A team that shreds together, stays together

4x world champion Tracy Moseley brings out the best in next generation of riders

When downhill and enduro legend Tracy Moseley retired from her full-time mountain bike racing career in 2018, she was only getting started with her time on the trails.

After a hugely successful racing career, Tracy knows what it takes to be the best. She claimed three world champion titles in enduro and one in downhill, plus won dozens of Enduro World Weries and downhill World Cup races. Now, she uses that hard-won knowledge to welcome the next generation of racers to the track.

As the athlete manager for Trek Factory Racing enduro, downhill, and cross country teams, Tracy cultivates the culture of the team. Just as important as their fitness and technical skills, Tracy lays the foundation for riders to connect with teammates and team staff to build positive relationships.

“Tracy brings people together. Her inclusive leadership style helps us become a solid unit before we go into the higher stress situations at races."

“I’m always really conscious of the fact that you perform your best if you’re happy and comfortable,” Tracy said. “Racing is not always going to be fair, there will always be something that makes it hard. It could be weather conditions, or some other type of adversity. We have to create our own fun to help the group be successful.”

For Tracy, the enduro team’s six-day pre-season team camp in France and Italy was a key moment to bond Trek Factory Racing riders Florian Nicolai, Katy Winton, Pedro Burns and Hattie Harnden.

It’s a time to set the tone for 2020. Team camp isn’t just a time to ride, in Tracy’s eyes it is about being together off the bike as much as on the bike.

“Spending time together as a team is a really important way to start the year,” Tracy said. “These guys spend 10-12 weeks per year together. They don’t get to choose their teammates. You need to figure out how best to work together.”

She set the stage for that learning by choosing the location of team camp wisely.

In the Italian coastal town of Finale Ligure facing the Mediterranean Sea, the enduro team’s base camp was up in the hills. They stayed in a house that was a 30-minute pedal from town and had no direct road access. Gear had to be carried up to the house on foot via a steep 100-meter trail.

Tracy prefers this type of setting which encourages the team to work together at every chance possible. That way they get to know their fellow riders and team staff as people, not just athletes.

“You get to know a lot about people at team camp, especially when you cook together,” Tracy said. “Pedro learned how to chop salads the way that Katy likes it, with everything chopped very small. And Katy took on the role of team mom when Flo became sick, making him wash his hands 10 times a day.”

For another opportunity to work together off the bikes, the enduro crew took a whole day away from the bikes to do something that Finale Ligure is famous for, rock climbing.

The geography of the area is characterized by the Alps tapering down to sea level and is full of steep limestone cliffs. Finale features thousands of climbing routes along 200 rock faces.

Not everyone was completely comfortable strapping in and hoisting themselves hundreds of feet in the air, which set the scene for deeper relationships to form as the team supported one another.

“The guide loved the fact even if someone was nervous, because we are sport people, everyone just cracked on with it and got themselves to the top,” Tracy said.

Everyone was rewarded for their bravery with another local experience: learning how to make traditional wood-fired pizza.

The team settled into a rustic building for the evening. A glasshouse formerly used for flower farming, now an outdoorsy space with a pizza oven.

Together they learned to make crust, roll it out, and dress it with the traditional toppings of tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.

After freshly fired pizza satiated the team, the day was done.

“Tracy made a day of activities away from “work” a priority and organized our team camp with plenty of time to get to know each other,” Katy Winton said. “She set it up so we could just be normal humans and have a laugh together. With Tracy having been a racer for so many years, she truly understands that a good environment at a race is crucial for performance.”

Katy reflected on Tracy’s leadership style as a key part of the team’s culture.

“Tracy brings people together,” Katy said. “Her inclusive leadership style helps us become a solid unit before we go into the higher stress situations at races. It is absolutely invaluable to have Tracy as part of the team, her wealth of knowledge on and off the bike helps us to become better racers, athletes, and people. She’s a gem!”

As team camp under the Mediterranean sun wrapped up, Tracy felt good about using their time to bond as well as ride.

“Now we have six weeks before we arrive in Colombia for the Enduro World Series,” Tracy reflected. “The importance of this week is that, the next time they meet, it will be on the other side of the world to race. Now they can do that knowing how much support they have in this group.”

Packed with talent, the Trek Factory Racing enduro squad will be tough competition at the world series this year. And this kind of team culture, they can walk away with both a trophy in their hand and a smile on their face.