Interview: Danny Hart - Going to Mondraker

Nov 28, 2014
by Pinkbike Staff  
PR IMages from MS Mondraker.
Interview by Superfly Si Paton

The cat is out of the bag and Danny Hart is on the MS Mondraker team for the next three years. Pinkbike went direct to get the full story of what went down and why.


Giant had three Elite riders on their roster with Marcelo, Andrew and yourself. Marcelo beat you three out of five times, position wise, on the World Cup circuit. When looking at the five times combined, you were 7 seconds faster than him overall, so overall you were more consistent, and you scored two, top five podiums. Andrew was the weakest of the three of you coming in on average 4 seconds behind your times. Therefore on paper you were the strongest rider, so why do you think they kept Marcelo and let yourself and Andrew go?

Wow, lots of maths there, good work! For myself I think it was time to move on, I feel I had served my time well at Giant, helping them build their program to what it is now. As well, the full team at Giant helped me achieve what I have in the past five years. The team have an up and coming rider in Alex Marin, the kid has got skills and I hope the team can help him like they helped me!


Looking at your results for 2014 has been a roller coaster season for you with two third places and a seventh at the UCI World Cups. The other results there have not been so successful. What do you put those highs and lows down to?

Yeah this year did definitely have lots of up and downs for me, the start of the year was tragic. I went to South Africa off a good winter of training and putting out higher numbers in training than I ever had before. I went there and got really ill, nearly deciding not to race because I wasn't sleeping and suffered from a really bad fever, feeling drained and really under the weather. Therefore round one was a write off for me...

Then Cairns just didn't happen for me, I really struggled as my head was not in a good place. In the race I was riding well and ended up crashing out which ruled that race out. I also crashed at Windham, I was riding really well there, however I knew I had to push really hard to get a good result with the track being a short one. I pushed the bike and myself just that little bit too much, lost the front wheel in a corner, and the weekend was over. The rest of the year was quite consistent having two 7ths and two 3rds.


When did you put yourself out in the market as a free agent?

To be honest we started quite soon, my father and manager, Paul Hart was talking to teams halfway way through the 2014 race season. As there are only a set number of teams there is only a limited number of slots available so we had to ask around. It was no surprise to all the team managers that we would be asking as they knew that it was a contract year so luckily there was quite a lot of interest.

PR IMages from MS Mondraker.

Rumours have been rife regards you going to either Intense, KTM or indeed MS Mondraker. There is generally 'No smoke without fire', were you in talks with any of those companies? How do these rumours get out?

To be honest, I love reading all the rumours online, especially the comments on Pinkbike. Let me tell you this, I was never in contact with KTM, people saw me riding a KTM out in the USA, so that means I'm riding for them, right? Ha ha... Bench racing at its best!


What are Mondraker expecting of you in contract and in person?

Mondraker will want me to be pretty much everywhere I would have wanted to be, I have never done an iXS Cup in Europe so that will be cool to get a few of them in. I will try and do as many BDS events as I can. Obviously World Cups and World Champs are on the primary list. I would like to do Crankworx in Canada, but that is not at the top of the team's list, I will try and get there though.
Editor's note: Mondraker do not currently have a North American distributor.


Who are your new team mates on the Mondraker team?

Yeah moving to the new MS Mondraker team I obviously have new team mates; Emmeline Ragot, Markus Pekoll and Innes Graham, I have never worked with these guys before, I spent time with Innes and Markus at the team launch in Spain and we all had a great time together, bonding well. Emmeline was not there so I am looking forward to travelling with her and the rest of the team. She speaks very good English and seems to have a laugh, so yeah it will all be good fun. Hopefully I can help pull Innes through to be a top Senior rider whilst I believe I can learn from Markus because he is a very focused rider and I like what I see with him.

PR IMages from MS Mondraker.
  Markus, Danny and Innes at Team Launch in Spain. (Emmeline Ragot not pictured.)


Dave Garland has been your mechanic for the last three years, will he be joining you?

I have worked with Dave for a few years now and I have to say he has taught me a lot about how to set up a bike! I have a lot to thank him for. I am looking forward to working with my new mechanic Christian, I have seen him on the race circuit for a few years and I know he has worked with the top riders and won big races with those riders. I know that he knows what to do and when to do it - he has seen and done it all.


With regards to set up, what personal preferences will your spanner man have to deliver?

