DC: You didn't have the best start to the world cup season this year after ending on such a high last season. How did you get on in Albstadt and Nova anything you would put your performances down to?
IS: During the winter I had several unrelated but serious and extremely stressful things happen in my personal life. Navigating all of that whilst living in lockdown and unable to see friends or family, in addition to getting up every day to train for the upcoming season took a huge toll on my mental health and made it impossible to race at the highest level. Physically I managed to hold onto good shape but emotionally I was completely empty and that energy I take with me normally into racing just wasn't there. I wasn't even racing those first two rounds; I pinned a number on and started because opting OUT felt like the only thing harder than taking part. I did end up missing the next World Cup round because I realised I needed time at home, Scotland having come out of lockdown, to regain some of that energy before the second half of the season.
DC: What’s your favourite non-bike website?
IS: Walk Highlands! It's a website dedicated to the Scottish mountains. You can tick off each one as you do it and there's an interactive map to explore.
DC: How does it feel to equal your best world cup result?
IS: Really encouraging. But very different to my first 11th place as the circumstances were a whole world away. Last year I came into the late season after the perfect summer of training and the 11th place was an accumulation of that, and confirmation that I'd reached the next level of performance. I raced that entire race at the front of the field from the gun, and slipped back from 7th to 11th. In Les Gets this year I was in 30th place over two minutes down after lap one (I started further back due to missing the Short Track) and rode forward into 11th. The physical performance two weeks ago was possibly my best one ever which blows my mind after everything that's happened over the last six months. It felt very nice to know that somehow I've managed to continue to raise my own bar again following last year's racing.
DC: Favourite place to train?
IS: Tweed Valley, always. Probably because I know every nook and cranny and because there are SO many trails that no ride is the same. It also has every type of MTB ride you'd want to do and plenty of lane riding. Plus I'm super sentimental because it's my mum's home, and my dogs live there haha.
DC: What's next on the calendar for our pocket rocket?
IS: Due to the Olympics, there's not a lot happening overseas at the moment so I've got some more down time at home. This will hopefully take me into the final two races - World Champs and Lenzerheide World Cup - at the end of August in a fresh, happy mental state. Then I'm done for the season! Which I'm a little sad about now that I'm feeling a bit more ready for the world.