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EWS Tweed Valley | Liv Racing Report

with RAE MORRISON

After an extended off-season, Rae Morrison of the Liv Racing Collective was ready to kick off the 2022 Enduro World Series season at the same place we left off in 2021: Tweed Valley, Scotland. After six stages over two days under sunny skies, Rae finished ninth overall with super-tight times in the pro women’s field. We caught up with Rae to get her perspective on the weekend.

Rae Morrison's Intrigue 29

Liv: It's been quite a long off season; how did you manage all the time at home? What were some of the most beneficial aspects of your off-season training?

Rae: I had a great off-season. It is summertime in New Zealand, so I was able to keep riding throughout including a few local races. The New Zealand season finished in March, so for the two months leading into the EWS, I would do mock races with my friends where we planned out a racecourse and raced amongst ourselves. This helped keep up the intensity and ramp things up leading into June.

Liv: When did you arrive in Scotland, and how did you spend your time before race week began?

Rae: I arrived 10 days before the race, so I had plenty of time to acclimatize. I find the travel from New Zealand to the UK/ Europe is the toughest leg of all my travel; the time zone difference is completely opposite (12-hour difference). It takes about two days (40 hours) for my body to get over the jetlag, catch up on sleep and stop waking up at 2am wide awake. It was so nice being a bit early and getting to explore the town and area a bit more with no race pressure.

Liv: How did you feel before the race began?

Rae: I was nervous excited. It has been a long off season and it’s always a bit unknown going into the first race of the year. I’ve been feeling great during the off season so I did put extra pressure on myself to do well.

Rae in pits at Tweed Valley

Liv: We ended the season in 2021 in Tweed Valley. What were some of the key differences between last year's race and this year's race?

Rae: The course was very similar, but the conditions could not have been more opposite between last year and this one. The weather was actually hot and sunny and trail conditions were prime – we even had some dusty turns… in Scotland! Last year it was freezing, rainy and super wet/muddy conditions. Also being the first year with no Covid restrictions, we had more entries in the women’s category which is so awesome.

Liv: Can you tell us a little bit about your bike set up for the weekend? What makes the Intrigue 29 a good bike for this course? Have you done anything in particular to better suit the conditions at Tweed Valley this year?

Rae: I loved the Intrigue on this course. The hills are a bit flatter but quite chunky in parts, so having the 29-inch wheels felt a bit more forgiving and carried good speed. I changed my setup a little bit by running narrower bars, I went from 760mm to 750mm as the trees are very close to the track. Narrower bars help maneuver through the trees a bit easier and help keep my pinky fingers intact. I also ran a little more pressure in the rear shock as when the tracks aren’t steep, I don’t need the shock to sit into its travel as much.

Rae at the top of the course in Tweed Valley

Liv: What was your favorite stage/ moment from the race?

Rae: My favourite stage was the second stage. It had bermed corners the whole way down then opened up at the end where there was a huge cheering crowd. I have never ridden corners like that anywhere, so unique to the UK, so grippy, so nicely built and just so, so many of them.

The crowds were incredible. So many people were there to watch, there were masses of people on every stage. On one of the stages when we were lining up to start you could hear the crowd cheering at bottom with the sound was echoing up the valley.

Liv: How did you feel about your performance after the race?

Rae: It was the largest women’s field we have had since Covid, and depth of talent is so strong at the moment. I’m happy to start the season off inside the top 10. As an athlete, you are always analyzing and looking for better but overall I’m stoked, I had a great day and did some really good riding. I’m fired up for the rest of the season.

Liv: What's next?

Rae: We’re heading to Europe, slowly making our way to Petzen for the second EWS round in two weeks.

Rae looking back at the camera

All photos by Sven Martin Photography.

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