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I was recently asked “what do you think the sport of mountain biking needs right now?” and my answer was “more women!”. True, women mountain bikers have been on the up and up for the last few years and there’s a number of brands like Juliana, Liv, and SHREDLY (just to name a few) that have been putting the spotlight on female riders, but I think there’s still plenty of room for more women in the mountain bike scene. Don’t you agree?
So if you’re thinking about taking up mountain biking and want some female inspiration (or you’re already a lady shredder but want to fill your IG feed with female badassery), then here are a handful of female mountain bikers that you should give a follow to right now. These ladies are the real deal and their Instagram accounts are peppered with photos and stories that remind me of why this sport is so awesome. Go check them out!
Downhill Female Mountain bikers
1. Rachel Atherton
Rachel Atherton may just be the most well-known female mountain biker of all time. She’s a 6x Downhill champion, has 39 (and counting) world cup wins, and is a 6x World Cup overall winner. She also just had a baby!
Rachel has been injured the past few years, but I have a feeling she’s not quite done with her career. She also comes from a family of elite racers including her brother Gee Atherton who has his fair share of downhill World Cup wins as well.
2. Tahnée Seagrave
Tahnée Seagrave is hot on Rachel Atherton’s heels. She’s also from Wales, and I love how her feed is so varied. She shows all aspects of her life, not just the bike highlights. Tahnee is one of my favorite riders and she genuinely seems like an awesome person!
3. Vali Holl
Vali Holl is an Austrian downhill racer who is just entering the realm of Elite World Cup racing. In 2021, her first year as an elite racer, she’s already won a race and she’s in 3rd place overall (at the time of writing this). Needless to say, she’s a pretty badass female mountain biker.
Her IG feed is full of inspiration – bike and not – so go check her out and be sure to keep an eye on her if you’re interested in the UCI World Cups. She’s just getting started!
4. Marine Cabriou
French rider Marine Cabriou is one of my favorite downhill racers. She’s been having a tough year in 2021, but personally, I think she’s one of the strongest riders and fastest riders (just watch her in this video!).
5. Veronique Sandler
Veronique Sandler likes to catch air and she’s quite good at it. She’s been featured in several mountain bike films and documentaries like Vision and Born From The Backcountry (which is awesome) and she’s taken part in both Red Bull Formation events, an annual series started in 2019 as a way to help more women progress in the sport of freeride mountain biking.
Veronique is originally from New Zealand but now calls Wales, UK home. She also posts lots of cute pictures of her dog!
6. Casey Brown
The first time I heard Casey Brown’s name was when I watched her and Cam McCaul launch themselves off of Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole. I saw the blond ponytail streaming behind her as she stuck the landing and raced – pretty much out of control – down the slope before ending in a spectacular crash. I was smitten ever since.
Casey Brown is a badass and arguably one of the most talented female riders in the freeride mountain biking scene – or at least the one with the most (lady) balls. She started as a downhill racer but is now mostly committed to freestyle and she’s aiming to level the playing field by becoming the first woman to compete in Red Bull’s Rampage
7. Hannah Bergemann
Hannah Bergeman is another badass female mountain biker who is kinda behind the scenes (although more people found out about her talents when she joined 6 other pro-women riders at the inaugural Red Bull Formation).
She’s based in Bellingham, Washington, and helps coach girl shredders through the Flying Squirrels and Radical Rippers programs when she’s not traveling around the world to ride. Her Instagram feed will definitely leave you feeling inspired – and maybe a little scared…
8. Brook Anderson
This girl is 15 years old. 15 years old! And she’s sending massive whips, no-hand suicides, and even doing backflips. Backflips! How cool is that?
It’s so awesome to see such a young female mountain biker doing these kinds of tricks that normally we only see guys attempting. I can’t wait to see what else she achieves in her very long career ahead of her.
9. Sam Soriano
Sam Soriano was catapulted into fame after she showcased her skills in the 2021 women’s Red Bull Formation and she’s on track to becoming one of the world’s best female mountain biking freerider’s.
She’s been riding bikes her whole life, starting off on BMX and then switching to downhill where she won a national championship when she was 17, but has since switched her focus over to freeriding. I think she’s going to do just fine.
Cross-Country Female Mountain Bikers
10. Jolanda Neff
Jolanda Neff is a 12x women’s Cross-Country World Cup winner and a 3x World Cup champion. She hails from Switzerland and I love, love, love her Instagram feed. It’s full of inspiring racing photos, muddy faces, fun videos, and incredible scenery (as you would expect from someone who lives in the Swiss Alps).
She also seems like a genuinely nice and friendly person and she’s stunningly beautiful!
11. Kate Courtney
Kate Courtney is a pro women’s cross-country racer and a top contender for World Cup wins (she’s won 2 already and is only 25). Her IG feed is full of bikes (obviously), but I also love that she shows other sides of her life like yoga, gym workouts, her dog, and lots of snacks.
Endurance female mountain bikers
12. Rebecca Rusch
While not solely a mountain biker, Rebecca Rusch (affectionately known as the Queen of Pain) is best known as an endurance athlete. She’s raced countless long-distance bike races, holds a number of elite titles and has been named as Outside Magazine’s Top 20 Female Athletes of the year.
She’s also an admirable human being whose off-bike work has included fire-fighting, activism, and coaching. I recently read her autobiography, Rusch To Glory, and it was one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed in a while.
In addition to pursuing her own goals, Rebecca also puts on several events a year like her Giddy Up Challenge, Private Idaho Event, and a mountain bike trip to Laos.
Related: The Best Adventure Cycling Books
Female mountain bikers doing cool stuff
13. Brooklyn Bell
You may have recently heard the name Brooklyn Bell after REI released their “Pedal Through” film that followed three Black women as they bikepacked their way along a section of the Oregon Timber Trail.
But Brooklyn Bell isn’t new to the bike scene. She’s a professional mountain biker, powder hound, and an incredible artist. Her feed is full of color, stories, inspiration, and you should definitely check her out!
14. Anita Naidu
Anita Naidu is a freeride mountain bike coach, a badass rider herself, and an anti-racism educator. Originally from Montreal, she now lives in Whistler and she’s the first pro-racer of East Indian descent.
One of the coolest things Anita does is hold clinics around the world where she coaches riders and helps them improve their skills in the morning sessions and teaches about racism and white privilege in the evening.
15. Katie Holden
Katie Holden is a driving force behind growing cycling – both for women and for diversity. She started riding bikes in high school and had a pretty successful stint as a racer, but has since turned her attention to leveling the playing field when it comes to cycling.
Katie is a co-founder of the women’s Red Bull Formation freeride event where she “hopes to elevate women’s freeriding and to clear the path for the next generation of female freeriders”. Her work also includes exploring ways mountain biking and cycling can connect places, people, and the global community.
Who did I miss? Who are your favorite female mountain bikers and why? I’d love to hear in the comments below!