The downhill racing world had to say "Au Revoir" to another legend at the end of this season, and this time it was the "always smiling", pink obsessed, super pinned, Sabrina Jonnier bidding us farewell and stepping away from being a professional downhill racer. Never an easy decision to make when you're so passionate about something, but Sabrina has made the decision and is looking forward to many new adventures and exciting new ventures. Sabrina is a racer at heart, and will always succeed at whatever she decides to pursue. Bon courage my friend, I look forward to racing enduros and doing yoga with you!
1) How long have you been racing bikes for? I started racing BMX at 6 years old, so I have been racing for 25 years!
2) What are your plans now that you have decided to retire from World Cup DH racing? Any babies in the future? Enduro racing? I'm not really sure what I want to do right now. I still want to ride bikes for sure! I'm planning on racing some enduros next year, but I haven't work on a schedule yet. And I'm tempted with babies too. I might wait for you Anka so we can have babies same age, and they will ride and race bikes together!
3) What are some of your other interests besides ripping on a bike? I hear you're quite the scrapbook queen? I like any art stuff, one of my best friends is the best art teacher ever and she inspires me a lot. I love pictures, paints, papers, collage... so yes I do a bit of scrapbook, some painting, knitting. And I love reading; after my crash in South Africa, I had to stay in bed for a full month to fix the broken bones. I pretty much read a book a day!
4) You have managed to keep your feminine side during all these years of biking in such a male dominant sport, how have you managed to do this? Just by being myself; riding bikes doesn't mean we have to turn into guys. I like to wear pretty shoes, handbags, skirts and dresses!
5) What is it with your obsession with all things pink? I do love pink, it's a colour that makes me happy! And yes I have the habit to get pretty much everything pink; I think my pink car is cool, it matches my pink bike! I like to come back from travelling and walk into my pink little home!
6) Do you think we'll be able to get some yoga lessons from you in the future? After achieving my dreams while racing bikes, my next one is to have my own yoga studio. So I will let life guide me once again and see when it will happen.
7) What and where was your most memorable win or experience? All the victories have been memorable and an experience as well.
8) What was the scariest thing that happened to you during your career and how did you overcome that? Lacerating my liver in 2004 in Whistler. I had seven blood transfusions and stayed in hospital for three weeks before I was able to fly back home. I had to stay off any bikes for six months and I nearly died for 30 seconds because one of the hospital couldn't find my blood type! Scary stuff but I had amazing friends who stayed with me; an awesome family back home. Thanks everybody once again!
9) Do you have any words of advice or wisdom for the younger, new generation of women getting into the sport of DH racing? Have fun, enjoy each moment on the bikes; go step by step!
10) I know you love New Zealand, will you be visiting us any time soon for some riding? I love New Zealand and I definitly want to come back with my enduro bike for some good riding with my New Zealand friends!
11) Any last words or mottos that you try to live by? Be yourself : Love, Live, Laugh
Thanks for the great pics Sven Martin!