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The ultimate bike playlist to get you into race mode

© Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Whether it’s for getting focused and race-ready, or pumped up to shred some trails, these bike athletes share the tunes that get them in the zone and ready to ride.
Written by Aoife GlassPublished on
Those precious hours and minutes before a race run are crucial. The body needs to be warmed up, stretched out, fed and fuelled properly, so that it’s in peak condition. The mind is equally important and one technique that’s used by athletes everywhere is listening to music. The right beat, the right bass, lyrics that resonate with the rider; all of these things can get the head in the perfect space where it’s calm, focussd and ready to perform.

The ultimate bike playlist

Who knows better than the world’s top bike racers and athletes the tunes that'll focus the mind and get the body raring to go, right? This epic playlist has been curated by athletes such as Richie Rude, Evie Richards, Tom Pidcock, Ellen Noble, Payson McElveen, Tomáš Slavík, Finn Illes, Kate Courtney, Henrique Avancini and Tiago Ferreira.
Better yet, if you’d like to know why Richie Rude has one song that he couldn’t start a race without, or the significance of Kate Courtney’s choice, read on.

Richie Rude (enduro mountain bike)

Richie Rude works out in Aspen, CO, USA on 31 July, 2017
Richie Rude always supplies fast, dramatic action when racing Enduro
When it comes to getting psyched up to race enduro, Rude has one aptly-titled song he swears by; Give It All by The Amity Affliction.
“This song has been a part of my pre-race playlist for a while now,” Rude explains. “I started listening to this song/artist years ago and it still hypes me up. From the title to the lyrics "I give it all and when I fall, I get up and give some more," it really gets me in the mindset to keep pushing even if it hurts, even if I fall. Because it’s been a part of my ritual for years now, it also brings back great memories from races and training sessions. Not to mention that my mechanic likes the artist too, so good times!“

Ellen Noble (cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain bike)

Ellen Noble performs during UCI XC World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26, 2019.
Ellen Noble with her game face on at the Nové Město World Cup
“The one song I always listen to before a race is Get Up 10 by Cardi B because it just really speaks to me," says Noble. "It's really intense, so it gets me ready to suffer just before a race effort!”

Payson McElveen (cross-country mountain bike)

Payson McElveen poses for a portrait in Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, USA on March 8, 2020.
Payson McElveen on home trails
“Any time I need to get extra in my head, I play Rejoice By Steve Angello“ explains US cross-country mountain bike star McElveen. Given he’s won the Mongolia Bike Challenge, frequently called the toughest bike race on the planet, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to musical-based motivation.

Evie Richards (cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain bike)

Pro cyclist Evie Richards
Pro cyclist Evie Richards
When it comes to cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain biking, Richards has been certainly been clocking up the podium positions, so it’s probably worth checking out the songs she uses to motivate herself.
Richards hasn’t just suggested one song, oh no! She’s suggested her own entire playlist.

Tomáš Slavík (4X mountain bike)

Tomas Slavik poses for a portrait at Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo 2020 in Bogotá, Colombia on February 22, 2020.
Tomáš Slavík
“Zayde Wolf’s Born Ready is my before-race song," reveals Slavík. "The reason is simple, just listen to the lyrics. It’s the best motivation song; it makes you push harder, wont let you give up because you were Born Ready.”

Finn Iles (downhill mountain bike)

Finn Iles seen during UCI Downhill World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on April 27, 2019
Finn Iles
Iles hasn’t explained why he’s chosen the classic Thunderstruck by ACDC as his pre-race song, but it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s heard those rhythmic drums and building vocals why it’s absolutely perfect for getting yourself into the right state of mind.

Kate Courtney (cross-country mountain bike)

Kate Courtney poses for a photo alongside her bike.
Kate Courtney
"I always listen to Macklemore before my races," Courtney reveals. "For some reason, I had a Macklemore song stuck in my head at my very first mountain bike race. I remember hearing the song in my head on one of the descents and feeling so in the flow. I was hooked on mountain biking from that very first race and have kept Macklemore on my pre-race playlists!”

Tiago Ferreira (cross-country mountain bike)

The Portugese cross-country mountain biker has already achieved great things
Tiago Ferreira focussed after a climb
“I always listen to this song before my races because of the rhythm, the energy and pace that the music transmits,” says Ferreira of his choice: Belong by Axwell.

Henrique Avancini (cross-country mountain bike)

Henrique Avancini seen before the XCC race at Rd 7 of the UCI XCO MTB World Cup 2018 in La Bresse, France on August 24, 2018.
Game face on for Henrique Avancini
“God's Not Dead by Newsboys is the song I always listen to before a race," says Avancini. "It always makes me reflect on what I have lived through sport, what has my path looked liked over the years and why I still need to keep moving forward.“

Tom Pidcock (cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain bike)

Tom Pidcock winning at the British National Cyclo-cross Championship 2020
Tom Pidcock retaining his national CX title
Multi-talented Pidcock excels in several disciplines of bike racing, so it seems only natural that his taste in music is as varied as his bike skills.
Like Evie Richards, this British rider and racer has provided us with his own playlist of empowering tunes, so download, saddle up and enjoy!