GB Snowsport recently sat down with the Solitude 2019 SBX Vice-World Champion from Great Britain, Charlotte Bankes, to talk about snowboard cross, mental preparations before the race and the great attributes of her sport.
The 25-year-old athlete with a dual citizenship used to ride for the French team before, but ever since the season 2018/19 she has been representing Great Britain.
Bankes so far started in 36 World Cup competitions, made it onto the podium six times and took home three victories. Besides her individual World Championship silver medal, she also took home a World Championship silver medal in the SBX team competition of Sierra Nevada 2017, together with then French team mate Manon Petit-Lenoir.
Currently, the British athlete is preparing for the upcoming season and already took in some training days on snow in Saas-Fee, as the season is getting closer.
Let’s take a look on what she had to say in her latest interview:
What do you love about your discipline?
Snowboard cross is a really fun discipline, I think that what I really enjoy is the fact that it’s a combination of all the aspects of snowboarding and demands that you work on all terrain which really diversifies the training. I also really love the head to head racing, it’s a real adrenaline boost and you always have to be alert and adapt to what the other riders are doing around you.
What do you think is the most important mental and physical attribute for your discipline?
In boardercross you need to be able to adapt and let the instinct take over. Many different types of riders do well so there isn’t a specific attribute needed but it’s important to never give up and persevere. You also need to have power in your legs to generate speed from all the features and have a good feeling on the snow to let the board glide and accelerate.
Who inspires you from inside or outside the sport?
When I was growing up, I really looked up to both my brothers and tried to keep up with them. This was a big challenge as they’re both older than me but has really helped to push me and help me get to where I am now.
In 2006, with our local club we got to go and see the Olympic race to support Pierre Vaultier. He was a part of the club and went on a couple of years later to win several Crystal Globes, Olympic Gold medals and World Championship Gold. That was inspiring for me.
How do you get in the zone before a big event?
I concentrate on the course and try and visualize the whole race track. I think about my strong sections and where I can make a move to overtake.
What is your favourite moment on snow?
I think the most rewarding moment on snow is when you’ve managed to overcome a challenging track and you actually feel comfortable on it. Then racing it with other riders is just really enjoyable and you can push harder to try and generate speed all the way down the track.
Outside of snowboard cross, my most enjoyable times on the snow are powder days in between the trees where you can just lap, and get fresh tracks every time getting that feeling of just floating on the snow.
What would you say to someone wanting to get into your discipline?
It’s a really fun sport, you should come and have a try for sure. The great thing about it is that it’s a mix of all aspect of snowboarding, you need to be a good all-round snowboarder and comfortable on all terrains. Then it’s all about adapting top the terrain and playing with it to generate speed.
In our sport there is a wide range of different types of riders and this makes it fun and also entertaining to watch as each rider as their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also really easy to understand for spectators and easy as riders to know where we stand. You can’t afford to make a mistake when you’ve got 3 riders around which is even harder.
Courtesy of GB Snowsport