Jess Stone previously played football for Crewe Alexandra Football club in 2007 who at the time, were close to promoting into the Premiership league. She was selected to be on Standby for England U19’s and U23’s July 2007 at 16 years of age but at this stage, she had begun mountain biking. Trying to find time to do both was almost impossible and the decision to leave football to do mountain biking was a tough decision but she stuck with it, had the opportunities to ride at some amazing places, meet some amazing people and has never looked back since...
A month later after getting her first DH bike in Sep 2007, Jess competed in her first ever mountain bike race – the Penarth Downtown Urban race where she finished in 9th place /12. After this, she went on a coaching weekend with Helen Gaskell who persuaded her to do more races. In 2008, Jess went on to win the Hamsterley Winter Series and get a place on the Trek Extreme Medics team onboard a Session 10 and won the Pearce Cycles Series, wins at other events in her category, compete in her first World Cup in Austria where she came 23rd/35 and became the Junior English and Junior National Champion.
(National Championships 2008, Rhys-Y-Felin)
Jess’s first year of racing was her last year in Junior and so when it came to move up categories, Jess went straight into the Elite field, racing alongside the best female mountain bikers in the world. The 2009 season saw Jess win the Maxxis Cup International Series and became 19th overall in the World Cup with consistent top 20 results onboard a 2Stage for the 2Stage Factory Team.
(Maxxis Cup International Final Round, Port Aine 2009)
(La Bresse World Cup RD2, 2009. Qualified 10th, Finished 17th)
(Trek Gravity Girls Trip to Tenerife 2010)
2010 was a big year for Jess; the year started with a University Boxing Novice Championship title (and gained Worcester University Female Sports Performer of the year). Jess signed for Trek Gravity Girls and rode her Session 88 to win the Elite Downhill National Championships title and gained consistent top 15 results in the World Cup Series with her best result being 13th.
(Urban Downhill Race, Sardinia - Italy 2010)
(British National Downhill Championships 2010)
Name: Jess ‘The Rolling Stone’ Stone
What Do You Do Besides Biking? Boxing, pool, snowboarding, singing, writing songs, playing on my piano, football, pantomines, running.
Years of riding: 3 years.
How did you get into the sport? My PE teacher when I was at school told our class stories about her riding and the races etc. She used to be a World Cup rider. I decided to give it a try! I had no idea what downhill biking actually involved. I saved 8 months solid for my first bike and went to Bringewood on my birthday in 2007. What a great day; I was hooked from then. I previously played football as a goal keeper and was on standy for England but I decided that mountain biking was the path I was to take.
Favourite Track: Hopton, Val Di Sole, Mynddr Du
Favorite Food: Roast Beef Dinner, Dark Fruits Crumble
Favourite Drink: Water (Or if i'm out, Dry martini and Lemonade!)
Goals for 2011: Continue to gain experience, top 10 World Cups, get selected for World Champs, defend my Nationals title. My dream is to represent Great Britain - the day I wear that GB Jersey will be my proudest moment ever. I'm doing my best to get there.
Ultimate Goals: I'd like to get as far as I can in the sport and it would be wicked to see what happens.
Favourite Riders: Sam Hill, Greg Minnar, Tracy Moseley
Any downsides to being an upcoming World Cup rider: There are no real obvious downsides to me. At 19 years of age, I’m travelling all over the world competing with the best mountain bike riders in the world. Last year I honestly dreamt of being in this position and to actually be here is amazing. I guess the only downsides could be all the travelling and time away from home and I had to work mega hard to do all my college coursework after practice and races, but the experience and opportunities that I am getting is so worth it.
Why did you choose to do Downhill and not Football: It's one of those things that just felt right to do. Don't get me wrong, it was the hardest decision i've ever had to make so far in my life especially for several reasons; I was so close to getting to the top in Football, people thought I had lost ambition and was giving up by not doing the football and it was something I knew I was good at. However, I believed I could be good at biking. I knew what I could do and nothing else mattered to me. The Downhill is just amazing, everything about it is incredible - the places it takes you and the people you meet and the buzz it gives you. I couldn't explain how much I love riding my bike, even if i'm tired I will just keep on rolling. I'm definately here now for the long run, whatever happens I will always be riding a bike...