NZ National champion and two time Whaka100 champion, Josie Wilcox is returning to the Whaka100 in October with potential to take a third win. Josie was unable to race last year due to an injury the day before the event.
Wilcox was out on her last ride before the Whaka100 when she bumped her handlebar on a tree and broke her finger.
“I was in great shape, so obviously it was disappointing but on the other hand, I really enjoyed the opportunity to support Joe Skerman (Pioneer partner, the other half of team JoJo). You don’t realise how big of a job it is to be a support crew until you do it yourself. "
Four weeks later, Wilcox and Skerman took a win at The Pioneer Mountain Bike stage race in Queenstown.
"We took a convincing win in the mixed team category - the fitness didn’t go to waste.”
Wilcox says her biggest goal in 2020 was claiming the National champs jersey and she achieved that in January at the NZ National Championships in Dunedin.
After achieving that goal, Wilcox’s focus turned to the world cup races in Europe in June/July, however due to the COVID pandemic, her plans had to change.
“For someone so goal driven, it has been a challenge accepting that I don’t yet know when I’ll race at elite level again. Regardless, I have been enjoying the return to racing at the local level on the road and XC short track, and of course, I’m really looking forward to The Whaka100 in October!”
Wilcox said preparing for the Whaka100 has been different this year as she now lives back in her hometown of Nelson.
“I’ve already enjoyed the last 6 months of getting out in the Nelson hills. The riding here is incredible. I don’t even know how I managed to become a mountain biker living in Palmy.. it’s very flat compared with where I ride now.”
Wilcox said the Whaka100 is one of her favourite races and each year she has managed to get a little faster.
“I think I was 12th overall in 2017 and 8th in 2018 so it would be cool to finish top 6 in 2020. I kinda enjoy chasing the boys.”
Wilcox finished with a time of 06h 12m in 2017 and 05h 53m in 2018. Wilcox still holds the fastest female time.
Wilcox said it would be “pretty cool” to be the first female to take three wins at Emerson's Whaka100.
Watch this space!