Sukchanya "Tang" Chinnapat is a 21-year-old rider, racer, and cinema student from Thailand. He's the first Thai rider to race EWS and recently teamed up with the Sunn French Connexion riders after spending the first part of the season figuring out visa logistics. Now, he plans to race the rest of the season. With Sunn and a new program called Asia Academy spearheaded by Vee Tire Co, Tang hopes to help grow the sport in Asia so that the continent can host some bigger races and bring a larger group of riders up through the ranks into the EWS.
Who is Tang?
I am a 21 year old kid living the dream on two wheels.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am from Bangkok, not the most known place to ride MTB, but I train on the Kho Eto trails, which are 3 hours away from home. I mostly ride XC and pumptrack.
How did you start mountain biking?
I start riding at 5 because my brother was also riding and got me on a bike.
Who are your sponsors?
VEE Tire Co, Sunn, FSA, Formula, Alpe d'Huez, Kenny, DDK, Granite, Crankbrothers, ODI, and Monkey Sauce.
What bike(s) do you ride?
A Sunn Kern EN in a size medium.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up at 6:30 am. I train 2 hours in the morning in XC, then I am studying at a cinema school from 9 to 11, then I enjoy the rest of the day with my friends and train in the evening at the gym or pumptrack depend on the weather and the mood.
What riding accomplishments are you most proud of?
In 2020 I got second place in DH Asian Championship. That was my biggest accomplishment.
What are your strengths?
I love to learn and the process of training.
What are your weaknesses?
It's hard for me to do long runs because the longest track in Bangkok is 2 minutes. So some stages of Enduro are very long for me and my arms are not used to this, but I am keen to give it a try.
What are your thoughts on being the first Thai rider in the EWS?
I am very proud because I realized my dream and I am going to do my best for my nation and my sponsors and the people that help me along the way. So many people have helped me - the team Sunn but also other riders even from other teams. I really like the enduro atmosphere. A big thanks to Bike from Veetireco that help me a lot in this project.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
It's hard because I rode some very nice trails the last few weeks but I must say the Alpe d'Huez is incredible. I saw snow for the first time and I got the chance to ride on it. It's very different from what I am used to.
What has been your worst crash over the years?
Last year I over jumped a jump and broke my leg and couldn't ride for 6 months.
Who or what inspires you?
My brother inspires me a lot because he teaches me everything I know and he is always there for me. My dad passed away and so he is my paternal figure. On the racing side, I am a huge fan of Troy Brosnan. He is so focused and consistent and can win most of the races he enters.
Photo: Valentin Popineau
What do you enjoy doing away from biking?
I enjoy watching movies. I am studying movies at the university and I spend all my free time watching movies. I also like to go camping with my friend and family.
Do you have a favorite motto or saying?
Life is super short, so let's enjoy as much time as possible in these mountains.
What you do think about the future of mountain biking?
I hope that the sport will be more global and we can see more riders from Asia and especially Thailand. I also hope that more big races will happen in Asia, Africa, and South America. The sport needs to be global, there are so many passionate, talented kids that can't race yet and I hope that when they see me they waill want to race in Europe as well.
How do you want to be remembered?
As the fastest Thai rider in EWS! I am so far the only one.
What does the future hold for you?
I am working hard with the Sunn team to build a team of riders from Asia and I hope next year we can be there with my friends.
Where can people follow you on social media?
On Instagram @tang_chinnapat.s