Podcast: Yoann Barelli on Injury, Photography, Drug Addiction, Doping & More

Aug 21, 2019
by Downtime Podcast  

Words Chris Hall

Our last episode with Yoann Barelli was super popular, so I thought it would be good to get him back on for a catch-up. He’s had a tough start to the season with an unlucky knee injury putting him out for the rest of the year. So we chat about his season so far, the injury and journey to recovery, his photography, drug addiction, doping and much more. So hit play above and enjoy catching up with the one and only Yoann Barelli.

You can also listen by searching for ‘Downtime Podcast’ on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts, by asking Alexa, or over on our website www.downtimepodcast.com/yoann-barelli-2019/ and you can follow us on Instagram @downtimepodcast


  • 155 0
 This was a great listen! Yoann’s enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. I’m a huge fan of his, rooting for his healthy recovery and more success next season

Real talk: As a sober person in recovery for 3.5 years, I have great appreciation for anyone who can speak openly and honestly about their struggles with substance abuse and addiction. Yoann and Tippie are amazing role models for how to overcome serious drug issues and get on with living life to the fullest without drugs or alcohol.

More real talk: if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, drinking or addiction, help is available. You can stop, things will get better, and it’s ok not to be ok. Ride on!
  • 52 0
 I second this. I have about 9 months clean and not a day goes by when I’m not still surprised at how supportive friends and family were once I was honest with them. I think this is one of the biggest obstacles that makes addicts say, “I’ll do something about it tomorrow.” Fear of losing the love of the people around you is an unfounded fear. Do it today, make a change today, and tell someone you love the truth. That is all it takes to get the ball rolling!
  • 20 0
 I'm glad you enjoyed it @pauldiggity and glad to hear that your recovery is going well!
  • 19 0
 @DirtbagMatt: well said man, and I'm stoked that you're getting awesome support from your friends and family! All the best for your recovery.
  • 19 0
 Couldn't agree more. Tippie's honesty and openness about his journey and past are an inspiration to someone who has not yet been brave or strong enough to cross that divide. Makes me believe there could be a bright future yet....and with bright teeth no less. Thanks for your own honesty, not sure you understand the positive impact it has on people still struggling.
  • 21 0
 also a recovered addict, 3.5 years for me as well. All i can say is keep an open mind, 12 step isn't for everyone so look into other options like SMART. hardest thing ive ever done, but now i own my own house and have a dream job in the bike industry. and most importantly i'm happy, and somewhat healthy. my life has progressed more in the past 3 years than the 15 years prior. at the end of the day all you can hope for is to be happy and healthy, and excessive drug use is a surefire way to undermine that. depending what your DOC is, some and even most don't make it out alive. i never thought id be one of the "success stories", but alas here we are.
  • 11 0
 @jimijames2095: I’m not sure if you are talking about yourself or someone in your life, but in either case, I beg you to pick up your phone and call or text someone to make a change today. Problem with making plans everyday for tomorrow is... tomorrow never comes.
  • 6 3
 This thread reads like a never-ending Green Day song.
  • 12 1
 yeah, the same here, next wednesday it will be 7 days I will have been clean!
  • 7 0
 I have 8.5 years clean/sober. Best thing I have ever done. Bikes are medicine. If you are struggling don't keep it a secret. Seek help.
  • 2 0
 @mihauek: The first month is the hardest, I assure u it gets WAY easier.
  • 4 0
 Stopped alcohol for 3 weeks, except my wife there was not a lot of support. I'm glad i'm not in a serious issue with it cause it would really hard considering the lack of support and misunderstanding I saw.
  • 2 0
 @DirtbagMatt: it's tough alcohol withdrawals can be scary night sweats, horrible vivid nightmares, followed by months of post withdrawals such as insomnia, mood swings, lethargy and short term memory loss.
And without insurance there's no medical help for you and going cold turkey is not good.
  • 6 0
 @reverend27: she's the only one who helped. And she's a mountainbiker, no way I would change.
  • 4 0
 @fracasnoxteam: o sorry I read it wrong. I thought you were saying your wife wasn't any help.
  • 1 0
 @mihauek: congrats man, I am on 10 days (not in a row though) and feeling great
  • 2 0
 @mihauek: Good job ( trzymaj się) Gets easier as you go along. Ride as much as you can.
  • 1 0
 @fracasnoxteam: I'm not surprised. We have a pretty deep cultural history with alcohol (wine), but I guess every region of the world also has one in some way. Yet somehow I have the feeling that the french are less effective at accepting that some of our cultural heritage (like drinking frequently, ie "le petit ballon à midi ça fait pas de mal" ) needs some distancing now.

