Richie Rude became the first American to ever win the Junior World Champion title in downhill this year. He has been smashing his way to this point of his career ever since he threw a leg over a mountain bike. We take a look into the day to day of Richie as he gets ready for next season when he makes the jump from Junior to Elite.
Coming into the finish line on his way to becoming the first American Junior World Champion.
Richie just after his Jr. World Champion podium. A man of few words, his actions say it all. Damion Smith, Yeti's team manager, knew he had it in him since day one. "Last year was a big learning year for Richie. He saw the level of riding and preparation that these guys are at. After Port Angeles at the beginning of the season, I knew he had it in him. It was a real possibility."
At the end of the World Cup season, Richie takes advantage of the fall riding at Mountain Creek. Once the park is closed for the season, most of his riding is done on trail or road bikes.
Getting going in the morning. A hearty breakfast before heading out on the trails.
Rich Sr. chases Richie on a weekend ride. They have been riding together since Richie was old enough to ride a bike.
While it may not look it, it's bloody cold out... like low 20's cold. Regardless, Richie takes to the trails sans gloves.
"One of the best times I've had riding was following Richie at Sea Otter, all I could do was laugh the whole way down. He just boosts every little feature." -Jared Graves
The sheer physical force of Rude riding has always been impressive. Rocks aren't obstacles, but rather play things to smash. Corners are routinely torn apart.
Richie stocking up the firewood pile. Sometimes keeping the house warm is good training. It doesn't hurt if you are already built like a lumberjack, either.
It takes more than brute force to split wood. Keeping the axe sharp is all part of the ritual.
Legs that develop that much power need daily stretching. While rolling out pressure points in your quads may hurt like hell, it's absolutely crucial to staying in top form.
New for Richie this year is the PerformX MTB training program under Todd Schumlick. No doubt when the season starts Richie will be ready and in top shape.
Richie's daily training is meticulously logged. It all gets accounted for; even photo shoot rides where there are many stops.
The explosive power of Richie Rude. No corner, or camera for that matter, is safe.
Putting in the mileage. When the snow starts to fall, Richie will be spending plenty of time on the road crushing intervals.
Some days, it's nice to get out and do a little fishing on the local lake.
Damion Smith gave Richie a little reminder of his title, just in case he forgot. A box of fresh rainbow jerseys. "Jared said I should wear it every day." When asked if he thinks he will win the rainbow stripes again, Rude looks up and flashes that wry smile. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.
After a ride the bike gets a thorough once over, making sure everything is in order and up to Richie's spec.
These mitts. Richie has always been a strong kid. "When Richie started out on Yeti, we used to have frequent arm wrestling matches. This year though, I just walked away." - Jared Graves
The final sprint to the end of a training ride. Laying down the power on a flat makes laying down the power at the end of a race run that much easier.
At the end of the day, it's good to relax by a nice warm fire.
When you have the rainbow stripes jersey, you have to try it out.