August 2, 2006 – British downhiller Tracy Moseley (Kona/Les Gets) is having one of her best seasons ever, and is poised to take the overall World Cup title, as well as facing at her first “Chausson-less” crack at the DH world title. However she has more than enough tough opposition in her own back garden, with Rachel Atherton and Helen Gaskel both becoming regular podium visitors on the World Cup scene. We caught up with Moseley as she regained her British downhill title, beating last year’s champ Atherton on home turf in doing so.
It’s not exactly easy to win a British title these days, even if you are one of the best in the world?
TM: Definitely not, winning this is as tough as winning a World Cup, both Rachel and Helen are right there. I’ve not been feeling great since Brazil, I picked up a bug, so I was not anticipating a win, but I am feeling better now.
Does the title carry the same amount of importance to you as it did a few years back?
TM: To me it’s very important, especially given the opposition. There is the big issue of the championship jersey, which is a shame, and needs sorting out. But either way it’s good for me, and nice to have on my CV for the future.
Are you surprised at the sudden rise of British downhilling?
TM: Not really. I think that having to aspire to Chausson pulled me forward and probably helps the other Brits as they have a go at me. Both Rachel and Helen are easily capable of winning World Cup races, and I was not at all surprised at Rachel’s win in Brazil, it was just a matter of time.
Now that Chausson has retired has that changed the way you and others race?
TM: She was so good; you knew that to stand a chance of beating her you’d have to be on top form, and she’d probably be on a bad day. Now at every race there are 4/5 potential winners. I think she forced us all to raise our game, but there’s enough of a close in-fight at the top that I think that progression will continue.
It looks like the World Cup is in the bag, was that your season’s objective?
TM: For me the World Cup is the most important thing to win. It’s really a riders’ thing, where consistency and versatility show through. But sure I’d like to win the World DH Championships. Normally the way things work out calendar-wise there isn’t much time to prepare specifically for the race, but this year there is enough of a gap to really train for the day. The British Championships was really good preparation for the Worlds.