Obsessed With Mountain Biking

The NSMB Podcast: Ep. 9 – Katy Winton

Photos Dave Mackison

Hitting rock bottom, particularly because of unforeseen circumstances, isn't something anyone is quite prepared for. Katy Winton’s been there before, encountering physical destruction while focused on the Olympics. That heart-breaking experience, and also the discovery of lift-accessed riding, set her on a new path. Katy set out to race the Enduro World Series full time, bringing along the lessons she'd learned as a Cross Country athlete.

But none of that experience could prepare her for the challenge faced at the end of 2020. After an unusual year, thanks mostly to the world turning on its head, Katy found herself without support to continue her professional racing career. Her prior experiences, which were mostly physical challenges, were no match for the uncertainty and lack of direction faced this off-season. Finding motivation and setting goals is increasingly difficult when you are thrust into the unknown.

For Katy, it didn't take long to realize she wasn't done. There are goals she wishes to achieve and much more she can provide her partners with. A reminder of her worth came in part from a large brand that believed in her. That belief provided the assurance she needed to soldier on and sparked a renewed focus for the sort of partners Katy wants to align with.

Katy’s saga, as it’s being referred to, is as muddy as it gets, thanks to timing, status, a global pandemic, and potentially gender, each affecting the situation. But Katy's come out the other side with a renewed energy and a fire that burns red-hot.

Topics discussed:

  1. Katy's home and getting into bikes
  2. Getting the racing bug
  3. Focusing on the Commonwealth and Olympic Games for Cross Country
  4. The fall from a life-long goal to race XC at the Olympics
  5. The first time hitting rock bottom
  6. Discovering lift-assisted riding
  7. Making the transition to racing the E.W.S.
  8. What happened with her team at the end of 2020
  9. Digging into the situation and the effect that the pandemic had
  10. Securing a new ride for 2021
  11. The importance of the support from John Dawson at SRAM/RockShox
  12. Family support

Links mentioned in this episode:

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+2 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman

Katy was the definite winner this year of the Vital Team Rumours Forum Thread.  Awesome to see her turn her crappy situation around to an awesome story that people are excited about.


+2 goose8 Pete Roggeman

Absolutely. As hard and shitty as it was, Katy’s come out on top, keener than ever to race and with more people rooting for her. Now let’s go racing!


+4 AJ Barlas Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Beau Miller

This is awesome. In this time of absolute weirdness it's great to have some "normal" athlete life battles to provide support for. You go Katy!! My family has followed your progression for the last few years and it is an inspiration to us. My kids who are 14, 12 and 10 think you rock! Us as mum and dad have done heaps of racing but the kids need bigger heroes. Those who struggle through and overcome obstacles in their lives, especially in the mtb area are meeting that need. Even though in NZ we have lots of great racers your story strikes a chord with us for its honesty and we can really relate to it.  Especially for the washed-up old school racers like mum and dad ha ha. Never say die though eh. The single speed NZ world champs in 2017 was mum and dads latest race but not our last! The kids are now boosting gaps and aspiring to be EWS racers thanks to the likes of you Katy. Lots of community support here in NZ. Go well with your new program. We will enjoy your racing experiences no matter what the outcome. Enjoy yourself and know that you are having an extremely positive influence on the next generation of riders, racers or otherwise. Well done!



Really enjoyed this one.  Great job AJ.



Thanks, mate! Glad you liked it.


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