Translating that BMX skill to the mountains

You know the usual phrases that grown men spit out when they are afraid of being beaten by a girl? Well Dani Beecroft is the girl they are referring to. She has that all out speed and fearlessness that make competitors tremble and buckle at the knees, a true racer. Having already shown her prowess on the National stage and briefly on the International stage, she has shown she is not a rider to be trifled with. So we caught up with her for a chat.

Full Name  Danielle Beecroft
Age  17
Sponsors  Jet Black , Pivot , Adidas , Troy Lee Designs , BSC & Boss fitness

So you started off in bmx racing. How long did you do that for and what brought about the change to mountain bikes?
I started BMX racing when I was 8 and raced till I was about 12. Then one day Brett Barnes said that my riding style was suited toward downhilling. He lent me his Iron Horse ‘Sunday’ to ride down at Thredbo and it just went from there.

Do you think racing BMX in your youth has given you a different perspective on racing mountain bikes?
Racing bmx has definitely improved my skills on a mountain bike. Till this very day I still go down to the bmx track on my 4x bike and practice my pumping and cornering skills.

What was your first real mountain bike?
My first real mountain bike was a iron horse sunday which was past down to me from Joanne Fox. It was a amazing bike a definite difference to the fully rigid BMX’s I had been riding.

Dani entering a rock garden

What riders do you look up to for inspiration?
Riders like Rachel Atherton and Tracey Hannah , ever since I’ve started racing I have always looked up to them and their riding styles.

What is your favourite track to ride in Australia?
I love the hard stuff so the steeper and the gnarlier the track the more I like it , so it would be between Mt Buller and Thredbo.

You were first picked up by craftworx how did that association come about?
When I won the Australian title back in 2011 Craftworx offered me a spot on their team and at the time I was thrilled.

Your very skilled at 4x, what do you think of the current state of 4x in Australia? Is this part of the reason why you have turned solely to Downhill now?
It’s such a shame to see how 4x has died out throughout the year, it’s very disappointing to see.  I was really looking forward to racing the world cup rounds this year against tougher competitors, it would have been a real learning experience. On the other hand I have always had a bigger passion for racing Downhill and as 4x is out of the picture, I have set my sights much more on the downhill this year and not so much 4x which is a little disappointing.

Dani looks ahead as she slams a berm

In mid 2011 you headed over to America and Canada, you podiumed at Crankworx against some of the stars of our sport. Can you tell us what led you over there and the a little of your experiences?
Crankworx was the most amazing experience. I met some amazing people such as Leigh Donovan , Melissa Buhl , Kill Kintner and Rachel Atherton who all gave me advice and helped me out so much. I was ecstatic to not only compete against them but to also be on the podium in front and alongside them. I pulled a third behind Jill Kintner and Melissa Buhl and I was one second in front of Rachel Atherton. Racing over in the US and Canada with the big girls taught me so much and I’m more than looking forward to the world cups this year.

You came away with a few new sponsors didn’t you?
Yeah I’am now very happy to be apart of the Troy Lee Designs team, thanks to Leigh Donovan and Craig Glaspell aka stikman. They have been amazing with all there support. Thanks Troy Lee Designs.

Coming into the 2011/12 national season you were without a major bike sponsor how did you come to be hooked up with Pivot?
Jet Black heard that I was without a bike sponsor and offered me a Pivot Phoenix to ride and it has just gone on from there. I switched from the green decals to the orange on black decal set and with all the components its just a dream ride. Throughout the season it has been pretty much faultless love it.

Dani makes use of a small kicker to whip it out

Walking away with the series overall and the Australian Championships, you must be very happy?
To be placing second behind Tracey Hannah majority of the time throughout the season. I’d say yeah I am very happy. I trained hard in the lead up to races and always walked every track, picked and followed my lines, tried to keep clam in race runs and it paid off. So now I just have to keep it up for the world cups this year.

You operate on a level above others in U19’s and we quite often see you posting times in elites that would have you on the podium alongside names such as Tracey Hannah. Do you see Tracey as a rival even though you are not in the same category?
I’ve never had a rivalry with Tracey she is a bit more of a mentor to me and she is someone I’ve always looked up to in racing. She has always asked me to do runs with her, show me lines she has been a big help in making me the rider I am today.

You keep some contact with Tracey Hannah, how has this helped your riding?
The first time I ever rode a Downhill bike was at a training clinic with Tracey at Thredbo. It was a 2 day clinic with her and she taught me pretty much how to ride a downhill bike and since then I have always looked up to her for inspiration.


Training must be a priority on your daily schedule, so what does a general training session incorporate for you?
Everyday of the week I am doing some form of  training ,
-Monday and Wednesday are bootcamp days which work mostly on my cardio.
-Tuesday and Friday I do personal training with Boss Fitness focusing on my strength work to improve my overall feel on the bike.
-Thursday tends to be my break day so I head out on a light cross country ride or road ride. Chill out a bit.
-Saturday and Sunday ride days, some Downhill runs where ever the trails flow.

You’re heading overseas once more this year, tell us a little of those plans. What are your goals whilst your over there?
I’m heading overseas in May to do some racing at a few US rounds and two rounds of the World Cup series Mont St Anne and Windham. My goals are to get first place in the World Cups, I’m aiming high but you have to succeed.

Do you have any advice for any women looking to come into downhill?
Try your hardest and never give up, train hard like you want to win that race and follow your dreams.

Thanks for your time. Anyone you would like to thank?
Big Thanks to  JetBlack , Pivot, Troy Lee Designs , Bsc , Addidas , Boss Fitness and my Dad

You can find out everything on Dani’s Pivot Phoenix here : http://theroostmag.com.au/bike-check-dani-beecrofts-pivot-phoenix

Questions and Photos by : Robert Conroy

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