As a consequence, alcohol problems seem not to be taken seriously and people might just say "you just need to reduce or take it easy, bla bla".

Anyway, good luck & good ride
  • 1 0
 @juliopedro: thx. I'm dealing way better with it now: know your ennemy....
  • 1 0
 @fracasnoxteam: number one enemy is yourself, always
  • 1 0
 @mihauek: dont worry your old friend is on his way Smile
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: Yes. Cold Turkey Alcohol withdrawal can kill u whereas opioid withdrawal will not, tho it’s a bitch... Even without insurance, a combination of benzodiazepines and gabapentin should be accessible from local clinics at a reasonable price to get through the critical first 4 weeks IF you have your family in the know and have people ready to care for you. There is always a path.
  • 27 0
 4:15 - Discussion of Yoann's new SRAM team and its experiences at a "SRAM Camp"
8:50 - Yoann's comments on his bike setup, preference for air stuff over coil.
20:00 - Talk of his injury
26:50 - Photography at Rampage for Loam Wolf
40:00 - Talks of his history and overcoming addiction
57:00 - On Doping
  • 16 0
 THANK YOU! I’m a bit of a comedy nerd, and mostly listen to podcasts from professional comedians, @yoannbarelli is one of the few mountain bikers that have made me laugh as hard as the comedians I like. Yoann is one of the few pros that understands that his job is a form of entertainment...and is able to be entertaining.
  • 3 0
 Nice one, I'm glad you enjoyed it @unrooted Let me know if you've got some good comedy podcast recommendations...
  • 2 0
 @downtimepodcast: my faves right now are Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank, Tom Segura & Christina P's Your Mom's House, Ryan Sickler's The Honeydew, Dr. Drew's After Dark, Jonathan Goldstein's Heavyweight, and of course the Joe Rogan Experience.

