Cole Lucas had an impressive first year racing as a privateer in the senior ranks last year with a 4th place finish in Rotorua, 9th in Tasmania, and 14th overall for the series. This year, the New Zealand ripper signed a two-year contract with the Ibis Enduro Team. He tells us how he got into racing enduro, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and where his favourite place to ride is.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I grew up in a city called Hamilton where I went to school and that is an hour and a half away from Rotorua where I currently live.
How did you get into mountain biking?
I have two older brothers that both ride. When I was younger I grew up attempting to chase them around. I started off racing BMX and then eventually enjoyed mountain biking more so made the switch and started racing downhill.
Who do you ride for?
I ride for the Ibis Enduro Team.
What bikes are you riding right now?
Currently riding the new Ripmo V2.
How did you start racing enduro?
I originally raced downhill World Cups as a junior. I unfortunately got injured after Fort William at Leogang during my first year as an elite and then the next year the UCI changed the rule so that only 60 riders qualified instead of 80. I raced Fort William that same year and finished 71st so didn’t qualify. After that, I decided to focus on Enduro as I had two years left in the U21 category and had a couple of podium finishes at the EWS races I had done previously. That year I did my first full season and haven’t looked back since!
Do you have a job outside of mountain biking?
I officially started riding for Ibis in January this year, my first pro deal. I worked when I got home from last season till December and now am just enjoying riding and training full time for the first time.
What are your strengths?
Think it would have to be tracks that involve pumping and carrying speed. It’s what most of the riding in Rotorua is and I spend a lot of time in the forest.
What are your weaknesses?
My weaknesses would have to be real tight corners, booking flights and cooking.
What’s been your worst crash over the years?
The worst one would probably have to be breaking my collar bone in Leogang, returning home for surgery, and having and a pin put in. Then crashing again not long after getting back on my bike, and bending the pin along with re-breaking the bone. I now have a permanently bent rod.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Usually, start with a big old bowl of oats, go to the gym or ride, come home have lunch then do some other form of training in the afternoon. Then if have time, go ride some dirt jumps, BMX track or go to the lake, just any activities outside if I’m not too tired.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
Probably have to go with Whistler. Can’t beat laps of Dirt Merchant with a group of mates.
How do you set up your Enduro bike?
I set it up on the softer side of things. Apart from that its pretty stock standard. I don’t have any tokens in my shock currently.
Who’s your favorite rider?
Going to have to be Sam Hill.
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
I recently bought a motorbike which I’m real crap, and a little bit dangerous on! But have been enjoying learning something new. Also enjoy getting out behind a boat during summer, or snow skiing if I have the chance as I normally miss the NZ winter.
Who or what inspires you?
Any Kiwi or Australian that is out there riding full time or racing as a privateer. It’s not easy to get over to most of the races and it’s a long way from home.
What’s something you believe that other people think is crazy?
I don’t really have any good conspiracies or anything like that.
What’s your favorite non-bike website?
I would have to go for Netflix at present, it’s a good way to kill time during the lockdown in NZ at the moment.
What’s your favorite motto or saying?
Boys will be boys.
Do you have any big projects or trips planned for the rest of 2020?
No plans at the moment as Covid-19 has put a grinding halt on everything. Hopefully, we will get to race at least a couple rounds this year, if not I will have to come up with some sort of project in NZ.
What makes you happy?
Just getting out and riding my bike, if its with a group of mates or even just by myself with some tunes.
If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?
This is my first year riding professionally, I normally work for my parents' roofing company in the offseason for about 6 months each year, I did that from when I left school. It gave me the flexibility to train and have time off for racing (thanks mum & dad). But I would probably have done some sort of apprenticeship at some point along the line.
Where do you think the sport of enduro is headed?
I think the sport of Enduro is only going to get bigger. I think that Covid-19 will put a dip in that for a little while as it has for all sport. But everywhere I go I see more and more people on trail bikes out riding. I think that they can relate to the sport of enduro and what we do. With things like Trophy of Nations being introduced last year, hopefully the sport will get bigger and more viewed.
How do you want to be remembered?
Just as someone who had fun racing, got some good results and had a laugh along the way. Also as the guy that jumped into the bush.