be up in the area” Young reflected, but the appeal of Winter Series soon grabbed hold of Phoebe (and her father Oliver). “But then I ended up attending all three of the events of the series and am back again this year! I found it quite cool to catch up with lots of friends in the mountain bike community that attend these races.”

That sense of community and fun has long been recognised as a highlight of the series. But for a talented teenage athlete like Young, with September’s World Championships in Cairns looming large on the horizon, the quality and depth of the competition is also a major drawcard.

“I know that these races bring a large crowd and I really enjoyed them last year; I wanted to have a challenge from other contestants whilst still experiencing a fun atmosphere. With the large number of competitors, there is always somebody close by that I can race against. This means I can be constantly pushed throughout the whole race. It is the best race prep for World Champs.”

Armed with a brand new Specialized S-Works, Young is eager to test herself and her equipment under race conditions. In her words, getting “more experience under my belt before I go against the big guns in early September.” The Winter Series stood out as a must do event.

Young is excited, if not slightly nervous, about taking on the challenge of Rotorua’s famous trails in Winter conditions. And perhaps surprisingly, is even excited about the potential for muddy conditions.

 “I love the trails in Rotorua which provide a good variety, both challenging and fun. But I am not really used to the muddy and slippery trails. Although I find this terrain a little scary, it is good to come up and experience this different situation. It helps me improve as a rider. The World Championships are in Cairns this year, a rainforest. So if it rains, it is going to get muddy and I want to feel prepared and more comfortable for whatever situation is thrown my way.”

The life of an athlete is never smooth sailing though, and Sunday will provide a great opportunity for Phoebe to gauge her progress as she recovers from an ankle injury. “I had an incident at the gym, hurting my ankle and putting me out of training for about four weeks. I was lucky to ditch the crutches early but the swelling has maintained. It happens within sport and I think the main thing is to stay positive and just do the best that I can do. However, I am super happy to be back on the bike.”

Happy is an understatement, as Young prepares to take on some of New Zealand’s fastest women, on some of the best trails, on a brand new bike, as a part of one of New Zealand’s most loved Mountainbike events.

 Worth a whistle stop 2000km round trip? You betcha.

 

 

 

 

 

How far would you travel on the weekend for an MTB race?

 

Amongst the favourites for Sunday’s second round of the Cyclezone Winter Series will be 17yr Mountainbike New Zealand Performance Hub athlete Phoebe Young. A rider in a hurry, quite literally. She will be one of the few riders excused for racing off immediately after the race concludes on Sunday, as she is due at school on Monday morning... in Wanaka…

 

A 2000km round trip. That’s some commitment. But as it turns out, it’s not a one off.

 

“Originally I had entered the first race of the series last year as I just happened to be up in the area” Young reflected, but the appeal of Winter Series soon grabbed hold of Phoebe (and her father Oliver). “But then I ended up attending all three of the events of the series and am back again this year! I found it quite cool to catch up with lots of friends in the mountain bike community that attend these races.”

 

That sense of community and fun has long been recognised as a highlight of the series. But for a talented teenage athlete like Young, with September’s World Championships in Cairns looming large on the horizon, the quality and depth of the competition is also a major drawcard.

 

“I know that these races bring a large crowd and I really enjoyed them last year; I wanted to have a challenge from other contestants whilst still experiencing a fun atmosphere. With the large number of competitors, there is always somebody close by that I can race against. This means I can be constantly pushed throughout the whole race. It is the best race prep for World Champs.”

 

Armed with a brand new Specialized S-Works, Young is eager to test herself and her equipment under race conditions. In her words, getting “more experience under my belt before I go against the big guns in early September.” The Winter Series stood out as a must do event.

 

Young is excited, if not slightly nervous, about taking on the challenge of Rotorua’s famous trails in Winter conditions. And perhaps surprisingly, is even excited about the potential for muddy conditions.

 

 “I love the trails in Rotorua which provide a good variety, both challenging and fun. But I am not really used to the muddy and slippery trails. Although I find this terrain a little scary, it is good to come up and experience this different situation. It helps me improve as a rider. The World Championships are in Cairns this year, a rainforest. So if it rains, it is going to get muddy and I want to feel prepared and more comfortable for whatever situation is thrown my way.”

 

The life of an athlete is never smooth sailing though, and Sunday will provide a great opportunity for Phoebe to gauge her progress as she recovers from an ankle injury. “I had an incident at the gym, hurting my ankle and putting me out of training for about four weeks. I was lucky to ditch the crutches early but the swelling has maintained. It happens within sport and I think the main thing is to stay positive and just do the best that I can do. However, I am super happy to be back on the bike.”

 

Happy is an understatement, as Young prepares to take on some of New Zealand’s fastest women, on some of the best trails, on a brand new bike, as a part of one of New Zealand’s most loved Mountainbike events.

 

 Worth a whistle stop 2000km round trip? You betcha!