I have a job with a lot of sitting around...
  • 3 0
 @unrooted: nice list man, that gives me a lot of things to listen to, thanks!!
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: The Joe Rogan/Bob Lazar podcast.... What a mind f*ck
  • 2 0
 @Lurch420: if you believe anything Bob Lazar says...
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: look into it Wink
  • 16 0
 Thanks for sharing this @pinkbike, and a massive thanks to Yoann for being so open and honest. I really enjoyed catching up and finding out more about you!
  • 2 1
 Thanks Chris, another great Barelli Bants Session. Beer
  • 6 1
 Such a positive guy, but extreme - the Timber Wolf bonus feature was like a little snack, I was blown away. Wasn't expecting that interview and the incredibly candid account of Aussy party life, I've been 'there' too, thanks for sharing Yoann. God knows what that stuff was, but you were already out there before you were spiked, its such a strange state to be in, you remember the thoughts, and you are convinced by them - and its always fear based, its like temporary schizophrenia - and you wonder how you managed to be like that when its over. If you've been in that hole and survived you won't go back...too scary. There's trauma in the background somewhere, in some form, to lead the way into that life, pretty much always. Stay focussed Yoann, you're more inspirational than you may know.
  • 2 1
 "God knows what that stuff was".
Sounds like a hefty dose of LSD. Not what you want dumped in your drink.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 @hasteTHEday: oh, ok, yeah sorry
  • 3 0
 @BenPea: I was spiked with three red dragon tabs, fresh from Amsterdam and strong as hell, at a festival in Scotland, it was first thing in the morning and I had only just come down from two the previous night, it was difficult but not suicidal difficult, that was 1990. At new year in about 2007, I drank two liters of vodka, about 5 pints, and numerous lines and smokes, that's when I thought they were gonna kill me and I remember it all clearly, looking back that was the peak of it for me, these days I would die from that, in fact much less had me rolling about the floor of A&E last year thinking I was dying, I'd had a panic attack on the mother of all comedowns. I'm mending, things are ok, lucky I have the help of a very supportive family. I would also like to add that DH has been helpful, nothing like binning it hard to bring you round lol
  • 4 0
 Wow, had no idea about the drug taking and living in Perth. Yoann, if you want to go full circle, come back when the knee is better and do some into the gnar episodes with Mr Hill on our local trails.
  • 3 0
 Growing up watching Yoann ride, and race the way he does, i never imagined that he has gone through these things.
The impact this had on me today, is really beyond words. I think i've felt my own identity shift listening to him talk about his struggles. Ever since becoming clean, iv really struggled with regaining a complete, healthy image of myself. Its been 4 years... But to see what he has accomplished after being in "that place". It gives me strength to keep pushing on, you were always an inspiration dude, but i've got a deep respect for you now.
  • 1 0
 Yoann should have his own PB spot...he's entertaining, knowledgeable, and I think he has the bike world in a good perspective. A regular spot for him, interviewing, commentary, or something like that should be really helpful to riders in general. Don't let Yoann slip away. He's good for mtb ing in all its' forms.
  • 1 0
 Great listen.

I remember talking about timing years ago, base settings for different conditions etc also and I still do it now, as an old guy and engineer it just makes sense.
I know WC guys who don't have or do this!
Setup, base settings, all breed confidence Smile

Always good to do timing, train, timing, change training, timing, find what works, repeat.

I even put markers on my fork and shock now for my settings and don't see the pro's doing this. They still count clicks!
  • 1 0
 Yoann, become a contributor on submit.shutterstock.com and/or www.offset.com/artists-application, another good marketplace for selling photography (...or video, music)
  • 1 0
 What an awesome episode! Kudos to Yoann for his openness. Just thinking around my group of buddies, there's a lot of us that have been saved to some degree or other by this sport. What an inspiration.
  • 1 0
 This was my first time listening to Downtime podcast and I was amazed! Great stuff! I had an ACL surgery in 2017 after a stupid crash on my gravel bike and I know the after surgery pain Yoann was talking about! Keep rolling!
  • 1 0
 welcome onboard @zvirze I hope that you find more of our episodes interesting too!
  • 1 1
 I already said it in a previous article about mental health I think, but people with ADHD or ADD have a higher risk of having ADDiction (!). And while ADHD is kinda "visible" people with ADD "only" can ignore their condition, that they have a somehow particular brain, often coming with social difficulties, and they may unconsciously find relief in alcohol, drugs, etc.
  • 3 0
 Got hurt trying to out do an e biker... Classic!
  • 2 0
 Sitting on a bus for 6 hours next to Seths bike hacks, or Yoann....which do you choose
  • 3 1
  • 1 0
 Yoann for sure. He would chat with you the whole way and be your best friend by the end. Love Seth's videos, but he seems a bit like he would have a respectful conversation for like 30 mins then use the other 5.5 hours editing on his computer.
  • 2 0
 Who is Seth?
  • 3 2
 Nice guy! just keep it simple as always! We are gonna be drinking beers and supporting ews in Chile!
  • 2 0
 Love this podcast and Barelli is always an entertaining guest. Well done.
  • 1 0
 Merci Yoann, t'est pas seulement un excellent rider : mais un excellent humain
  • 1 0
 what a top bloke....honest, open and rad! mint episode
  • 4 5
 Just do psychedelics on a mountain top . my DOC Not a drugs are created equal
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