Jenni King is a tireless XCO racer with a flair for XCM racing too, having won 2 XCM National titles. We speak to her about training, the Merida Torq team, and her favourite trails.
Bio: Jenni King
Team: Merida Torq
Bike: Merida 29er
Preferred Discipline: XCO
Favourite Post Race Meal: Potato wedges with salmon and lots of salt, following a Torq recovery drink of course!
Jenni, your coaching articles in AMB are fantastic - what got you into coaching?
Thanks, I started out just devising training programs for myself around 10 years ago and then took on a coupe of local juniors. Things just snowballed from there.
You had a huge crash in South Africa last year, and while many would still be struggling with the rehab that comes with a broken hip and femur - you won the Kowalski Classic just 4 months later. What drives you to perform and train?
I guess I'm addicted to the feeling of being fit and healthy and riding trails with friends gives me great enjoyment. It was a shock when the surgeons said i may never ride again. To me it is a bonus that I can still compete at the top level. It is more important that I can simply get out and ride. I think most people are happy in life when they can set themselves some goals and work toward them.
The Torq team has a habit of developing some great racers, and looks to have a really positive environment for young riders. What's your involvement with the team, beyond riding for it?
I have been involved with Torq since they started out in Australia. They were one of the first to set up a mtb specific team and continue to help junior riders develop into great athletes. I think Juniors on the team really excel as they are encouraged to be the very best they can be but at the same time don't have a huge amount of pressure put on them with emphasis always on having fun!
These days, I take on more of a coaching and mentor role in the team. I try to pass on as much knowledge as possible to the young up and comers!
The National Series has racers sent far and wide this year, with lots of variety for the race courses. Do you have a favourite?
So far I think the Pemberton Round 3 has been my favorite, even though I finished with my worst result. It included a bit of everything with good climbing, ample passing, technical trails and some fun flowy stuff. Stromlo is also of World class standard and i always like to race there.
You have won the Australian XCM Championship twice before - will you be targeting Derby after the XCO Series has finished?
Yep, I'm pretty sure I will head over there depending on how my hip is functioning. I would certainly like to give the marathon title another crack, or at least test out some of those cool new trails :-)