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The Vanessa Quin Interview

Not quite the Rugby strip Vanessa wanted as a kid...

Step forward NZL19761015, Quin, Vanessa. World Champion

What a year it’s been for this Kiwi, a roller coaster that’s taken in the worlds best tracks all in a very condensed time frame, now I know you understand that the Tissot World Cup events are a test of season long stamina but the World Champs is where it’s at really.

A single run for glory, and she only went and won it.

Vanessa’s first ever world cup was back in 1996 she finished a respectable 25th, from there it’s been onwards and upwards. Oceania champion, NZ titles, more often than not in the top 10 in DH and 4X / Dual at World Cups, top place finishes in Maxxis Cup, UK NPS and NORBA’s, the only thing missing from that CV is an SDA race.

Descent-world cornered the newly crowned women’s world champ and asked her the questions that only we could get away with asking.

DW: Firstly Vanessa the users of Descent-world want to know, any relation to Dr Quin, Medicine Woman?

VQ: She’s my aunty but I try to keep it quiet.

DW: How many handbags do you own? Si Paton wants to compare numbers!

VQ: Sorry Si but you already have all mine.

DW: I remember a rumor from a few years ago that you appeared on the flying doctors with Nigel care to elaborate?

VQ: I’ve had to look after the boy a few times when he’s snapped ankles and wrists but he seems to be keeping his bones inside his skin this year so I haven’t had to get the wings out for a while.

DW: What does it feel like having world champion after your name?

VQ: Pretty cool, I just keep smiling when I think about it.

DW: Is DH big in NZ and if so are you now a national hero?

VQ: It’s not as big as over here but because NZ is a small country it gets a bit more recognition. Most people wouldn’t know what downhill is but are stoked that NZ has a World Champ in it.

DW: Did you as a little girl ever want to be world Downhill Champ?

VQ: I wanted to be an All Black rugby player when I was little.

DW: What was your first bike?

VQ: My first real bike was a PK Ripper BMX.

DW: How did you get into the sport, what / who influenced you to race mountain bikes?

VQ: I raced BMX when I was younger and friends of mine got into MTB so loaned me a bike to try. I went to a few races and was hooked.

DW: Rumour has it you have been racing BMX this season, coming from BMX, and are you going to do more in 2005?

VQ: BMX was where I started and will always be a fun thing for me to do. Nige (Nigel Page) has been racing more BMX this season so I have done quite a bit this year. Raced the Worlds in Holland and got 8th.

Vanesa hasn't stopped smiling yet!

DW: That’s pretty decent, so a shot at gold in the 2008 Olympics then?

VQ: Not sure on the Olympics I’ll be an old lady by then!

DW: Why / When did you decide to take up Downhill as a Career?

VQ: I raced in NZ for a couple of seasons then thought I would have a crack at overseas. I got a ride on Giant USA and I’ve just kept racing ever since.

DW: How has being on the dirt team helped you riding wise?

VQ: Mike, Steve, Alex and Nige all help me with my riding at the races. Mike, Steve and Alex are up the hill all day shooting film and taking photos so they see all the good lines and where the fast guys are going so I can learn a lot from this.

DW: Team discussion on line choices before a race then?

VQ: Nige can show me the lines, it’s just that I can’t keep up with him for more than a few turns anyway.

DW: How does Dirt feel about having to redesign your kit for 2005 to fit in with the UCI rules?

VQ: They love it! (No clues though people, I tried)

DW: Is Nigel allowed to criticise your driving or riding?

VQ: Whether he’s allowed or not he does, but it’s all for my own good. I don’t always listen straight away!

DW: How do you rate your new Intense M3 compared to your old M1?

VQ: I rate it! The M3 is a machine. You have to get the set up right and get someone who knows what they are doing to help with this but the bike itself is amazing. I loved my M1 but the M3 is just another step up again.

Number One!

DW: Plans for 2005? (BMX aside)

VQ: I go back to NZ for the 05 series there which starts in Jan then I want to race the World Cup series and the Worlds again in 05.

DW: If/When you marry Nigel will you race as a British National or stay as a Kiwi?

VQ: I’m a Kiwi so that wont change, not sure about marrying Nige, would you?

DW: Do you still feel like a "foreigner" visiting the UK or does it now feel like home?

VQ: It feels like my other home for sure. People in the UK are like Kiwis only funnier.

DW: How did you adjust to the climate over here and did Nigel tell you it was always sunny?

VQ: NZ sunny and UK sunny are two different things, but I even find myself saying what a nice day it is when you know it’s really not. I hate the cold but I get to leave before it goes freezing.

DW: What things do you miss from home?

VQ: The beach, good ice cream and my family.

DW: Eat in or Take away?

VQ: Depends on who is cooking.

DW: I hear you make a delicious banana loaf can we try some?

VQ: No problems.

DW: Worst crash in your career?

VQ: On a velodrome, broke my neck.

Nige said you should have been 10 inches to the left!

DW: What do you think of the standard of the UK courses? Do they rate against NZ?

VQ: NZ tracks are usually always good because we have bigger hills. The UK races I’ve been to are more of a mixed bag. The dragons are always good, but some of the nationals tracks are a bit flat for me. I hate pushing my bike from the up lifts to the top of the track as well.

DW: Any Plans for any Scottish Races in 05? I take it Nigel enjoyed Dunkeld….

VQ: If we can get to them for sure. Nige said the track at Dunkeld was great so maybe I’ll get there next year.

DW: Proper kilt for Fort Bill in 05 rather than this year's tartan car blanket?

QV: A guy had to get naked to loan me than kilt! I did look like a washer woman in it though, don’t you think?

DW: I didn’t see it to be honest, Any pre-race rituals?

VQ: Not to many I just hate wearing anything new on race day. I wear the same goggles and gloves as practice, and never wear a new race shirt.

DW: So pedal of choice ? Flats or SPD’s

QV: SPD’s everytime

DW: Heels or Trainers?

QV: Trainers

DW: Pairs of each owned?

QV: What do you think?

DW: Not too sure, not a girly girl then, but are you going to start doing the housework / popping to the shops in your rainbow jersey?

VQ: I haven’t yet but maybe next time I’m doing the dishes or getting the milk I might have to give it a go.

DW: Current choice between motorcycle helmet or bike helmet?

VQ: Bike Helmet.

DW: Want to thank anyone for showing you the way down Innerleithen?? (A bit cryptic there)

VQ: Thanks to anyone who shows me the way, I get lost in my own backyard.

DW: Finally Vanessa, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

VQ: About as much as me.

Thanks Vanessa enjoy your time in the Rainbow Jersey.


*** Vanessa's M1 is for sale at the moment check out her ad on the forum click here

10 seconds from a World Title
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