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10 Jan 2018

“I love the mental challenge of such a long race”

Sonya Looney became the 24 Hours world champion and is an expert in long distance races. She returns to Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano  aiming to fight for the final victory.

The American comes back to Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano after debuting in 2015 and finishing in fourth place with Kate Aardal. I loved it! I had never been to that part of Spain and I loved the rocky trails and desert-like landscape. Looney outstands in mountain biking for her sport’s educational facet, supported by her results, clearly focused on endurance racing.

The eighth edition of the Andalusian race will be the second of individual format and Looney is favoured with this change. “I believe the individual races favour me because the mental strength and motivation are two of my strengths”, assures Sonya before adding: Besides being long, Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano, is also very technical, which suits me best!.

The Mountain Biker born in Alburquerque and who lives in Kelowna (Canada), grows with routes like Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano which remind her of her home area: “I had lots of fun descending as fast as possible although Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano also has many hard climbs, so make sure you do a lot of climbing for training!, explains Looney, two months before the 2018 edition.

Besides racing, Sonya, has another mission since yeara ago. “My goal is to create content and tell stories that will inspire people to live a better life. I put a lot of energy into my podcast, writing for several magazines, and I put a lot of effort into my social media and YouTube channels. Sometimes it means I train less, but I honestly feel the most fulfilled when I know that I can make a difference in our world of cycling and beyond. Bike racing is about so much more than going fast! It's about learning something more about ourselves, how to overcome challenges and believe in ourselves, explains Sonya Looney.

Looney started mountain biking at University and since then has build a career in the sport: “What I have achieved is through hard work and believing in myself. You have to trust in yourself and commit. I work seven days a week for all of my projects and it takes commitment to make things happen. It's also important to talk about how I view setbacks, Im not always successful. Of course, setbacks shake my confidence and upset me but it's what you do after a bump in the road that matters; and that is getting back up and trying again.  

Looney has more advice for all riders of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano: Remember to look in front, never down, on the technical sections, leave your body relaxed and let the suspensions to work… enjoy the Spanish culture and take home olive oil form the area, it’s the best decision you can make!”, says goodbye Sonya while laughing.

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