Hattie Harnden completed her trip to Tasmania with one of her best performances yet
After Round 1 of the Enduro World Cup in Maydena, Hattie Harnden wrote that she “felt like I let my bike down.” After a hectic week of traveling to Tasmania, she struggled to get her head into the race (though still managed to finish fifth, just six seconds off the podium.)
For Round 2 in Derby, her fire returned. She turned in what she called “by far” her most consistent day ever, taking first, second, second, second, first and third across the weekend’s six stages, respectively. With that effort, Harnden finished second overall, just over eight seconds behind winner Bex Baraona.
“It’s not always about the result for me, but rather my performance,” Harnden wrote after the race. “Despite a crash at the top of the final stage and having to ride with only a front brake. Pretty cool to only finish seven seconds back on that stage, happy to know the pace is there.”
Harnden finished third in the Enduro World Series overall last year, and is aiming even higher in 2023. She is riding with a decal of the No. 3 on the back of her bike as a reminder of where she’s been and how much more she can still accomplish. She’s more determined than ever to cement her place as one of the fastest enduro riders in the world.
“The biggest thing I need to overcome is believing in my own abilities, just having the self confidence to know that I am capable,” Harnden said. “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.’”
Harnden is going up against a women’s field that is getting deeper and faster by the race. She shared the Derby podium with two fellow Brits — Baraona and Ella Connolly, who finished roughly 17.5 seconds behind Harnden — with defending overall champion Isabeau Courdurier in fourth.
With five more rounds left in the series, Harnden currently sits fourth overall, behind Connolly (third), Courdurier (second) and Baraona (first). If this past weekend is any indication, Harnden has found her stride, and is itching to climb up the standings.
Unfortunately for her, the next Enduro World Cup race won’t be for another two months. Round 3 will take place at the legendary site in Finale Ligure from June 3-4. The action should be worth the wait, however.
The battle for the women’s overall crown is shaping up to be the most intense ever, and Harnden is right in the thick of it.