Four off-road racing tips from British Xterra pros

From working to your strengths to jumping in with both feet, we hear from the best in the off-road business


Love trail running? How about mountain biking? Then good news! Xterra UK is just over a week away, and there are still some entry spots available.


>>> Xterra champs return to Vachery

With the ‘Woodstock of Xterra’ returning to Vachery Estate in Surrey on 29-30 August, we picked up some pieces of advice from four pro athletes: Xterra World Tour racer Louise Fox, pro mountain biker Lee Williams, talented youngster Matt Dewis and Xterra World Champs qualifier Tom Baker…

Louise Fox

“My number one piece of advice for someone thinking of taking up Xterra? Stop thinking about it – just enter one! I wish I had tried it sooner!

“The biggest obstacle for most road triathletes is either not wanting to spend money on a mountain bike, or worrying that their skills are not good enough. But you don’t need to spend thousands – the first mountain bike events ever I raced were on a £100 Halfords special with flat pedals and rim brakes! As I progressed, I rewarded myself with upgrades, but I felt I should earn these by improving my riding first.

“As for the skills – I would encourage anyone to just have a go. It doesn’t matter if you have to get off and walk in places – you will be in the same boat as most of the field! It would be especially good to see more ladies racing off-road. In most countries women are quite a minority outside of the Pro field.”

Follow Louise on Twitter: @LouFoxTri

Lee Williams

“Work to your strengths.  Everybody wants to improve their weaknesses and for good reason, but if you have a strongest discipline make sure you don’t let the work slide for you not to take advantage of that, as advantages are only magnified when it’s off-road!”

Follow Lee on Twitter: @leewilliamsmtb

Matt Dewis

“Don’t hesitate because you will love it!”

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattDewis

Tom Baker

“My number one piece of advice for anyone thinking about taking up Xterra is just give it a go! Whether you go for the full championship distance, sprint or trail runs you won’t be disappointed, just beware that you will get hooked and you’re going to want to do more.”

Follow Tom on Twitter: @tomthept

All four athletes are sponsored by British wetsuit brand Zone3, who’ve come on board as one of the official partners for Xterra UK. For more information about Zone3 and the products they will be showcasing at this year’s event, head on over to where you can also get 20% off on all products using the code XTERRA20.

(Main image: Lukasz Warzecha)


Are you racing Xterra UK next weekend? Let us know in the comments below!