Jack Reading’s One Vision

Gap year in Whistler

As an elite world cup downhill competitor, who is also the head honcho of One Vision Global Racing, and locum optometrist, it’s fair to say that Jack Reading is a master multi-tasker. With a new junior rider, Dan Slack, joining the team’s roster for 2020, hopes were high for the upcoming season. As the current health crisis grips the world, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see One Vision Global Racing race between the tapes, but in the meantime, we catch up with Jack to see how training and preparation are going during these challenging times.

Jack Reading during downhill race competition skipping the roots.
Small beer roots

With the unwavering support of his father and manager, Phil Reading, Jack’s journey to racing downhill at the highest level didn’t get rolling until his later teen years. Using mountain biking as a secondary hobby to football, Jack began to find his competitive edge at the age of 17 when he started entering downhill races in the Junior category. The following year, in 2007, Jack moved up to Seniors where he finished the year in 4th place. Then before heading to university to study optometry, Jack took a gap year and went out to Whistler for both snow and bike fun. While over there, Reading entered a few BC/Canada Cup events and was blown away to take the win in most races. What Jack didn’t realise was that winning these events earnt him UCI points, although Jack admits to being totally naive to it all at the time.

One Vision Global Racing...

Upon returning to the UK, Jack raced the final round of Nationals at Innerleithen. Despite crashing, Jack came first in the expert category, which would have been 5th place had he been in elites. Jack shares, “I knew I was good and that I was fast, but I needed to brush up on bike skills and technicality. From then on, I began to focus on learning to race. Then from there, I went from strength to strength.” While studying at university, Jack raced as a privateer, “I learnt loads and met so many people and brands during that season. That was when I raced my first UCI world cup as well, that was in Maribor in 2010.” After spending a year on a Swiss team, Jack set out to create One Vision Global Racing in 2015. After six years in operation, Jack proudly recalls, “We’ve had a team rider race in every world cup event, with the exception of Leogang in 2019.”

Jack Reading racing downhill MTB focusing on the next turn.
Eyes on the apex

“It can be difficult to juggle it all, especially when preparing for a race. It’s hard when you’re so busy. However, I reduce my optometry hours in the summer to focus on racing and then in the winter, I pick up a few more hours”, explains Jack. Before the UK implemented stay-home measures, Jack and his father worked tirelessly on converting a campervan for the 2020 season. After 5-months of intense training and camper-construction, they headed out to Portugal for the first round of the UCI Downhill World Cup. “We arrived in Northern Spain, on our way to Portugal, and then found out the race had been cancelled! We spent a few days out there riding the new race rigs until we were told to go home.”

... hunger for speed, gnar and competition...

At home in the UK, Jack feels like he’s having a taste of what a professional athlete’s lifestyle is like, “It’s nice to have a bit of a break from it all, and having a taste of the pro lifestyle has been great; I just train, eat, relax, sleep.” However, the hunger for speed, gnar and competition still burns, especially when your race bike is a new Commencal Supreme DH 29”, like Jack’s. Equipped with supporting brands such as Suntour Suspension and Halo Wheels, Jack’s relationship with Schwalbe tires began over a decade ago. As a self-proclaimed aggressive charger on the bike, Jack prefers Magic Marys for dry conditions and Dirty Dans for the wet. “We go through around 50 tires a season, but we make sure they’re used until bald or destroyed. Schwalbe’s support is absolutely invaluable to me and the team, there’s nothing quite like the feel of fresh tires.”

Jack Reading races downhill MTB and kicks up the dust with his Schwalbe Dirty Dan mud tyres!
Dusty Dans

Give Jack Reading a follow on Instagram so you can see what he’s up to, how the team are progressing and all the training efforts being made until racing picks up again.

Words: Jess Strange - Velo Me | Images: Constantin Fiene/WHYEX Productions