Zoe Cuthbert – Flying Racoon on a bike

With elite rock climbers for parents, growing up in an outdoor sporty family meant holidays were spent doing sporting activities for Zoe Cuthbert. With her dad, an adventure racer and ultra-distance runner, in 2020 Zoe had plans to ride the Tour Divide from Banff, Canada to the Mexico border. Cancelled due to Covid, they bike packed through Alice Springs instead, rode from Canberra to Tasmania and recently bike packed through Laos. “Growing up in nature, we were always visiting super cool places,” Zoe tells me.

Published Jan 2024 Words Mandy Lamont Photos Piper Albrecht

Getting into mountain biking

Coming from a sporty family, Zoe did her first bike race when she was six. Her mum, just getting into mountain biking, entered Zoe into a kid’s race. “I think I came last and lost my chain, it was a disaster but I absolutely loved it and I made her enter me into all the next races,” Zoe tells me. From there they both kept racing and when Zoe was in Mont Sainte-Anne for the 2019 World Champs as a junior, her mum was there with her racing in Masters.

Zoe Cuthbert riding enduro in Loudenvielle

As a kid, Zoe raced Nationals and World Champs as soon as she was old enough. Not being able to travel throughout Covid, as soon as she could get to Europe, she was back to race the 2022 World Cups. “I didn’t race all the world cups. so it wasn’t nearly as hectic as this year.”

Zoe Cuthbert on course Loudenvielle

Racing World Cups

Going into the World Cup season this year racing in both Enduro and Cross Country while living in a van, Zoe didn’t have any expectations, but after doing well in the first few races her expectations lifted. Competing in 20 World Cups alone this year, “while that was super cool, it was probably a little bit too much racing.” Zoe admits. “I think living in a van caught up to me and the results went down, but in terms of the season as a whole, I learnt so much.”

Zoe Cuthbert in Leongang racing world cup cross country photo piper albrecht

Riding as a privateer, Zoe was able to get some support at World Cups from Maxxis and Shimano. “If they have time and resources, they’ll help privateers. They were really good, but it was only at races and not a guarantee. And they could only help you with their specific thing, Maxxis could give me tyres and Shimano could fix Shimano parts, and there were times when they couldn’t help because they were helping other people.”

Elated Zoe Cuthbert after racing cross country mtb in Europe

Van life

“Van life was a super fun experience, in terms of as a way to travel, super awesome, seeing all these great places, but not great for trying to optimize elite performance, with a lot more to think about and a lot of stress. There is a lot more that can go wrong, but I got away with everything. I definitely had a lot of issues that seemed very major at the time. But I never broke my bike to a point where I couldn’t ride it and the van never actually broke down, so I see it as a success.”

Zoe Cuthbert Europe Van Life Loudenvielle

What doesn't she do?

A talented multi-faceted rider, Zoe has been racing Enduro, Cross Country, competed in the Cannonball downhill at Thredbo, and is the current Australian pump track champion. Going forward Zoe is focusing her efforts into cross country.

National Pump track champion Zoe Cuthbert riding the pump track at Thredbo Cannonball

Outside of riding, Zoe works as a trail builder and a graphic designer. She also has her own clothing brand Rapt Apparel. As a designer and mountain biker, she thought she had a good combination of skills to start an outdoor clothing company. Learning a lot along the way, Rapt aims to create multifunctional, sustainable, practical, and durable clothing with a casual streetwear aesthetic. Made from a mixture of organic cotton and recycled materials, they’re ethically and sustainably produced with Zoe doing the embroidery herself.

Zoe Cuthbert riding through a forest in Pit Viper gear

RAPT Apparel

Zoe’s main sponsor on her jersey is RAPT apparel, she also rides for TREK, Shimano, Maxxis, Pit Viper and Black Sheep. With not much downtime this Australian Summer, Zoe won’t have much time for trail building, but along with her graphic design work and her brand, she’s hoping to add some paid sponsors and do it all again next year, this time as an Elite. Good luck Zoe.

Zoe Cuthbert riding at Maydena

Zoe has just been signed by Team 31. Check out their website here

Check out Zoe’s clothing label Rapt Apparel here

You might also be interested in reading about Mandy Davis, DHaRCO here

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