Welcome back to Live To Ride, in this episode we journey north to Scotland where we catch up with Ella Conolly. She moved from XC to Enduro three years ago where she became the U21 World Champion and has since been working her way up the rankings with her first EWS podium last year. Living in the Highlands she’s got everything from a beautiful coast line to epic mountain ranges so we knew we were in for an adventure after the eight hour journey north.
Ella is based in in the Highlands and her riding reflects that, known for its rugged mountainous terrain she is lucky to have the Cairngorm National Park on her doorstep. However most of her time training is kept to a local riding spot where there’s some classically Scottish singletrack descents hidden away in the woods.
“It’s the closest best trails, I probably ride here once a week, nice features drops and jumps but you’ve also got some real awkward natural trails, whatever you want to ride, it’s here.” – Ella Conolly.
Ella’s move to Enduro racing has been an exciting one, with an appearance on the podium at the Madeira 2019 EWS we’re excited to see what she can achieve this season.
“Before that podium I struggled with my mindset more than my riding, I’ve almost worked out more how to get into the right headspace for racing..” – Ella Conolly.
A summer at home for Ella has meant time with the family, enjoying time in the house and hanging out with her dog Flyn.
“Keeping it fairly chilled to be honest, it’s been nice I’ve not had a massive lockdown project like some people have, just more time with my family and my dog Flyn.” – Ella Conolly
With the first round of the EWS taking place in Zermatt, Switzerland next week, Ella has been trying to get her eye in on those longer rugged descents. We ventured into the Cairngorm National Park to climb Sgòr Gaoith, translated into English it is the “Peak of the wind” and stands at 1,118m tall. Its rocky singletrack descent is the closest thing Ella has to prepare for racing the big alpine stages.
“I’m feeling really good but it’s a dangerous thing to say because I think everybody with this extra time has put in extra work. I know that I’ve put in a lot over the last year and a lot more than previous years..” – Ella Conolly