World Mountain Bike Downhill Champion Manon Carpenter took a break from the mud and mountains and took time out to be grilled by Welsh Cycling fans this Christmas.
In 2014, Manon won the the UCI World Cup MTB Downhill Series, whilst also taking the World Champion crown in Hafjell in September. She was also recognised at the 2014 USN Welsh Cycling Awards as Elite Cyclist of the Year, sponsored by Griffin Mill and most recently came third place in the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Peersonality of the Year, after a public vote.
Manon: I haven't been up the Garw Valley at all yet, there's so much to ride now I can't keep up! I need to come and explore :-)
Manon: If you can ride on a BMX track that's a good start. It's all practice! Find a quiet night at a local park and have a go, everyone's got to start somewhere :-) And you can start by trying to bunny hop the bike around, once you get used to riding higher on the ramps.
Manon: Yes, mainly to have confidence in my riding and being fully prepared for my race run. Preparation=confidence=riding fast!
Manon: Thanks :-) I don't know Builth that well sorry! Natural tracks are the best, I love seeing a new trail and exploring. Try using Strava, you can find all sorts on there!
Hi Manon! the concentration is a one important factor to make a good race, what are you do before the races for concentration? #AskCarpenter— David Ramírez (@DavidRamirezzz) December 18, 2014
Manon: Go through the track in your head until you can ride perfectly from start to finish, then go and do it for real! Know exactly where you want to go and how fast!
Will you ride the mega at alpe d'huez next year? #askcarpenter— Steven Woods (@Woodsy_8) December 18, 2014
Manon: Hopefully! I would love to race the Mega again, in the sunshine this time?! It was a good laugh :-)
Manon: Work with shape in the ground. Going light over bumps/rocks/roots and pumping helps you carry more speed and makes the ride a lot smoother!
Manon: The overall was harder, but World Champ means the most. It gets tense at the end of year when you have the leaders jersey, and you keep the stripes forever!
hannah_brehaut_Hi Manon, I was with you on the ride when you came over to Guernsey a few weeks ago! How did you cope with school work and training/races. I know you mentioned not being able to do all of the Junior World Cup ones, but how did you kind of balance the two?
Manon: Yes! It was a good day :-) work towards most important races, don't do too much. Use your time wisely, you can study while you recover and rest!
What's on top of your Christmas list this year?
Manon: Every time I'm asked this I say a bigger garage! With a workshop and top mechanic skills. Wishful thinking... It'll happen at some point :-)
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