2024 Rides & Races

Traka - April / Girona
Dirty Reiver - April / Keilder Forest
London Dirt - London
The Gralloch - May / Scotland
Rapha Pennine Rally - May / June Edinburgh to Manchester
Gritfest - June

PETRA WILTSHIRE

2023 Competitions included -
UCI Gravel World Championships - Veneto Italy October 2023
King’s Cup, Masters Gravel Race - September 2023
RaidersGravel, 3-day Gravel Stage Race - August 2023
TheGralloch, UCI Gravel World Series - May 2023 – 3rd place & Qualified for World Championships
Dirty Reiver - April 2023 – 130km in 6 hrs 29 mins
Hatta 6 Hour Endurance MTB Race Dubai - March 2023 – 1st place
UAE Gravel Series - February 2023 – 1st place
UAE MTB Series - January 2023 – 1st place

March 2023
Former Pro & World Champion mountain bike racer Petra went out to UAE at the end of last year to help develop mountain biking in a country already mad on road cycling. I speak to her from Abu Dhabi “a hotbed of cycling” thanks to a decent level of investment from the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, himself a keen cyclist. “There’s a performance centre, 100s of kilometres of smooth roads, plus mountain bike trails and a velodrome on the cards. They are looking to become a key destination for pro cyclists and ultimately a world centre for cycling,” she tells me.

Petra grew up in an ultra-sporty and competitive family; her Dad was a motor racing driver and her mum a professional horse rider. “Even mowing the lawn became a race in our house.” She was a hyperactive child eager to try her hand at any sport but settled on hockey playing junior and then national league.

Rehab for a knee injury got her on a bike and she took to it straight away. “I loved it from the off. I played with cars and horses on the farm at home, so I was always chasing speed.” She started racing MTB downhill and in a very short time she was winning races. At one race Olympic hockey goalkeeper Ian Taylor, now retired and working for Giant Bikes, saw her and offered her sponsorship which was the start of her professional career. This led to numerous National, European and International downhill mountain bike racing wins including three UCI Downhill MTB Masters World Champion jerseys.

“I just love racing,” she says. “I love being in an environment with all these people doing the same thing and I always want to push hard for myself.” It was this love of racing (and maybe her fancy new Reilly Fusion) that led her to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships happening this August in Glasgow.

“I didn’t expect to qualify,” she says. “I had no idea. I got into a fast group and then I cracked on and caught up another group and then caught up another group. I then got up with the Danish team and hooked up with them and it wasn’t until I got to the finish line I thought ‘bloody hell that was a lot better than I thought.’ The frustrating thing is that I could have gone faster. After the race we decided to go to the bar and we sat in the sun with a load of beers as we weren’t expecting medals and all of a sudden I’m being called up to the podium.” Together with her qualifying time she got the silver medal. “I’m hoping to ride myself into some sort of fitness in time for Glasgow. I will do some high-end fast stuff before August,” she says. “At the moment, I am just getting the mileage in. Mileage doesn’t scare me; I can do the distances; it’s just riding the distance fast! I’m not even built to ride on the road. I’m built like a brick house and I’m definitely not a roadie so I’ll just go as fast as I can come August,” she muses.

Petra socials  Insta Twitter / Facebook

  • THE GRALLOCH 2024 / UCI GRAVEL WORLD SERIES

    May 2024
    Placed 6th & qualified for Ui Gravel World Champoionships in Belgium.

    Distance - 110km
    Official time - 05:12:05
    Cat 55-59

    "The Gralloch was brutal but the new Reflex is something special, fast stable and comfortable. She is like a 🚀 ship to ride."

  • DIRTY REIVER

    April 2024
    Part of Reilly x POC 'Safety in Numbers' crew.
    For this hugely popular gravel event Reilly x POC created a community of like-minded individuals happy to help other cyclists during the ride.

  • KINGS CUP GRAVEL

    September 2023
    "Racing is always a bit of a lottery. Sometimes, despite the hard effort and the amazing support with the best bike and equipment it does not effect the outcome."

    Photo @creative_nomadz

  • UCI GRAN FONDO WORLD CHAMPS

    Glasgow August 2023
    "It was an amazing experience to race in front of home supporters in GB jersey again. Something I last did 10 years ago on a DH bike in a Brazilian rainforest! Needless to say the racer came out in me and I managed to ride half the race in the lead group. A lack of experience and bad luck meant I got held up from a crash and lost contact but I had a thoroughly good day out on the bike in the Scottish sunshine."

  • THE GRALLOCH / UCI GRAVEL WORLD SERIES

    Placed 3rd & qualified for UCI Gravel World Championships in Veneto Italy.

    Distance - 110km
    Official time - 04:50:53
    Cat 50-54

  • DIRTY REIVER

    Distance 130k
    Official Time 06.29.11
    Cat 50-59

    "I was 99% of the time either cold, wet or coated in mud, also suffering from zero sleep

    Despite this I absolutely loved riding this amazing bike and spending time in the mud with other crazies."