To be fair it is going to be an important few months testing with me now moving over to a different suspension set up, different handle bars and most likely different wheels. I personally like a handlebar with a nice back sweep to keep my body weight more central on the bike with a 780mm width. We will be using SRAM drive train and I am really happy about that as I love those guys' work. That will be a seven speed rear set up changing between 36 and 38 teeth chain rings up front. I will have my own suspension guy at the World Cups in the shape of Pedro from Marzocchi, he drinks a lot of Red Bull and is an all round good guy. On the whole I am really looking forward to the new project!


What new sponsors have you picked up to run in conjunction with your new MS Mondraker team?

Bell Helmets, Alpinestars Race Kit, Leatt Neck Braces, Fenwicks Cleaner, 5.10 Shoes, Oakley and High5.


When and where did you first sit on and test a Mondraker?

I went ‘Dark’ in September to a super cool ski resort called Hopfgarten in Austria. Being on a strict media shut down with the likes of Facebook and Twitter etc.. I could not talk to anyone, even limiting the times I could take my helmet off when we were on the lifts and the track. I rode the bike for a couple of days and it rained all day both days. It was weird because I could not put anything online and the track I was riding was sick, I just wanted to put a helmet cam run online for you all to see. More recently I have been riding the Mondraker at Hamsterley Forest which is my local track. A few early morning mid week rides clocking a few runs in, again all on the quiet.


Will you be running a stock frame that is available to the public?

Currently I am just running a stock medium frame, we haven't tested properly yet so who knows what might happen in the near future.


What size frame will you be running?

At 5'10" I ride a medium.


Which of the UCI World Cups tracks in 2015 do you most favour to pick up your first World Cup win?

Nevis Range, Fort William in Scotland.

PR IMages from MS Mondraker.


On behalf of Pinkbike and all our readers we wish Danny a safe and successful 2015.
Stay up to date with Danny:
Facebook
Twitter


Mentions: @Marzocchiusa @BellBikeHelmets @AlpinestarsMTB @leattphil @FiveTen




107 Comments

  • + 152
 Danny, stay on your bike!
  • + 65
 I think the question that really needs to be asked is: How does he sit down with balls that big?
  • - 141
flag Waldon83 (Nov 28, 2014 at 0:02) (Below Threshold)
 His balls are only so big because he didn't get the good looks in the family....... obviously. Still, I would happily take a huge beating with the ugly stick to shred as hard as Danny does.
  • + 31
 Wins are remembered long after aesthetics are forgotten
  • - 35
flag bonkywonky (Nov 28, 2014 at 0:58) (Below Threshold)
 Nah the real question is whether he'll be using that stupid 10mm stem.
  • + 18
 Its not stupid, its made to balance out the slightly longer front end.
  • - 2
 and don't eat dynamite!!!
  • + 12
 Why is it whenever an article drops about danny hart and his enormous skill bag, some grown man wants to talk about whether he's good looking?
Guess he wasn't expecting a huge beating from the neg stick.
  • - 16
flag deletedacc123456789 (Nov 28, 2014 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @tobiusmaximum because there are people like you that needs to smile for first time.
  • + 12
 Do you even.. make sense.. bro?
  • - 9
flag deletedacc123456789 (Nov 28, 2014 at 10:37) (Below Threshold)
 If I were a dog and you were a flower, I'd lift up my leg and give you a shower i think that make sense, don't get me wrong, i'm just kidding.
  • - 14
flag BullseyeXer (Nov 28, 2014 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 @taz46 Hahaha! nice joke xD BTW wtf is Danny hart leaving Giant!? and why!?
Giant have the best bikes!!!
  • - 19
flag VPPFREEDOM (Nov 28, 2014 at 13:20) (Below Threshold)
 So clearly they don't have sun in uk…. or braces #thefaceofmondraker
  • - 2
 Troy Bros on giant !!!
  • + 2
 you sure? or is it just that rumour again?
  • + 1
 Its the ozzy national champs soon Lets see what he s ridin !!!!
  • + 2
 Naah, I'm guessing Brosnan will ride for the SRAM/TLD team and they'll use specialized bikes, makes most sense.
  • + 1
 Lets see
  • + 1
 Im not saying specialized bikes are shit, but i would like to see him ride something else like the v10 or giant Smile
  • - 3
 Giant obviously need a big name as they are the biggest of the bunch. Who better than Troy. He should of won the wc really.
  • + 2
 I remember the boss of specialized racing saying ' without the flat at leogang gwin would have won the series' . What if Ratboy had not had the chain issue at pietermaritzburg? Pretty sure ratboy would have still won
  • + 9
 What ifs should never be brought up, ever, by anybody, let alone a bigwig. Every racer has a start time and a finish time, what if happens in between and stays there.
  • + 1
 tell carter, he was the one who metioned it first
  • + 1
 Exactly jmbrit.. what ifs can go in the box with 'that shoulda been a goal/basket/point!'

