Fabien Barel: My Way - The Story Of His World Championship Victories

Oct 24, 2012
by Seb Urge Bike Products  
 
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Views: 74,887    Faves: 577    Comments: 38


With three World titles to his name, when Fabien announced his retirement last year it brought to an end a career that has been enjoyed by many and an inspiration to riders all over the World.

Fabien recently got together with the guys at MTBcut to put together this amazing short film documenting his career and in particular his World Championship victories. The film follows Fabien from an early age right through to his retirement in 2011 and features some of the most prominent names in the sport such as Steve Peat, Nico Vouilloz and Tracy Moseley. It looks at the highs and lows of racing and perhaps more interestingly the unique drive, professionalism and focus that Fabien brought to the DH scene - something that has paved the way for the sport that we all know and love today.

Fabien Barel celebrates winning the 1998 World Jr. Downhill Mountain Bike Championship race held in Mont. Sainte Anne Quebec Canada. On the left is Franck Parolin 2nd and the right is Nathan Rennie 3rd John Gibson photo www.gibsonpictures.com
  Fabien taking the Junior World Championship in 1998

bigquotesSo many stories, so many memories to look back on. Every second of those last years are part of me and this project has been an opportunity to remember them all. The ups and the downs but mainly the drive and dedication to performance that has always been with me. Looking through the old tapes made me realize where I started from and where I ended up in my career, everything I learned. The important thing is not what I did but the way I did it...my way. - Fabien Barel

Fabien Barel

bigquotesStu Thomson from MTBcut came to me with this project and idea. To be honest, I wasn't sure about revisiting the past, as I always try to look forward. I must say however that it is a great opportunity to promote the stories, experience and message of many year of racing - there is all my emotion in this movie as I share my experiences. Doing it all made me realize that racing is a great school for life. I know what I was, I know what I could have been and know what I am, racing built my heart for ever! I would like to thanks Stu for his great work and friendship, my family for their support and all the people who have been involved in the film: Nico Vouilloz, Steve Peat, Tracy Moseley, Steve Jones, Chris Porter, John Gibson, and Dan Jarvis. - Fabien Barel

Fabien Barel 1st and Steve Peat 3rd on the podium at the 2000 Quebec World Cup. John Gibson photo www.gibsonpictures.com
  The rivalry with Steve Peat was a legendary time in downhill racing

The film was been created by the guys at MTBcut so we decided to get a few words from Stu Thomson on the project and how the film came about:

bigquotesI first met Fabien back in 2000, I was a junior racing the UK national series and he was undoubtedly one of the superstars of the international scene. Through the years between myself competing as a rider on the World Cup circuit and then moving into film making, Fabien has always been a constant friend and a source of inspiration to me. He had a huge impact on the progression of DH racing and he didn't quite fit the mould of a DH racer in the 90's. He brought a professionalism to the circuit that was second to none, was always open about how hard he worked at it, and constantly pushed himself, his equipment and his team to squeeze every second out his performance. It was never about the lifestyle or fashion, it was about going from A to B as fast as possible. That is the essence of DH racing. This project was just something I wanted to do really, for Fabien is truly one of the greats of DH racing and he competed in an era that was defining for the sport. He went head-to-head with two of the other all time greats, Steve Peat and Nico Vouilloz. For me it's always beenFabien's approach, drive and focus that defines him and what makes him interesting. I hope that comes across in this short film! - Stu Thomson, MTBcut

Fabien Barel-7th Place Ft. William Scotland 2004 World Cup DH John Gibson photo www.gibsonpictures.com
  Fabien at Fort William World Cup in 2004.

Quebec World Cup 2007 Mont. Ste. Anne Quebec Canada John Gibson Photo john gibsonpictures.com
  This is how many people will remember Fabien - in the rainbow stripes!



