“It was always clear for me that I would get into biking. I was only three years old when I started riding without training wheels and tried my first cross-country bike race.
“My parents loved to ride bikes, and in 2008 my Dad built a trail at our house. I grew up in a freeride lodge in Saalbach, in the middle of the Austrian Alps. Not everyone has a bike park right next to their house, I think living there helped me a lot.
“Then when I was eight years old, I got my first downhill bike, and I raced it at bike festivals for five years until I was old enough to enter my first proper downhill race; the 2013 iXS Rookies Cup, essentially a World Champs for rookies.
“I started to realise that I was pretty good at downhill racing.”
“I was outnumbered by the boys, I remember my Dad saying, ‘You won’t win there!’ Then I won, and he was like – ‘Oh god, what happened?!’ I started to realise that I was pretty good at downhill racing. I took part in the races near where I lived too – I was pretty much the only girl, and I just got better and faster.
“I was ski racing at the time too, but I preferred racing my bike. Ski racing was just cold; I’d get up early on the weekends and stand on a dark, freezing mountain just wearing my race suit! And 30 seconds later it was all over. But it felt like bike races were all about friends, barbeques and campervans – way more chilled out, and everyone cheering for you. So I decided to focus on biking; my school let me take time off to go to bike races, and I started strength training after school three times a week to get stronger.