Want to be at Mountain biking in September ? What could be better than the advice of the 2018 world champion of the discipline in person: Mr. Amaury Pierron!
By Fabien Menguy
How to improve your downhill mountain biking?
What are the prerequisites for going down on a mountain bike?
I don’t think there are really any prerequisites to be had. You have to love thrills and adrenaline! These are, I think, those two things that kind of animate us all. Have the urge! Afterwards, everyone can go downhill, wear their “cojones” to get started (Laughs.)
How to equip yourself well?
You need a full face helmet, mask, long gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, back protection, good shoes, and you just have to get started.
Should we choose the suspensions or not?
Ah yes it is better to have suspensions! Afterwards, you can do it without, that’s for sure. When I was a kid, I had a bike without suspensions and I was already having fun. But it’s better to have it, it’s easier with it.
Should you train before and how?
If you’ve never done downhill mountain biking, yes, you have to practice a minimum. And if you’ve never ridden a bike and want to go downhill right away, you may have little surprises. (laughs) Maybe start with a hike… To reach the top level, there, yes, you need a lot of training, like in any sport. You have to train a lot, otherwise you are dumped and you do not advance. We mix all kinds of bikes: mountain bikes, BMX, road bikes. And level physical training, we do muscle building, weights also, running. But whatever the level, it is better to be in good physical shape.
What’s the hardest thing about going down on a mountain bike?
These are the jumps, because the rest you can do more or less while riding. On the other hand, when you have no other choice but to jump, if you can’t dodge the jump and you have to jump in, yes, it can be hot. But this is also the time when you will have the adrenaline rush. Afterwards, over time, the jump becomes easier; the hardest part is driving fast, very fast through roots and huge stones. A rutted track, yes there, it’s hot.
How do you manage the effort?
It’s a very intense effort, you don’t really manage it. Some tracks are long, on average 4 minutes 30. In this case, you try to start at 90% to finish at 100%. Others, on the other hand, are 3 minutes 30, so there you go 100% and you finish 100%!
Is it dangerous and how to avoid the fall?
I think it’s dangerous, but all sports are. You can get hurt quickly in all sports, but it’s true that falling hurts. How to avoid it? You have to know yourself well, not want to drive too fast, study the track well. On competitions, the tracks change, they evolve, new stones and roots appear, so you must always remain vigilant, never ride “above your pumps”, as they say. You have to be able to judge yourself and listen to yourself well.
How do you deal with possible stress?
It is not “possible”, the stress in competition is there. Honestly, I don’t know, it’s hard to deal with it, but being positive stress gets good and can push you to ride better.
How to go faster?
To go faster, we train. We do a lot of testing on the bikes, on the suspensions as well. We try everything and we train a lot. Every year bikes evolve, so do our bodies, we also become more resistant to effort.
What makes the difference between an average descender and a champion like you?
Ah, I don’t know. There are not too many. We’re both having fun, I think. It’s just that I have a team that supports me, and we are working hard to improve our performance. The lambda descender will just seek pleasure without necessarily wanting to go fast. Afterwards, if you are a competitor, you will always do everything to go faster.
What advice would you give for eco-responsible mountain bike descents?
There are sports such as enduro motorcycles where tear-off is now prohibited (a plastic film system on the mask that is removed as soon as the visor is covered with mud, note). We, mountain biking is still allowed. The tear-off, you shoot a film, and with the wind, it may never be picked up. Don’t ride with it! Prefer the roll-off, where the plastic film is rewound. And above all, do not throw anything in nature. This is our playground, we must be grateful for this land!
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