A former national track cyclist in Australia who got the bug for mountain bike riding after a move to the UK as a teenager, Laura eventually found her way to Squamish in search of great riding, where she stayed and made waves.
For someone so laid back, 7mesh Ambassador Laura Battista has a lot going on. A former national track cyclist in Australia who got the bug for mountain bike riding after a move to the UK as a teenager, Laura eventually found her way to Squamish in search of great riding, where she stayed and made waves. She proceeded to notch up a win at the 2018 Trans BC, a second at the 2019 Andes Pacifico in Chile, and a credible 19th overall in the 2019 EWS as a Juliana SRAM rider. Away from the racing circuit, Laura's day job as a vet technician keeps her busy, as does her work as a volunteer firefighter in Squamish, but she still finds time to help show youth mountain bikers the ropes with her friends at Hilltop MTB and lend a hand when a local trail needs some repair work.
7mesh watchers may remember Laura from our pre-pandemic Oaxaca photoshoot, where the camera caught her sending it on some seriously tricky flows in one of Mexico's finest mountain bike destinations. But before there was big air, how did she get so good? "The UK showed me the way with mountain biking, that's for sure," Laura told us over the phone during a recent catchup. "I had a great group of ladies I rode with over in the Peak District [close to Sheffield in the north of the UK - Ed.] and started racing just to meet people. But still, it was a huge leap when I got to Squamish and saw how radical the riding is here."
After finding her feet with the help of female riders such as 7mesh ambassador Angie McKirdy, Jo Peters and Ruby Morrissey, Laura soon got up to speed with the Squamish slabs. "I transitioned pretty well because I used to love slow technical trails where I could ride in control at my own pace," she explained. "I didn't really go in for fast flowy, jumpy trails and things like that. But a few years ago, I decided I'd like to try getting faster to make it more of a challenge and ended up enjoying going full gas a bit."
Outside of Squamish, Laura likes to spend time bikepacking in BC's Chilcotin mountains, or the 'Kootenays', a region in the Canadian Rockies that stretches to the Alberta border in the east. In other words, she's spoiled for choice. "We're so lucky to have so much great and varied riding, right here in BC," she said.
A common refrain amongst riders during the pandemic has been a desire to get back to riding with others, and Laura is no different. "I'm really looking forward to hanging with the Juliana girls again. Last year was my first year as part of the Juliana SRAM crew, and I miss being part of a team, so I can't wait to get back to connecting again."
Whether she's riding in British Columbia or crossing the Chilean Andes, Laura relies on 7mesh mountain bike staples such as the Glidepath short, Desperado Henley, Foundation shorts and the Copilot jacket - Outside magazine’s 2021 Summer Buyer's Guide pick for best women's cycling kit.