There is no doubt about it Donna Fox – Sherco was the real sly fox of last year’s FIM Women’s Trial World Championship, with the now thirty-one-year-old producing the best performance of her long career as she surprisingly placed third overall in the final rankings of 2015. Whilst many predicted that the title would be her more recognised compatriots Emma Bristow – Sherco – the eventual champion and runner up Rebekah Cook – TRS few foresaw that Fox would complete an historic all British top three.
With her confidence boosted following her amazing exploits last season, that included a career best second spot at the final round in Spain behind Bristow, Fox will go into the 2016 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship knowing that she now has both the ability and experience to once again feature amongst the higher order in this her eleventh season as part of the Women’s tour.
Donna first joined the series back in 2002 when she secured sixth spot in the general standings at her first attempt. Despite continuing to be a part of the championship over the following years Fox had to wait until 2006 before she improved on her debut ranking. Fifth overall in 2006, Donna then went one place better the next two seasons – 2007 and 2008 – before a change in circumstances saw her absent from the series until she returned to the paddock on a part time basis in 2011 and 2012 when she ranked seventh and sixth respectively.
2015 was meant to be Fox’s last World Championship campaign, based more on signing off with a smile on her face than in search of any final glory as she explains. “Something inside me said that I needed one final season as part of the series so I went to the opening round just looking to enjoy myself. I think it helped that I was relaxed, less nervous than previous years and also I was a bit more grown up.”
“My target was top ten, top five would have been amazing and top three was simply a dream. It almost seemed too good to believe, but the results don’t lie and are there for everyone to see for years to come. Proud doesn’t really sum up just how I felt as it was even better than that.”
“Obviously I will be under a bit of pressure this season, but not really as I never planned to ride in 2016.
However, with Britain having a home round for the first time in the history of the series I decided it was too good a reason not to give it one last shot. I am not going to put myself under pressure, as this will definitely be my last season whatever happens I want to enjoy it.”
The ever under stated Fox ended by saying. “Top ten is my goal again, so let’s see what happens!”
Fox has represented Great Britain on nine occasions at the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations and has three winners’ gold medals to show for her efforts. Later this year Donna will play her part at the real Olympics in Rio, Brazil as she acts as lead rider in the cross-country mountain bike races, repeating the role she first took up at the games in London four years ago.
2016 is a special year for females who ride bikes with it being ten years since the FIM Women in Motorcycling Commission was first formed. Women’s Trial has always been an important part of this project and was the first of the FIM Women’s World Championships to be realised and will therefore feature strongly in the celebration plans that will mark this significant anniversary.
This year will see the 2016 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship being contested over three separate events with the series opening in Great Britain on 16/17th July before then resuming for the second encounter in Italy on 3rd/4th September. The last round will take place in France on 9th September on the same weekend as the FIM Trial des Nations / FIM Women’s Trial des Nations. The final event in the French mountains will include some extra activities, details of which will be confirmed in due course, which will mark the ten-year anniversary inside the Women’s Trial community.
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Donna Fox - Key Facts
2015 - Women's World number three
10 x Seasons as part of Women's series
24 x Women's Trial Grand Prix events
3 x Podium finisher
9 x FIM Women's Trial des Nations (WTDN) team member
3 x Winning team member - Great Britain WTDN