Teenage mountain bike racer Ellie Jones from Ebnal near Gobowen has a dream: to be the fastest girl in the world on her bike and she has just the right amounts of talent, passion, daring and determination to achieve it.
Fourteen-year-old Ellie has been riding just two years and is in her first season. “I compete in all disciplines of mountain biking,” says Ellie “Cross Country, Cyclo Cross, but my favourites are Enduro and Downhill. I’ve competed in over 20 races.”
With an impressive list of results, coming mostly first and second, Ellie is certainly off to a flying start to her chosen career. In many of her races there are no youth categories and Ellie competes with adult riders. In the Welsh Enduro Series, she has come first overall in the women under 30 and in the Pearce Cycles Downhill she achieved overall first place in the under-19s. Hopetech Women’s Enduro saw Ellie take first place in the under-16 and first place again in the Race Guild Cannock Chase Downhill in the women’s category.
“I want to be the fastest girl in the world in Downhill and Enduro,” adds Ellie, “I’m going to train really hard and try to win a national title first.”
Ellie first got into biking in an effort to spend more time with her father.
“Dad works long hours and was riding his bike with friends on a Sunday, I asked him if I could come along so I could spend time with him, then for my 13th birthday I had a coaching day at One Planet Adventure in Llandegla where I met Cheri who was the coach and she took me under her wing. Cheri and her partner Neil have done a lot to help me improve my riding. I train with them regularly, they give me coaching tips and take me on adventures.”
Asked how she feels when she’s biking Ellie describes a mix of emotions: “Happy, because you can forget about anything else. Scared, when I’m trying to ride a big feature for the first time and excited, when I think about the fun I’m going to have, I love riding with friends and messing about as well as racing.”
Ellie has been training further afield with a trip to the Alps in the summer being just one of her most memorable biking experiences so far. “Riding in the high mountains was amazing, very technical downhill trails that went on forever. I also did a three-day bike packing trip across Wales for 112 miles, it was very tough but looking back I’m proud I did it.”
Another stand out experience is getting the opportunity to ride with her hero, Tracy Moseley, the World Champion in Downhill and Enduro. “She is such a nice person, a top professional and I want to be like her one day.”
Ellie also counts Tahnee Seagrave among her influences. “She is a World Cup downhill racer, a brilliant rider and trains locally. She is always friendly, and I hope she wins the World Championships soon.”
Ellie’s coach Cheri Mills comments: “Ellie really is a super kid, she’s hard working in school and doing really well, she applies herself to her training with determination and a good attitude, she’s a very grounded person even at her young age and will chat will anyone (as long as it’s about biking!). It seems like Ellie has found somewhere she fits in, is talented and part of one big biking family. If only we could all do that in life at 14 years old, the world would be a better place.”
Don't miss the full feature within the forthcoming January issue of the Oswestry Life magazine.