86 Comments

  • + 40
 fairplay this guys a legend
  • + 3
 soooooo dope!!! Awesome Documentary Sir! Very well put together.
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  • + 30
 I would love to see a film like this about CEDRIC GRACIA. For any filmakers watching this-over to you....
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  • + 26
 I met Fabien in Morzine this summer, and he is one of the nicest guys around.
  • + 33
 That's one of the coolest things about our sport. These guys are world champions and still very much real and humble people. That is something that we don't see in a lot of other sports.
  • + 3
 Inspirational, in a word.
  • + 5
 Timrippeth - Do you think that has something to do with their relative earnings in comparison to other mainline professional athletes?
  • + 1
 Kind of OT but that's the cool thing about Australia. The sports stars there are just normal guys. You see them walking down the street all the time, hanging out at the beach and just being normal. Nothing like other countries, like the UK, where sports stars are allowed to believe they are different to everyone else.
  • + 1
 I met him in Les Gets this summer too, as you said- really nice guy, so laid back! (There's a pic of me with him in my photos)
  • + 1
 roberm- I definitely agree that may be one aspect of it. I also believe that it is just a different mentality when it comes to our sport. On any given race day there is every kind of rider lining up to test themselves. From the top pros to the beginners, everybody gets a chance to interact with one another on some level, and gets to test themselves. Most other pro sports and athletes are very isolated from the people, because of the way things are set up.
  • + 2
 That is true. Separate training grounds and facilities. Sports fields you can't even set foot one. It breeds division. That's one way our sport is special I guess.
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  • + 16
 20 quid says that minnaar will join him in taking world champs on home soil next year
  • + 10
 You're on! .... Wait... we can't both bet on Minnar winning
  • + 13
 fabien's neighbour was nico, yes, that explains a lot
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  • + 11
 Met him in the PDS this year. He put a mate of mine's chain back on his bike on the way out to Chatel. Got a photo with him in the lift queue in Chatel. One of the highlights of the trip. Such a cool guy.
  • + 4
 damn I was just writing that story in reply to timrippeth... I was with Fab and I was thinking your mate was a tool for not having the basic bike tools to fix himself... Fab schooled me about what it means to have humility. I felt half like an ahole the rest of the day.... Well until we had a few after ride bevy's.
  • + 1
 Haha. Yeah. Major tool having a World Champ fix your bike for you. Of course he thinks it's quite cool. It was weird being there with Fab and Nicolas Voilous (spelling?) at the same time and seeing how approachable Fab was compared to Nicolas. Both all time legends.
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  • + 4
 Thank you Fabien for choosing to ride dh instead of wearing a suit! seeing him on that KONA reminds me why i love to ride! True LEGEND!
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  • + 3
 A true legend. I've had the pleasure of talking to him a few times, and he is a smiley, positive, polite person, a true class act.
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  • + 4
 His AM riding instruction vid is fantastic at explaining how to AM ride - it has really helped me ride lots better!
  • + 1
 Yeah hes great at explaining stuff , most how to vids have to much bla bla , but he says what is needed. Probably my fav DH rider of all time.
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  • + 6
 Inspiration to many
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  • + 1
 Its weird how he was always such a threat at world champs no matter how bad his season was going. What a machine really. I got into dh when Nico was retired and i would say there really wasn't a rider like him since Nico. Champion and good video.
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  • + 3
 One racer who have to respect: barel is a legend , it changes of the new racers with some bad feeling and behavior !
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  • + 1
 You are a true inspiration Fabien and still today. You focus, determination are something that I will never forget. Bravo et bonne chance dans tes plans future!
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  • + 1
 Great rider, great person, great story! Nice film...I became a fan after watching his AM skills video! Hey Fabien, send me a Mondraker Dune to the States!!!
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  • + 2
 This is a very thought-provoking report. Fabien is definitively a great athlete and a great person.
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  • + 3
 Love those old 888's. I still rock em today
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  • + 3
 simply one of the best ever !!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Great video, Inspirational stuff! Would love to see a world cup visit Les Gets again too.
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  • + 1
 total trail assassin on the little bike at the end! Seeing someone put so much work in and be successful is inspiring.
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  • + 1
 His rivalry with Peaty was legendary - anyone who battles with Peaty is bound to be legendary!
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  • + 1
 Only could watch 5 minutes during lunch, but cant wait to finish, Fabien is great.
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  • + 1
 Watched this again after getting excited about Fabien's recentl success in Enduro. Big Grin
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  • + 1
 I remember watching his videos when i was 12, got me so motivated to go out and ride
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  • + 1
 Nice guy and proper Legend! I wish to succeed in mountain biking like him, a part from broken bones!
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  • + 2
 ...I'm crying.....
  • + 2
 That scene in Champery... who put these onions here?
  • + 1
 yeah mate, what an inspirational guy, his retirement was a really big loss in the Dh circuit but it's nice to see that he's still in the game and in the bike sport in general.
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  • + 1
 great rider and great person! respect to the LEGEND! Salute
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  • + 1
 he has to be one of if not the most professional races ever.
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  • + 1
 Nice, nice, nice We need more of this documentarys Cheers
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  • + 1
 my favorite rider then and favorite rider now
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  • + 1
 i want to be like fabien when i grow up next week..hehehe..
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  • + 1
 What a ruler. Great clip on a great career.
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  • + 1
 world class rider world class person
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cool. Is that a young nathan rennie in the first pic?
  • + 1
 Sure is, what an amazing mullet.
  • + 1
 Who is the other guy?
  • + 2
 Franck Parolin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fantastic short film. Very inspiraing. A true athlete. Legendary.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Cool guy & a legend
[Reply]
  • + 1
 25 minutes!!!! totally worth it
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  • + 1
 I enjoyed that very much...great vid
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  • + 1
 Those were great days Fab, thanks for the good times
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  • + 1
 Wow I am in NIce right now, that would make my day if I saw him
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  • + 1
 someone ive looked up too for awhile!..great docu!
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  • + 1
 A true inspiration, a legendary racer
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  • + 1
 Awesome film, very nice work. Fabien, you're the man!
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  • + 1
 Cool riders come from France!
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  • + 1
 OMG!!!! Lengend...the best one ever!!!!
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  • + 1
 No one makes riding look so easy.
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  • + 1
 LEGEND fabien. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 0
 I will remember Fb. Barel for his loyalty to the brand Marzocchi Wink
  • + 9
 he left them and rode fox ........ :S
  • + 1
 When I hear his name, the first two things that come to my mind are Kona and Marzocchi (from the NWD movies). Although he left them eventually, he was riding for those two brands for a long period. Just like Steve Peat rode Rock Shox for ten years or so, and now it's "strange" seeing him on Fox.
  • + 9
 his segment in NWD8 is on of my all time favorites.
  • + 2
 He`s really commited. He`s the definition of this word.
Now he`s just going to shred for personal reasons.
  • + 2
 I still don't think I've seen anyone ride like the NWD segment of his. Not not even Hart or Hill at Worlds. Great documentary of a world class athlete.
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  • + 1
 So beautiful words!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 legendary....nuff said
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  • + 0
 its a bit sad to see him riding an endurobike! loved his style on a dh
  • + 2
 Eh? He's totally pinning that thing.
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  • + 1
 Epic rider and video!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 is live legend
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  • - 1
 Fab is an Inspiration. Absolute ANTi-ARMSTRONG. Succsess, passion and Victory just with hard work and without cheating
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  • + 1
 FABIEN RULES!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 diggin' renoir's haircut
[Reply]
  • + 0
 photo deja vu
[Reply]

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