If it coulda.. and it shoulda.. guess what?... It woulda!
  • + 50
 I was surprised Danny is 5'10" tall.
  • + 11
 i saw him in whistler in 2013 and im pretty sure he isnt he looked more like 5"8 to be honest. doesnt really matter because he can ride a bike like nobody else can
  • + 3
 he looked short in the PB video just below this. that or his helmet is REALLY big in comparison to his body...
  • + 7
 More like 4'10"
  • + 37
 funny how his shoes are 510's too
  • + 3
 If you ask google it says 1.78m which is just over 5.8 foot or 5'10".
  • + 6
 He is definitely not 5'10". I was beside him in a lift line at whistled before and he was a few inches below me. I'm 5'11".
  • + 6
 Yeah if 5 10 made 5 8 s I bet he'd be 5ft 8. A cleaver little sponsorship name drop.
  • + 2
 Bollocks is he five foot ten! Ive seen bigger Dickensian pickpockets!
(In fillums and that, obviously ).
  • + 1
 Anyway, he will be 1 head shorter if Rockstar finds out he mentioned Red Bull by name in the interview... but R* not even once haha.
  • + 38
 We are SO stoked to have Danny and Emmeline (returning) to our race program. We are looking to take on #allthepodiums in 2015!
  • + 34
 This is a big win for Marzocchi also.. Danny will be on top with the 380 leading his way.
  • + 20
 It would be so cool to see Marzocchi on the podium again !
  • + 7
 agreed, Marzocchi forks look the part these days too! Im more than certain Danny will be on the podium more than once this year and i would LOVE to see him stand on the top step you know it means everything to him. One of the riders on the circuit with the most passion and i have so much respect for that.
  • + 4
 Yep, pleased to see marz back up there. Buttery smooth. Never forget the feeling of my first z-1 and then the 888.
  • + 30
 Look at the whip!
  • + 24
 * Rob Warner voice *

LOOK AT THE TIME !!!
  • + 10
 THAT IS INSANE
  • + 6
 HOW DOES HE SIT DOWN WITH BALLS THAT BIG!?!?!
  • + 8
 That's already been said ^
  • + 1
 The bike looks sweet for next year. Danny has def come on alot in the past couple years and he is still at a good age to challenge at the top for many more years to come. Point to prove MAYBE ( getting world cup wins) but this guy is gonna ride the wheels off that thing for next couple years. YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT If next seasons racing is as good as last year then I will be a happy man. So many guys out there that could take the win on the day. Just need the right combination of balls + skill + luck. ------ GOOD LUCK DANNY --------, go smash it boy
  • + 19
 Awesome, love both Danny Hart and Mondraker, hope he gets a win next season! Sexy bike and i'm pretty sure he's riding a motocross track in the second pic haha.
  • + 4
 I was gona say where in the hell did he drop in at?
  • + 5
 Like honestly who doesn't like Danny Hart.... the guys balls are so big he can't even sit down
  • + 3
 Everyone loves Danny after Champery. That's bicycle history right there.
  • + 5
 good luck Danny I regular get into Scotts Mears shop and ask him how your doing.. hope you can have a good year this year mate .. thought they would of asked you about winning the redbull hardline though haha good luck from Rob a fellow hammers rider
  • + 4
 I would absolutely love to see Danny on the top step of the podium. He mentioned how focussed Marcus is, all the top guys from last year were fit as well as brilliant riders (even Ratboy!) so I wonder if Danny is alluding to putting in some hard training in the gym?

I fully intend to be at Fort William screaming like a nutter for Danny to win it!!
  • + 8
 The first question is kinda awkward to answer.
  • + 7
 New bike, new team, new energy. Make 2015 yours Danny.
  • + 10
 Same facial hair
  • + 7
 Great interview! Hope Danny does well you n 2015!
  • + 5
 Really though? Probably half the questions went by without an actual answer....
  • + 23
 Currently I am just running a stock medium frame,..."
What size frame will you be running?
At 5'10" I ride a medium.

