60 seconds with... Tahnée Seagrave
We quiz the Downhill World Cup racer who proves you can unashamedly love pink and still be hard as nails
Alongside fellow Brit and arch-rival Rachel Atherton, Tahnée Seagrave is probably the fastest female racer on the World Cup DH scene today. But when you begin winning in the women’s ranks, injury never seems far behind. The top three – Tahnée, Rachel and France's Miriam Nicole – have all struggled with setbacks in the last few seasons, and for 26-year-old Seagrave it’s been a particularly tough couple of years. After getting back up to speed and back on the podium in the short 2020 season, we're excited to see what the Red Bull-sponsored racer pulls out of the bag this year. She's got off to a great start, podiuming at the first round in Austria and then taking the win in Les Gets.
Who is Tahnée Seagrave?
Just a grown-up kid who loves to dream big, go fast on bikes and wear pink!
What do you do?
I race Downhill World Cups and try to win!
How did you first get into bikes?
I think the real love for it developed when my parents made the move to the Alps, when I was eight years old.
What was your first bike?
My first proper ‘DH’ bike was an Intense 6.6 with a 26in front wheel and 24in rear. Nigel Page [UK racer and now Nukeproof team manager]
and Vanessa Quin [the 2004 DH world champ, from NZ] stayed with us in Morzine and everyone got together to get me a mini replica of
Vanessa’s bike. I couldn’t believe it. I was the happiest, luckiest child.
Current go-to bike?
My Canyon Spectral.
What gets you excited to ride?
DH laps with the home crew!
Favourite rider to watch?
My home crew: Leo and Vero Sandler, Kade [Edwards] and Kaos [Tahnée’s brother].
Favourite bike film?
Earthed. I grew up watching that stuff.
Best trail you rode last year?
You can’t beat the tracks at Revs [Revolution Bike Park].
Scariest thing you’ve done on a bike?
My pedal ripped off the axle while going into the take-off on a huge road gap in Châtel, France. I crashed, but managed to stop myself
right before the end!
Worst crash you’ve had?
In a qualifying run in Andorra, I washed out the front end on a fast section and landed on my front. Every time I gasped for air it felt like someone was punching me in the chest. I now wear a chest pad!
Biggest ride of your life?
When I joined some mates on the practice day at an enduro in Innerleithen, Scotland. I’m never racing an enduro!
Clips or flats?
Clips for racing, flats for playing.
650b or 29in?
Dream non-bike sponsor?
Desert island luxury?
My mum’s chocolate Maltesers cake.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
What I tell myself now – trust and belief in yourself works wonders.
What would you be doing if you weren’t racing World Cup DH?
I can’t picture a life without it, but I guess some sort of renovating/interior design, or the fashion industry.
This article was originally published in MBUK 385
Pics: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Former Mountain Biking UK features editor Ed Thomsett is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He's raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro, and has spent several summers living in the Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirtbag lifestyle. Now Ed calls upon his years of experience riding bikes to the limit as a writer and reviewer for MBUK and BikeRadar. He's also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and believes the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.