Johannes Von KlebelsbergWith number 69 on his board and jeans on his legs, Johannes Von Klebelsberg definitely made an impression in Leogang. However, his speed was just as impressive as his attire and he qualified 16th, got on the live feed and finished 31st.
But Klebelsberg hasn't come from no where, he's a two-time Italian champion having first won it in 2014 and then regaining the sleeve last year. He's also been racing World Cups since 2012 and his performances earned him a spot on MS Mondraker last year but he only stayed with the team for a season. This year, he finds himself as a privateer once again for 2019. Here's everything you need to know about the denim destroyer and most recent recipient of the Privateer of the Week award - Johannes Von Klebelsberg:
Where are you from and where do you live?
I’m from Bolzano, South Tirol, Italy in the Dolomites. I now live half of the time in Munich for work and the other half somewhere else for biking and racing!
How did you get into mountain biking?
I started my “bike career” with cross country when I was 6 years old and kept on doing that until Junior category. While I was racing in Juniors, my bigger brother Valentin brought me to a downhill race in Italy and I loved it so I changed disciplines.
Who do you ride for?
ASC Tiroler Radler Bozen (ASC Tyrolian Bikers Bozen) - the team where I started racing as a child.
What bikes are you riding right now?
Downhill: Commencal Supreme
Enduro: Mondraker Summum Carbon
Do you have a job outside of mountain biking?
Yes, my brother Valentin and me are running a restaurant in Munich where we are specialized on Tirolian cuisine.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Tidiness! But I’m working on it.
What’s been your worst crash over the years?
Lenzerheide 2015 World Cup where I broke my back. But thankfully everything healed up well.
Where is your favourite race venue?
You’ve been racing in jeans this year, why is that?
I like the stretch of the jeans and find them really comfortable! They are big, they have lots of pockets and the pants don't break, it's actually a perfect downhill pant! The best I've ever had! Everybody should try it, but you need to get stretchable ones - normal jeans would be too stiff.
What are you listening to right now?
Everything but no modern rap.
When did you decide to start racing downhill World Cups?
After my cross country career. XC got really serious and as I‘m not a big fan of endurance sports. I luckily entered a downhill race one day in 2011 in Abetone, Italy and I liked the community and how everybody is friends when you are off racing.
What are the struggles of being a privateer that people might not realise?
The first struggle is the costs, but I work and won the donation in Leogang so this year I'm set for the races I'm aiming to take part in.
Another struggle - having no mechanic or manager when you are at a race. It‘s really hard to organize every single thing by your self (bike check, accreditation, hotel, food etc) but also there I have a big helper, my Dad, Urban.
Summed up, the hardest thing as a privateer is to manage the time. Normally if you are not at a race you are at work and you spend your free time training or organizing. But if you really want to you will always manage it.
Johannes and Wyn shredding in Bali
How hard was it going from a Factory Team back to being a privateer? Did you ever think about stopping racing?
Downhill sport is really hard, especially when you are not constantly finishing near the top. The support in a factory team, when you are not a consistent top finisher, is also not always how it seems from the outside.
So honestly I feel better with how I‘m doing things this year. The costs are the same but my big advantage is being free to try the many things I always wanted to.
Where’s your favourite place to ride?
I love to ride on my home trails around Bolzano and in the Dolomites.
What’s your favourite non-bike website?
I'm always checking webcams and the weather at home: wetter.provinz.bz.it
What’s your favourite motto or saying?
Push yourselves to be positive even when you are down.
What annoys you?
What makes you happy?
How do you want to be remembered?
I love Ben Cathro‘s description: “The unknown denim destroyer“
What does the future hold for Johannes Von Klebelsberg?
He'll keep riding in his jeans!