Josie Wilcox, age 28 from Nelson, New Zealand, won the NZ Pro XCO National Championship title on Sunday, January 26. The XC course in Dunedin consisted of 16-18-minute race laps with a mix of steep climbing, tight turns, rock gardens and off-camber roots, which Wilcox bested aboard her Pique Advanced Pro 0 by two and a half minutes over her closest competition.
The five-lap race wasn’t all smooth sailing, though.
“I had crash around halfway through as I entered the rock garden and just lost my front wheel,” said Wilcox. “I had a deep gash above my eye (from my sunglasses), clavicle and knee. Learning not to panic in these moments is essential to rescuing a race following a crash. You just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the bike.”
The race followed the Oceania Continental Championships at the same venue, where Wilcox finished second behind World Championship bronze-medalist Rebecca McConnell. Three weeks prior, Wilcox also won the mixed team category Pioneer 6-day stage race through New Zealand’s Southern Alps, also aboard her Pique Advanced Pro.
“I’ve been riding the Pique Advanced 29er since October and I absolutely love the bike,” said Wilcox. “ It has been my race bike of choice from a 6-day MTB stage race to a short high-intensity 90-minute XCO race. I’ve been particularly impressed with the geometry and the better riding position I’ve adopted on a women’s-specific frame, especially on technical challenging gradients. The Fox Live Valve is also a great addition to the 0 model.”
Relatively new to cross-country mountain biking, Wilcox has been racing and riding for just three years and works as a radiographer at a local hospital in Nelson.