While you may not have heard Guillaume Larbeyou's name before, he should be on your radar as one of the EWS's rising stars. The 26-year-old French rider already has an EWS top-10 and two top-20s to his name, despite having only raced enduro for two years and having done just four EWS races. Guillaume and his friend Louis Jeandel will join Theo Galy this season to form the Sunn French Connexion Racing.
Who is Guillaume Larbeyou?
I’m 26 years old, I came from the DH and in 2021 it will be my 3rd year racing in enduro.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from a little village named Pontacq in the southwest of France, it’s near Lourdes. I have lived for 6 years in Aix-les-Bains in Savoie.
How did you start mountain biking?
I started biking with the friends from my village, we managed to get a truck full of good dirt and we shaped some dirt jumps. Following that, I joined a mountain bike club which helped me discover step by step the world of competition.
Who are your sponsors?
My sponsors are the Team Sunn French Connexion with: Sunn Bike / Alpe d’huez / Vee Tire / Formula / DDK / FSA / Kenny / Granite Design / Monkey Sauce / Crankbrothers / ODI Grips / Unior Bike Tools. And I also have my own private sponsors: My native department (64 Pyrénées Atlantiques) and Bliz Eyewear.
What bike(s) do you ride?
I’m riding the Sunn Kern EN in Medium size, I’ve also got an E-bike the Sunn Kern EL, a BMX and a road bike that SUNN gave me.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to start my day with some stretching before breakfast as a routine, then in the morning I manage to do something other than biking (gym, shape or running). In the afternoon I go riding mostly. But as much as possible I try to mix my days.
What riding accomplishments are you most proud of?
EWS Pietra Ligure in 2020, we were 10 friends in a house for a trip to race the two EWS in Italy. Nothing was really in a way of performing but more to spend good times! And I managed to get my first Top 10 in EWS.
What are your strengths?
My strengths are my passion for biking and that I always question myself on how to improve myself.
What are your weaknesses?
My weaknesses? Definitely my English! But I’m working on it. On the bike, that must be the long flat section where we need to carry speed. My build doesn’t help me, but I’m trying to overcome this with special settings on the bike.
What’s the best part of being an EWS racer?
The best thing about being a professional EWS racer is to be able to often discover new places, there are always extraordinary destinations and that takes me to some places where I would never have been without the races.
What’s the hardest part of being an EWS racer?
The hardest thing is to know how to take risks without being injured, I think you must know your limits.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
There are plenty of beautiful places, but I love les Houches near Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Also in the west of Pyrénées, plenty of trails exist now and they still have wild spirit because there are not so many people who ride them.
What has been your worst crash over the years?
It was in motocross, I broke my thighbone at the age of 15 on the 24th of December. I was supposed to attack my first year of the French Cup in DH but the doctors banned me from mountain biking for 1 year while I had a pin in my leg.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by a lot of people. I try to get the best out of everyone, but I especially admire guys like Mitch Ropelato who are gifted and classy on any bike. And Sam Hill by his way to ride, he gives me the feeling that he is always calm on the bike while it goes fast.
What do you enjoy doing away from biking?
In winter I like to go cross-country skiing and hiking, and re-shape trails too. When I have several days off I love going home to see my family and friends from the Southwest.
Do you have a favorite motto or saying?
No I don't have a favorite motto or saying, I think "you have to enjoy the present moment."
What you do think about the future of enduro?
I think it's going to be harder and harder to stand out from the other riders in the competitions, everyone is becoming professional. As far as the organization is concerned, I hope that COVID will allow us to return to "normal" seasons. But hats off to the EWS and other race organizers because it's hard to project for them as well.
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who will give himself the means and who knows how to have fun on a bike.
What does the future hold for you?
I'll race for the Sunn French Connexion until the end of 2022, after I'm not sure but I hope to continue to enjoy and give it all I have.Guilaume and Léo Delfour Barsacq ride the Pyrenees.