Yannick, tell us what changes you had in 2011/ 2012 for sponsors? What do you like to do when you're not riding your bike?
I had a few big changes from last year with my sponsorship. I went from Commencal Bikes to Polygon Bikes, from O'neal protection to Giro and from Dakine to Fox clothing last week. Also I'm riding for Renthal hell yeah! So yeah it's a lot of changes for one year but I guess it has to be done.
What I love to do when I'm not riding my bike is definitely shredding my pit bikes and motobikes with my mates and skateboarding; I got addicted to that piece of wood a year ago and I really like it! It's good to learn new sports, it helps with your general skills.You and Sam Reynolds are riding for Polygon Bikes in 2012. Tell us about Polygon, the company, their bikes and how you go hooked up with them?
Yeah Sam and I got the chance to ride for Polygon bikes and we are definitely really happy about it. Polygon is mainly selling bikes in Asia, specifically in Indonesia and their factory in Surabaya. The whole team there is cool and we had a chance to go to the factory last December. It was really interesting to go behind the scene and see what and how you make a bike from a piece of aluminum; we saw the whole process.
We met this guy last year at Eurobike, I was looking for a new bike sponsor and I got a hook up from Rasoulution who introduced me to the team manager. Then from there a few weeks of emails and boom here I am.We are halfway through the FMB 2012 season, how are you riding? Any standouts so far in 2012, where do sit in the FMB points?
Yeah half of the season is almost over but the biggest bit is still coming up. I had a bad start of the season with a few crashes during runs so I ended up with bad results in comps. I got a little more focused, had a few good training sessions and now I'm back. I'm actually in 5th spot on the FMB World Tour! The Euro FMB events seem different from the North American ones, any reason why? Dirt jump vs Mtn style courses?
Yes and no. Most of our events in Europe are dirt jump or slopestyle events, you are right. In the USA there is only one real MTB event, Rampage, the rest are really small. So nothing really that different in Europe except that at our dirt jump events our jumps are F'n BIG! We've also got Chatel Moutain Style, which is for me the only real big mountain event here.Yannick, which is your favourite FMB event on the calendar, give us one from Europe and North America? Why these events?
My favourite event as an event is definitely FISE for the French crowd but as a course the Bearclaw Invitational is my favourite slopestyle course!
The Claw invitational for me was, until Crankworx Europe showed up, the best slopestyle course. Fun to ride, hard to trick, and in the middle of the forest, man that was the best. Also no live streaming means no rush, just chill and fun. I had the best weekend of riding last year at the Claw Invitational by far.This year for the first time Crankworx will doing an event in Europe from July 9-14 at Les Deux Alpes in France. How are you involved with the event besides riding?
Yeah, Seb Chovet and his team have been working really hard to make this event happen for the first time in Europe. It's in France and Seb is my buddy so it's easy to get involved on that one.
I have always wanted the chance to show "what slopestyle is in my eyes.’’ When Seb asked if I wanted to design the course, obviously I said, "got damn yes!"
So I designed the whole thing. I wanted it to be long, technical, with big air time, and tight, after a month and a half of work my crew and I made that happen.Tell us how the course runs from top to bottom, is there only one line to ride? What is the biggest feature on the course? I see you included a "Boner" log for the Claw and the Canadian guys!
The course starts with a skinny to drop then goes into a left berm, then a cool wave in and out that gets you to a little step up onto a flat platform then a turn to the left and finish on a skinny drop again. I love them skinnies. After that drop you go straight at a pretty big dirt jump which goes to a long and fast berm, into a road gap then the "Boner log". Then on to a big hip to the left, a big up and down to a fast right-hander berm to a big mama speed jump into the big fat mama FMX jump.Yannick who do you see this course favouring, the Euro's or North American riders? Can you predict a winner for the Slopestyle on July 14? Who's your money on, your buddy Sam Pilgrim, who leads the FMB points?
Euro guys are definitely good at dirt jumps and freeride so I put my money on the Euro dudes but as we saw last year there are a lot of North American dudes who also have the skills to beat us. I think on this kind of course it’s gonna be really interesting to see the big fight between us. You have competed at Crankworx/Red Bull Joyride for several years now. Are you hoping to create an event like this in Europe with 25,000 screaming fans at the final?
Yeah for sure man, I really hope that Crankworx Europe grows and in the next few years get sbigger and bigger. Let's pray that we can get 25,000 screaming fans one day. Yannick this is a Red Bull Rampage year in October, 2012. You competed in 2010, how did you do? Was this the biggest, bad ass event on the planet or what?
I rode Rampage 2 years ago and it was a really great experience and I didn't really know what to expect before I got there. It's definitely by far the biggest most bad ass event on the planet and I never ever shit my pants that bad before dropping in for my first run, I’m really looking forward to sending it again. I was at the 2010 Rampage and saw some crazy things. One was you dropping the Oakley Sender on a single crown fork and nearly head slamming the bars! What were you thinking when you dropped this - surviving?
When I was about to send that drop I was up there with the man, Cedric Gracia. I was asking him what speed do you think? Should I pop off or just let it go? You know what he said? "Just f'n send it Yannick and whatever happens you are strong enough to pass through that."
I thought alright CG let's do this then, but Cedric left without trying it! So I didn't know anything about that drop and I was terrified about that thing. I decided to just go for it, I went a little too short and I had to throw my bike half way down and I don’t know how I managed that but I did land on my bar. Insane. The scariest crash ever for me. Everything went way too fast, I didn't even have time to get scared. Ahahhahahah good memory though! The whole FMB Crown could be decided at Rampage 2012. Who do you see taking the FMB title for 2012? Yannick, who do you see winning Rampage?
For me the FMB title is for a European dude, it has to be. In 2008 a Canadian guy (Semenuk) then in 2010 an American (Zink) , so this year it will be a Euro guy. For Rampage 2012 I've heard lots of new DH guys are coming like Brendan Fairclough and Steve Smith, so these guys could change the whole thing. I would love one of these guys to win: Kurt Sorge, Aggy or Geoff Gulevich.Yannick we look forward to seeing you on this side of the pond soon. Any sponsors or people you would like to shout out for keeping your mountain bike career rolling along?
Yeah man, see you in a few weeks. I just wanna say big thanks to all my sponsors and everyone who trusts in me and keeps my dreams working.Who will win Crankworx Europe? Can Pilgrim stop Semenuk and win the FMB overall?