Manon Carpenter reflects on her next challenge of the year with thoughts on the 2015 UCI DH World Cup course at Fort William.
In this transcript, Team Madison-Saracen’s Welsh superstar and last year’s UCI DH World Cup winner Manon Carpenter shares her thoughts on tackling the course at Fort William. It’s always interesting to hear the point of view of racers to get into their heads and see what they feel their biggest challenges are. Check out Manon’s story below:
MC: “Fort William is an epic weekend. This is one of my main goals for the year, so yeah, the Fort William World Cup. I’m not going to try to think too much about what will happen on Sunday [7th June], but just trying to come in with a good head to go through the process of the weekend. I’m trying not to get caught up too much in all the excitement. It’s really good fun and it’s really cool to see all the fans and see everyone in the pits, but I need to kind of get a good balance on the fun and excitement and be focused for racing.”
“There’s just something about Fort William that makes it quite special. I think we get the biggest crowds here, so I guess that makes it such a big World Cup, and there a big hype around it, you know everyone builds up to Fort William. I guess being British, you know, it’s a British race so you get loads of people coming to watch. Get loads of people dressing up in crazy outfits and so many people come to watch on the track.”
Sometimes I think “Oh its OK for you” – thinking it’s a bit easier for the boys, but it’s kind of good to have them expecting me to be at the same level as them, because I kind of have to. I can’t be wimp and say “I don’t want to do that”, because you’ll just get grief.
“To win here you have to be smooth, you have to get down with air in your tyres, for starters. You can quite easily, when get too excited in race runs you can bash your wheels around at the top. You can ride fast and you know when you ride fast you can miss all the holes and the bumps, and you know when you’re into a good rhythm. Last year in qualifying I won by quite a long way, I just had a good run. There are so many corners; just getting all the corners is nice, being aggressive but linking everything together as well.”
“I’m used to being the only girl on the Madison Saracen team now. We do actually have a chef, Hannah, but yeah erm, most of the time it’s just me and the boys. I get a lot from the boys actually. I don’t really get treated any easier because I’m a girl, or if a track’s difficult I’m still expected to do the hard parts.”
We have a good process that we go through now, I know my routine so you know, I’ll have all my stuff ready, and you just eat, go, warm up, practice; go through your race routine or whatever. So yeah, not too jittery but a bit of nerves and excitement is good to have.
“When you’re excited for race day, sometimes you won’t sleep very well, you’ll just be excited or be awake too early, which really isn’t a bad thing. It’s fairly good to have race nerves I think or have a bit of excitement when you wake up, I like that, especially when you’ve got to wake up so early for practice. It’s good to start with being wide awake and ready to go.”
“A win would make it a successful weekend, even if you don’t win; last year I had a puncture but I still had a really good weekend. You still leave with a good feeling and it’s still nice to have seen everyone in the crowds and the fans. You probably would be a bit upset if you messed anything up on race day, but you can still enjoy the whole weekend.”