C2C Next Stop For Rising Star
C2C Next Stop For Rising Star
Fresh back from a stint of racing the world’s best in Europe, Australia’s rising MTB star, Holly Harris is keen to put her learnings into practice and has her sights on adding the iconic four stage MTB race Cape to Cape to her growing resume.
Holly took all before her with a dominant win at Cape to Cape’s sister race, Port to Port in May, and she will be one to watch over the four days of riding through the stunning trails of South West Western Australia.
The talented 23 year old Armidale based rider spent several months in Europe at the invitation of Norway’s Olympic MTB gold medallist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå who recognised Holly’s exceptional talent and was keen to foster her development.
“Gunn-Rita is just incredible, she is so tough, but she is s down to earth and relaxed as well. She is an incredible rider and I just learned so much from her. She definitely knows what she is doing that is for sure. It was good to watch the best doing what they do. They were all so good to me and really let me in and it was incredible to see the support network she has and how much they really love her. It was really cool,” Holly said.
“I went over to Europe soon after Port to Port and I was in good form but in my first race I sort of suffered a little bit of jet lag. I came good and I got a top 20 in one of the short course races. I got a few good cross country races in and a 28th at Marathon World Champs so I was pretty stoked with that”
“The differences between racing here and overseas are enormous. There are so many more people racing over there and the women’s fields in Australia are so small in comparison. The courses are a lot more technical, the weather is different…yeah it is a completely different ball game. I think I just need more experience.”
“The racing over there is on the limit all the time. It is so fast and you are constantly on the verge of where you think you are not entirely sure whether you are going to vomit or not. Your arms are all tingly. The depth is amazing. In Australia if you drop back a bit you are by yourself but over there a million other girls are trying to come past. You are always racing someone, no matter how fast you are riding.”
“It was my first trip going over being in good form and my first time racing as an elite. All the other times I have been racing as a junior. Junior to elite is definitely a step up and quite a shock to the system. Every day I was getting better and better with my race technique and that sort of thing.”
“It was a wonderful opportunity and a great learning curve for me. I learned so much and I think it was definitely worth making the trip over. I have come back more determined and I have a massive list of things that I know I need to improve. There is so much to work on but is also good to be home where I am comfortable and have friends and family to help with my training. It is good to be back.”
Holly’s is excited to be heading west for Cape to Cape, a race she considers one of her personal favourites, and she is keen to put in a strong performance this year.
“I am pretty excited to go over and have a good race. I haven’t won at Cape to Cape, in fact I haven’t been close. I haven’t been on the podium there, so I would really like to put in a solid performance. A podium finish is definitely the goal this year.”
“Every time I have ridden it, it has been an amazing atmosphere, so relaxed and friendly but definitely good competition. So many people go over to race and it is one of those events that is a holiday, but a very challenging holiday.”
“The trails are spectacular and the stage that goes through the pines is one of my favourite places to ride of all time. I think we are starting at the lighthouse for one of the stages which is just beautiful. It is one of the most scenic races you can ever go to. If there is any race in Australia that you want to do well in it is the iconic Cape to Cape.”
“I have some good learnings from my European races that will help me this year, especially the World Marathon Champs. The pacing techniques and nutrition and those sort of things will help for sure. I hope it will give me an edge but stage racing is a different kettle of fish so anything could happen.”
“I have been going pretty hard all year so Cape to Cape is my season finisher and then I will take a break before getting ready for the Australian season and the road nationals at the start of the year which would be my next big goal,” she said.