Cairns is home to not only a world champion, but an athlete who has also won 11 national championships during her career.
- Tracey Hannah began riding mountain bikes competitively when she was 14
- Some of her results include, eleven national titles, a junior world championship and in 2019 she was the UCI World Cup Champion
- Ms Hannah says she would like see Cairns become the next mountain biking hotspot
Tracey Hannah began riding mountain bikes competitively when she was 14 and since then she has won a bagful of trophies — not just in Australia but across the world.
“I wanted to start riding downhill mountain bikes after my brother got into it, but my dad wouldn’t let me compete until I was 14,” she said.
“Once I started riding competitively it was all I wanted to do.”
Some of her results include: 11 national titles, a junior world championship, third in the Elite World Championships, female mountain bike rider of the year and UCI World Cup Champion in 2019.
Ms Hannah is now calling it a day on her competitive riding career.
“Downhill Mountain bike riding takes a lot out of you, it’s very competitive, very stressful and high intensity and it takes a lot of time out of your life.” she said.
“Before COVID I was away up to seven months every year.
Ms Hannah admits that the all the years of training and bike riding has taken a toll on her body.
“Downhill mountain biking is really hard on your body, especially when you’re training repetitively,” she said,
“Your body gets absolutely smashed from riding downhill as well as the odd injury.”
The worst injury that Ms Hannah received was when she crashed during training in France in 2012.
“I had a high-speed crash and I broke my femur and my collar bone, as well as a bruised lung and a concussion. I still don’t remember the crash,” she said.
Not long after Ms Hannah announced her retirement from competitive mountain bike riding, another opportunity presented itself.
“This week I’m heading overseas to not only compete in some non-world cup races, but also as a sports commentator on the world cup circuit for Red Bull Media and TV,” she said.
“This week I fly to Austria, then onto France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Portugal and then the USA.”
Even though she has ridden on some of the best downhill tracks in the world, Cairns still has a soft spot in Ms Hannah’s heart.
“I’ve been riding for a really long time in Cairns,” she said.
“There are places like Queenstown in New Zealand and Maydena in Tasmania that have mountain bike tracks and it’s just grown so much in those towns.
Ms Hannah said she would like to see Cairns become the next mountain biking hotspot.
“I would like to see the government and council getting on board and realising the potential for tourism and mountain bike riding in Cairns,” she said.
“It would be good for local businesses and the local economy.
“Once you start the ball rolling, people from interstate would come to ride and eventually when the borders open, people from overseas would visit Cairns to go for ride.
“There is just so much potential for Cairns to expand the sport.”