One of the very best parts of racing is the storytelling. The pure drama of standing beside a race track as one-by-one, the fastest riders in the world make a claim for the top spot.
There are endless side stories, rumours and dramas which rumble on behind the scenes, but ultimately, what it all boils down to are those three to five minutes between the tape.
Some racers need the adulation and the notoriety as if it were the very oxygen clinging to the red blood cells coursing through their veins.
The more time that passes, the faster racers were, the ‘easier’ modern tracks seem and the worse their old bikes were. Metal and thermoplastic bucking broncos, whose sole intention was to flex across every axis possible until their mounts were thrown.
Others just get on with it. Anne-Caroline Chausson is one such name and is without doubt the greatest racer of all-time.
Chausson's numbers speak for themselves:
UCI World Champion (Junior) x 3
UCI World Champion (Senior) x 9
UCI World Cup DH title (Senior) x 5
UCI World Champion (BMX) x 3
BMX Olympic gold medalist
Those are just the highlights, by the way. They don’t include the smattering of dual slalom, 4X and Enduro victories which help take her career wins tally to a world record 55 UCI World Cup victories.
She did battle with legends such as Missy Giove and Tracy Moseley and never looked like slowing down. As with Nico Vouilloz in the men’s field, no matter what a track or the weather could throw at her, she always seemed to have an answer.
In her UCI World Cup pomp, Anne-Caro rode for the biggest teams aboard some of the most iconic bikes including Sunn-Chipie and Volvo Cannondale.
In 2008, she turned her sights from 26in wheels to 20in wheels and went to Beijing to compete at the first ever BMX Olympic event. Typically, she won. It was a result that will forever adorn the history books as testament to her talents and focus as a racer.
More recently, Anne-Caroline has battled ovarian cancer and is already targeting a return to top-flight racing.
‘Incredible’ is a word that has lost a lot of its meaning, these days. It’s bandied around everywhere from click-bait news stories to adverts for sofa sales. Its real meaning however is to be attached to the career of Chausson. Hers is a career that ends ‘greatest rider ever’ debates and sits large atop the sport of mountain biking.
On this International Women’s Day, take a few minutes to copy and paste Anne-Caroline Chausson into YouTube and enjoy bike riding at its very fastest. It’s worth it, trust us.
Click the player below to watch a profile of Anne-Caroline.
Follow Anne-Caroline on Instagram here.
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