CW chats to Wiggle-Honda’s Australian mountain bike champion, who tells us that the main problem with pro cycling is you can’t own a labradoodle
I come out of Bendigo. Historically we’ve had some amazing mountain bikers from there. Australia isn’t as competitive in mountain biking as we are on the road, but those times are changing and I hope I can be one of those people who can push that trend.
I race so often that rest days are often just my travel days. I’m pretty laid-back, I like to relax and take in where I am, which is usually some new part of the world.
I love music. I think we’ll spend a lot of time in the car this year, so I’ll get to listen to some European music. I dabble in a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and some old-school music that we can sing along to as a team — that’s good fun.
I’d tell my 16-year-old self to stress less. When I was 16 I wanted to be good at everything; I was a runner, a triathlete, I’d just started bike riding, I wanted to be good at school. I looked for all the answers really early on as if a clear-cut path would be made.
My partner Jarrod Moroni is our team mechanic this year. Wherever we’re racing he likes to sightsee, so I probably won’t get as much rest and recovery as I’d like this year.
I’m more free-spirited these days and less clear-cut. My philosophy is that if a door opens I’ll experience that, and then another door will open and I’ll go in a completely different direction. My main aim is that I enjoy life and if I can achieve that then I’ve succeeded.
I once wanted to be a doctor. I don’t have much of a steady hand anymore, and I think my passion is sport. I’d like to think that I can be an elite level athlete for a bit longer. I’m 25 so maybe I have another 10 or 15 years in me.
I’ve got a scar on my knee from a road crash eight years ago. I’m still sporting the marks from the 16 stitches there. The ‘freshies’ are all from mountain biking. It’s not always a glamorous sport.
I have a twin sister; her name is Angela. She’s a drama queen, but we lead completely different lives. She is a stay-at-home mum with a couple of kids.
If anyone was going to portray me in a film my sister would be the best person. I think the one thing she’d try to convey would be my sense of humour. I don’t think she’d do a good job of it, but I’d enjoy watching her try!
I’m pretty keen on labradoodles at the moment. I don’t have any pets. I want a dog so badly but we’re always on the road and it would be selfish to have one and never be there to look after it. Just like a child really.
CW talk with off-road rider Hannah Barnes about love of the wild and being good in an emergency
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