Good talk.
  • - 12
flag rippersub (Nov 27, 2014 at 20:55) (Below Threshold)
 "Were you in talks with any of these companies?"
"people saw me riding a KTM out in the USA, so that means I'm riding for them, right? Ha ha" - Super helpful response....no mention of mondraker or intense negotiations, which the question directly asked...

"So why do you think they kept Marcelo and let yourself and Andrew go?"
"I felt it was time to move on...." - Awesome answer!, the question implies that he was fired, he claims he decided to go....


C'mon man, you picked one answer that was answered accurately... bravo, I said half, and I'm probably pretty close to on the money, I wouldn't call it a "great interview"!



"Will you be running a stock frame that is AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC?"
"Who knows?" - another cracker, although you've used this quote to try and counter my comment despite that he directly negates this fact in a further question... great to know he's running a medium, not so useful when they change the sizes for the production model.
  • + 10
 robaussie, you sir are an asshole, plain and simple. read what you like and interpret.
  • + 4
 Jesus, its called being diplomatic. Why would a rider go throw sponsors or other riders under the bus for a media interview?
  • - 1
 No rob. Just no
  • + 3
 Hes definitley going to stay on that bike, the harder you ride it the better it gets, not the other way around, and it pedals like a cut cat, I can see Danny taking the FT this year for sure, but setup tires suspension is a big part too, its gojng to be a great year for the team I can smell it in the air, awesome too with Emmeline shes goin to kill it on this beast, Womes and mens div is going to be super interesting in 2015!
  • + 5
 Get the boy a decent baseball cap and shades... Sheesh... He looks special.
  • + 1
 can someone fill me in on that KTM issue that seems to be popping up whenever it comes to the question "who-is-riding-for-which-team-in-2015"? I mean is there actually going to be a full-on KTM DH team?
  • + 2
 no, and what 'issue'?
  • + 2
 Sick.
But the question I ask myself now is who of the top 5 riders will be on the intense- dvo 951 Wink
  • + 3
 Glory for sale.....mondraker will be....go danny boy
  • + 3
 So where's Needles going to??
  • + 1
 Scott I reckon
  • + 3
 Can only hope he gets more podiums now, Britain's rowdiest rider!
  • + 3
 Danny Hart is 5 feet 10 inches?
  • + 9
 Yes....when he's bunny-hopin'
  • + 3
 Wa hahaha
  • + 2
 good luck danny, I root for you every race!
  • + 1
 "Pinkbike went direct to get the full story of what went down and why."....hardly a real answer from the fellow.
  • + 1
 There's deffinetly gonna be some ass kickin an name takin goin down this season..............Cant wait!
  • + 2
 so good to have Danny on the Mondraker team!
  • + 2
 Let's watch this once again: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZV7zfMGTg
  • + 1
 Good luck Hart Attack. Keep the cameras busy and chasing
  • + 1
 Heres hoping you make it to Crankworx! Good luck in 15
  • + 1
 I was lost at the first question.
  • + 1
 Best of luck to Danny in 2015 season, I am rooting for you!!!!
  • + 1
 What ever he rides he will entertain no question.
  • + 1
 so are those 27.5 deemaxes????
  • + 0
 I cheered hard as fuck for Danny on his glory! Things change! All the best to him on his whatever ya call it... Lol
  • + 0
 Danny you shredded that Giant Glory like no other!
  • + 1
 need to sell my glory
  • + 1
 Garland back to CRC??
  • + 1
 Good luck for 2015
  • + 1
 Good look fella.
  • + 1
 STEAK AND MUSHROOMS!!!!!
  • + 1
 he still got Gi
  • + 1
 *Giant balls !
  • - 1
 OH NOOOOOO !!!! look at this SO Horrible jersey !!!! GIANT was so soooo better !!!
  • + 1
 Go on Danny .!!!
  • + 0
 Bring it Danny! Mondraker just went to the top of my buy list...
  • + 6
 He still gets mad bitches though.

Twitter for proof: twitter.com/DannyHart1/status/281320348601966592
  • + 1
 That's Charlotte from Gordie Shore. UK's Jersey Shore.
  • + 1
 'still gets mad bitches' 'That's Charlotte from Gordie Shore' You only get mad bitches on Geordie Shite. Mad.... In a 'needs sectioning' sense.
  • + 1
 Don't click that link if you're at work! lol
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