Vanessa Quin – Mountain Bike Downhill Champion
Vanessa Quin – Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion
Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion Vanessa Quin had a golden year in 2004.
She outshone all her competitors throughout New Zealand and the world to win the New Zealand National Championship and the Oceania Championship, and then went on to win the World Mountain Bike Downhill Championship in Les Gets, France.
And she has now been nominated as a finalist for a Halberg Award – Sportswoman of the Year 2004.
Not bad for a athlete who had only just come back from breaking her neck in December 2002 in a sport that demands the courage to hurl body and bike down steep dirt tracks at ... well, breakneck speeds.
At 28 years old, Vanessa has come a long way since, as a child, she ditched her ballet shoes for a BMX bike. Based in Tauranga, she has built her international mountain biking career from scratch. For the past six years, she has competed professionally in New Zealand each summer then headed to the northern hemisphere summer racing circuit.
Behind her success lies steely determination matched by down-to-earth pragmatism.
“You don’t get a second chance in sport or life,” she says. “You’ve only got one shot – once it’s over, it’s over. You’ve got to make everything count.”
Vanessa’s car of choice is a Subaru Forester – Subaru’s rugged and roomy all-wheel-drive rough-roader – a very visible form of the practical support Vanessa receives from Subaru of New Zealand.
“It’s a match made in heaven,” says Vanessa. “The Subaru Forester is the perfect vehicle for me because it gets me to events located off the beaten track and it’s easily big enough to handle all my gear – including my downhill racing bikes.”
Subaru of NZ General Manager, Wallis Dumper is delighted that the company’s support of a great kiwi athlete has now developed into supporting a great kiwi world champion.
“Our research shows more women than men like the Forester model, so we wanted to sponsor an inspiring young female athlete they could identify with,” says Mr Dumper.
“Vanessa is a rare individual who not only possesses the skill, drive, and commitment to battle her way to world number one in the incredibly demanding sport of downhill racing, but she’s also an unpretentious kiwi with her feet planted firmly on the ground.”
Subaru is also naming rights sponsor for the downhill events of the New Zealand National Mountain Bike Series in 2005/2006, the Oceania Mountain Bike Championship in March 2006, and The Big One – the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship in 2006.
Name: Vanessa Quin
Date of birth: 15 October 1976
2005 highlights: Nominated for Halberg Award – Sportswoman of the Year 2004
2004 highlights: Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion 2004, Les Gets, France 5th Overall World Cup Series 2004 1st Overall Subaru National Points Series 1st National Championship, Wellington 1st Oceania Championship, Rotorua 1st Mount Downhill, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
2003 highlights: 9th World Championship, Lugano, Switzerland 4th World Cup Finals, Kaprun, Austria 2nd overall UK National Series
2002 highlights: 9th World Championship, Kaprun, Austria 6th Overall World Cup Downhill Series 6th Overall US National Downhill Series 1st New Zealand National Downhill Championship
2001 highlights: 5th World Championship Downhill, Vail, Colorado 9th Overall US National Downhill Series 2nd Mount Downhill, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
2000 highlights: 16th World Championship Downhill, Spain 5th Overall US National Downhill Series 1st New Zealand National Downhill Championship
Early 2005 race schedule:
15 Jan Round 2 National Downhill Series, Christchurch
22 Jan Round 3 National Downhill Series, Dunedin
29 Jan BMX qualifying round, Auckland
5 Feb BMX qualifying round, Gisborne
12 Feb Round 5 National Downhill Series, Wellington
19 Feb Round 6 National Downhill Series final, Auckland
26 Feb National Downhill Championship, Rotorua
27 Feb BMX qualifying round, Paeroa
March Training (Downhill / BMX)
25-27 March BMX National Championship
16-17 April Sea Otter, USA