Interview: Martin Maes to Race Fort William World Cup

Jun 1, 2018
by Alex Evans  
Martin Maes He arrived ran and took the first place in the general.
Martin Maes in Chile, where he finished second to Sam Hill.

Martin Maes came second at Round 1 of the Enduro World Series in Chile, and third at Round 3 in France, but a shoulder dislocation took him out of Round 2 in Colombia.

Ross Bell caught up with Martin Maes at the 2018 Fort William World Cup to discuss why he's racing a downhill round, GT's new prototype DH Bike, and what his plans for the season are.


The first few EWS racers are done, how did they go?


Not too bad, I got a second place in Chile and a third place in France two weeks ago. But unfortunately, I dislocated my shoulder in Colombia. That's basically the reason why I'm racing Fort William World Cup because my place in the overall standings of the EWS is in question. When you miss a race for whatever reason you lose a lot of points so I decided to race Fort William.

I've won here two times as junior so it always gives me good vibes. I really like the venue so I'm happy to be back!


When was the last time you raced here?


I was in Elite, but I broke my wrist on the last jump on the Scotland! I'm back here now for redemption. Hopefully!


Are you here for fun?


When I'm racing I'm always trying my hardest and obviously, I'm very competitive but I don't have any expectations or goals to achieve this weekend. The team is stoked that I'm here and I took the opportunity to be here. It's great to hang out with the downhill riders, too.


How much time have you had on the DH bike?


I've spent a day riding in La Bresse, France just to get used to the bike, but that's all. I think the last time I rode a downhill bike was two years ago, here, in Fort William. We've got a different bike now which is loads faster and safer. It's always a good experience to ride at Fort William so I'm really excited.


Top EWS racer Martin Maes is here in Fort William aboard an updated GT downhill prototype.
Martin Maes, is here in Fort William aboard an updated GT downhill prototype.


Are you going to be racing any more World Cups?


I don't know yet, but La Bresse is only a 4-hour drive from my house it could be an option. Let's see how I fare in the overall standings at the EWS before deciding what I do. The plan is to do Fort William as a test event and then maybe La Bresse.


Martin Maes will get his first taste of the new downhill bike in action this weekend.
Martin Maes will get his first taste of the new downhill bike in action this weekend.


What about the World Championships?


Worlds is on the weekend before Ainsa so it might be a bit tight. Who knows! If I get a good result here or in La Bresse then maybe. I have no pressure to do well, I'm just riding for myself and want to do the best I can!



We've added Martin Maes to the Fantasy Downhill Presented by Trek.




24 Comments

  • 11 0
 Martin Maes- another one of these young guns that are on fire! Massive talent here and a real likeable personality. Looking forward to seeing him race DH.
  • 2 3
 I learned him everything, he s a nice kid


(Haha one year younger that me .. )
  • 8 1
 Please elaborate on how the new bike is "Safer" than the previous!
  • 5 0
 My guess is longer=stabler, but then you might go faster so....
  • 18 0
 Air bags.
  • 1 0
 @Jimmy0: Better suspension design too.
  • 1 0
 @Jimmy0: That's what I was thinking. Time to just send it!
  • 1 0
 This is often a "lost in translation" problem. Quite often people say "safer" when it's more that they "feel safer" or are "more confident".
  • 1 1
 Probably less twitchy, stiffer, more stable, more predictable suspension.
  • 1 1
 The lack of amusing replies disappoints me.
  • 8 6
 "I've spent a day riding in La Bresse, France just to get used to the bike, but that's all. I think the last time I rode a downhill bike was two years ago, here, in Fort William."

It's surprising to me that enduro racers don't ride DH bikes more often (for fun and/or training purposes). Enduro is so close to DH in the first place too - similar tracks aside from the length and format obviously.

Also surprising that he is racing a WCDH race having only ridden a DH bike once in the last 2 years?!?!
  • 28 0
 because you can ride everything on an enduro bike, so you may as well take the enduro and practice on the bike you race on. Even the gnarliest dh tracks are rideable (not quite as fast) on enduro bikes.
  • 9 2
 DH bikes make you lazy maybe? Need more precision with the smaller rigs
  • 1 0
 I'm not particularly surprised by this... The tracks may be similar to DH but that's why you would want to ride your enduro rig on them. DH bikes are far faster and cushier so he would probably be at a disadvantage hopping back on his small bike after.
  • 4 0
 @millsr4: practice how you want to play! No reason to practice on a bike that is more forgiving.
  • 11 0
 While I generally agree with ace, mtb, and mills...I've found that a DH bike will open my eyes to lines I wasn't seeing on the enduro bike, then when I switch back, I'll make the move on the enduro bike. Don't F up though...
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: hahaha that is the issue in my mind... it opens your eyes to lines that are either hard to do on the other bike or not possible... for real though, don't F it up!
  • 2 0
 @LaXcarp: yeah I see what you mean I definitely do the same, but they are on a different level to us...
  • 3 0
 Maes is always a top contender in the pro DS race at Sea Otter. This kid can do just about anything.
  • 1 0
 True... he is a beast and such a nice and humble guy... always approachable and happy to talk with you! He is a future W-Champ... for sure!
  • 3 0
 Can someone explain how has he managed to get enough uci points to race a world cup?
  • 2 0
 I remember he raced Fort William in 2015 and won the title of Junior group here in Fort William. He's a beast.
  • 2 0
 27,5 or 29? IT looks awesome, looking forward to geo numbers.

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