Hattie Harnden and Pedro Burns are going big this season as enduro joins the MTB World Cup
You won’t find two friendlier, or more tightly knit athletes than Pedro Burns and Hattie Harnden. In a sport that prizes community, there may not be two better ambassadors.
But don’t let the sweet exteriors fool you: These two riders have serious ambitions as enduro joins the Mountain Bike World Cup racing circuit in 2023. Hattie, just 22 years old, finished third on the Enduro World Series overall podium last season after winning two races and finishing top five in all but two rounds. Pedro is fully healthy heading into the season and anxious to prove he belongs among the fastest racers in the world. Both could make big statements as soon as this weekend, when the Enduro World Cup slate kicks off with the first of back-to-back rounds in Tasmania.
This season is all about leveling up. For Hattie, that means sharpening her killer instincts. For Pedro, that means maintaining the confidence that makes him one of the most entertaining mountain bikers in the world. There will be no shortage of drama between the two of them as enduro takes a bigger stage.
Oh, and they’ll be flying down the track in brand new smoky kits and Slash frames. And where there’s smoke …
3 stories to watch
Over the course of just two elite enduro racing seasons, Hattie has proved she’s one of the very best in the world. She’ll be among the favorites at every race she enters thanks to her excellent fitness and broad skillset, honed through a steady regimen of XC and cyclocross racing in addition to enduro throughout the years.
Perhaps no one will be more prepared for the rigors of a long season. This past winter, Hattie sat out cyclocross racing and followed a gravity-focused training plan. She spent more time in the gym, and drilled herself in foundational skills. She even raced local downhill races to test her mettle. She’s ready. Now all she has to do is believe in herself.
“The biggest thing I need to overcome is believing in my own abilities, just having the self confidence to know that I am capable,” Hattie says. “It probably sounds really cheesy, but just to know that you have put in all the training, that there’s nothing more you could have done once you’re at the race, and just having the confidence to be like, ‘I’m the best I can be.'”
Hattie may not be the most boisterous person, but with four EWS wins to her name and a newly doubled-down focus on enduro, she has every reason to feel good heading into the 2023 season. To remind herself of her ultimate goal, she has a decal of the No. 3 on the back of her seatpost, reminding of where she finished last season and how much higher she can still climb.
With her determination and effort, there’s no telling where her ceiling could be.
“I think just having a bit of self belief,” Hattie says, “I think it could work wonders.”
The most upbeat rider in mountain biking couldn’t catch a break in 2022. Pedro was still recovering from a broken ankle entering the season, then suffered a dislocated shoulder during the third round of the EWS in Canazei. He badly wanted to return to a place in the top 20, but he never found his racing groove, and his confidence suffered.
Now fully healthy, Pedro is looking forward to letting loose once again.
“I just need to trust in myself, trust in the training I have done,” Pedro says. “Don’t overthink the numbers or positions and just enjoy the ride.”
Though 2022 was a trying season at times, he enjoyed the moments of beauty that the sport delivered to him, like glimpses at the greater world in places like the Swiss Alps.
“The night before the race in Crans-Montana it snowed in the mountains, so we raced on the fresh snow,” Pedro remembers. “The mix between the speed of the stage, the feeling of the snow and the amazing landscapes was something else.”
Pedro feels much more prepared for this season than the last, which helps. He’s been feasting on a steady diet of South American urban downhill races in the offseason, and enjoying himself on the bike more than ever. He only speaks in exclamation points. His enthusiasm is infectious.
“I have trained hard and I am feeling faster than ever,” Pedro says. “Let’s go!”
A bigger stage than ever before
Enduro racing is getting its own World Cup and becoming part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Series alongside XC, DH and XC Marathon racing. As a result, the sport will be on a more visible stage, ramping up both the excitement and pressure for riders.
Notably, the UCI has scheduled two tripleheader events featuring XC, DH and enduro in Leogang and Les Gets, and a doubleheader featuring DH and enduro in Loudenvielle. Hattie, who’s no stranger to the World Cup with success on the U23 XC circuit, is looking forward to those events most of all.
“I’ve been to cross country World Cups, and I know how fun it is, and how exciting and what a great atmosphere it is when downhill and cross country are both at a venue,” Hattie says. “It’s great for the sport, and great for all of us athletes.”
Bigger races mean more logistical chaos in addition to the rigors of racing. Having top-notch support and the ability to maintain an even-keel will be more important than ever. And in those regards, Hattie and Pedro should be well-poised for success.
Schedule and how to watch
MTB World Cup broadcasts will be moving from Red Bull TV to Discovery this year, however there is still no live video streaming for enduro just yet. Subscribe to the UCI MTB World Series YouTube page, and you’ll see in-depth highlights from every round, as well as supplemental course previews, bike checks, rider interviews and more.
Round 1: Maydena, Tasmania, March 25-26
In a nutshell: Bike park with 800-plus meters of elevation, big jumps and plenty of technicality. Riders are going right into the deep end to start the season.
Round 2: Derby, Tasmania, April 1-2
In a nutshell: A beloved stop when it was featured in the EWS in 2017 and 2019. Fast, punishing and absolutely thrilling.
Round 3: Finale Ligure, Italy, June 3-4
In a nutshell: One of the most famous courses in enduro racing offers a little something for everyone. Above all: Spectacular views.
Round 4: Leogang, Austria, June 15-18
In a nutshell: The first of two World Cup tripleheaders. The atmosphere is going to be epic, as well as the potential bike park shenanigans of the track.
Round 5: Val di Fassa, Italy, June 24-25
In a nutshell: Long, punishing and beautiful. Another staple of the enduro circuit.
Round 6: Loudenvielle, France, September 1-3
In a nutshell: One of the most punishing courses on the circuit both in terms of length and terrain. A doubleheader event with DH will amp up the excitement, too.
Round 7: Les Gets, France, September 7-17
In a nutshell: The biggest event of the year, with every discipline in the UCI MTB World Series coming together for a 10-day festival. There will be no shortage of drama for the final round of the Enduro World Cup.
You can keep track of Pedro and Hattie at all the races by following the Trek Factory Racing Enduro Instagram page. Before racing begins in Maydena, be sure to take a gander at our brand new bikes and race day kits.
It’s race day. FINALLY.