At the start of an international mountain biking season, which promised to be keenly contested, Maxime Marotte launches the first episode of a web series that will take viewers behind the scenes of his life as an elite athlete, his technical and mental preparations in this special year that was supposed to be an Olympic year but that became a huge challenge for every athlete.
A pivotal year, a dramatic backdrop
A few weeks away from the start of the international mountain biking season in early June, Maxime Marotte is already close to his best. He's been getting ready for months now, doing multiple preparatory sessions, alternating between endurance, bike handling, intensity training and mental prep. The first races of the season confirmed the good feeling he had been having, and the biker from Alsace was on schedule for the summer.
Although all his preparation was focused on the Olympics, like everyone else, he will now have to adapt to a new date and training at home. The Games may have been postponed by a year, but they will take place; to get there he'll have to go through an essential first step and secure his ticket for Tokyo. The only problem is that France is one of the strongest nations in mountain biking, with five top athletes who could claim qualification, while there are just two places up for grabs. To travel with the France team, the criteria are simple: you have to get into the top 3 in a World Cup or World Championship event.
So that's the challenge for Maxime Marotte’s 2020 season. The new Julbo web series entitled "The Hidden Path" will take place against this exciting backdrop. Over the four episodes, viewers and sports fans will be taken on a human adventure which promises to ramp up the tension and thrills, before hopefully being able to focus on Japan.
If there's one sport where French athletes have flown the country's colors at the highest level for many years, it's mountain biking. "There's a definite wave of French success which isn't down to chance, and there are also many fans who encourage us and help us get these results. This project is also a way of thanking them," explained Maxime, the project initiator. The other motivation that prompted him to embark on such a mission in this pivotal year is more personal: I also wanted to show how I got to this level… I don't see myself as a 'natural' champion, one of those people who achieved success in everything from an early age. It took a lot of hard work to climb the ladder and get to the very highest level. It hasn't been easy, but that's where I am today. I hope that showing this "path" in pictures will inspire young athletes.