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Interview: Pinkbike Academy Winner Evan Wall After His 14th at EWS Tweed Valley

Oct 6, 2021 at 21:04
by Alicia Leggett  
Each race Evan Wall seems to go just a little bit quicker as he gains experience. Ending the season with a 14th will surely give him plenty of confidence while he preps for 2022

Pinkbike Academy winner Evan Wall showed throughout the PBA challenges that he has what it takes to be a pro enduro racer, and has spent his first summer training and racing full time. He missed the first block of the EWS season due to Covid restrictions, but hit the second half of the season hard and has been progressing each race this season from 63rd in both Loudenvielle races to 14th this past weekend at the season finale in Scotland's Tweed Valley. We caught up with him to ask about his first season with a factory team, his mindset toward racing, and what the future might bring.

First, congrats on placing 14th at the Tweed Valley EWS! How did the race feel?


Thank you! Wasn’t fully expecting a result like that, but so stoked. Going into it I was hoping for a good ol’ mud race, and we got just that! The changing conditions, tight and quick trails, plus the hectic crowds definitely made it the most fun racing of the year!


What are your riding strengths and weaknesses? Do you feel that the race played to your strengths?


I’ve always done best on technical, tighter trails, or downhill style stages, as opposed to bike park corners or wide open stuff like what we had in Loudenvielle. I also seem to enjoy riding in “bad” conditions, either absolute slop, or blown out dust, so I reckon the conditions and tracks in Tweed worked out well for me!




What was your favourite race stage and why?


Pro stage was my favourite for sure! It was full gas top to bottom, felt like a downhill track. The crowds were lining the track heavily which always makes it more fun. It was raining hard enough that there was water on the ground instead of mud, so the grip was quite predictable.


Your other results this season have been strong, but 14th is next-level, not to mention 6th on the Pro Stage! How did all the pieces come together to click so well for you this weekend?


I slowly progressed every race which felt good. I got on with the trails here right away, felt like I’d ironed out most of the weird mistakes I’d been making at previous races and was in a good headspace going into it. They threw me into the Top 30 Men starting Sunday which was a bit extra pressure but it just made me want to push harder.




Were you expecting a top-15 EWS result this year?


I was aiming for it for sure, but wasn’t laying too much pressure on myself going into the season, as I haven’t raced since EWS Finale in 2019. It was unexpected but felt good and feels achievable to be in the mix going into next season!


Zooming out a bit, how has your season gone overall?


Missing the first block of racing was definitely a bummer, but I stayed motivated and trained as hard as I could. I put a lot of effort into media projects to produce some deliverables aside from racing as well which was cool.

The race season started out sort of slow in Loudenvielle with P63 at both. I had trouble finding how hard to push and found myself either too conservative or making silly time consuming mistakes. In Crans Montana I felt like I was finding my pace, but again made some silly mistakes and was getting a bit frustrated with myself. P48 was a step in the right direction, and I was excited to continue the progression. Finale I felt quite good, managed my energy well and was relatively mistake free and consistent. I was stoked on a P30 there, and was happy if I could do that again. Tweed was some icing on the season and left me with good motivation for the offseason!


Pinkbike Acadamy winner Evan Wall would take 63rd
Evan's EWS season started in Loudenvielle and has been an upward progression since then.

How much have you traveled outside of Canada to race before this season?


Previously I’ve raced EWS Northstar, and Trophy of Nations in Finale, but other than that just raced EWS Whistler and Canadian National races.


What have the biggest changes been for your racing since signing with Orbea this season?


Having the support both in the off season and at the races was a huge change. It took a lot of stress off of the details surrounding the races, and let me focus on training, recovery, and preparation for the races. The mechanics and management of the team are so dialled and it was a pleasure to experience.


What has it been like to train and race full time compared to what you were doing before?


It has been amazing. I definitely saw the benefits that focusing 100% of my time and effort into biking can make. I was more busy this year than ever before with training, projects, and racing. I never had issues with motivation, knowing that I could be still swinging a hammer instead of smashing out intervals.




Has your mentality toward racing changed since signing with a pro team?


The mentality has remained fairly similar. I race because I love it, and always have as much fun as I can. I definitely have a bit more motivation to do well now, and am certainly pushing myself harder since I’ve got a taste of being with a Pro Team and want to continue being in this position in the future.


You may not be able to say yet, but do you have sponsorship plans in place for next year?


Unable to comment on this at the moment.


This season, Evan rode an Orbea Rallon as part of the Orbea-Fox Enduro Team.


What are your racing goals for next season and onward?


This year just fuelled the fire in me even more than before. Next year the plan is to get a full EWS season under my belt, and continue building on that for the future! In the off season I am planning on some media projects as well, so stay tuned!


Thanks, and congrats again!


Thank you for the time eh! Been great to catch up!


44 Comments

  • 109 0
 I bumped into Evan just before the pro stage on Saturday, despite him only having 20 minutes to get to the main stage for introductions he still stopped for a chat (I didn't realize his start time was so close), totally down to earth dude and you could tell he was stoked to be there and was enjoying the tracks.
Hugely impressive result, on the Saturday in the rain then to have the consistency to maintain a top 15 finish in the muddy Sunday was mega. Wishing him every success for 2022.
  • 23 0
 Cheers for the good words! Good to chat with ya before the race and stoked you came out to heckle!
  • 29 0
 So good to see mate. Nice work!
  • 26 0
 Seems like PBA wasn't as much goofing around as I tougght it was! Good job Evan!
  • 22 0
 Good Canadian Kid!!! Said in Don Cherry voice.
  • 12 0
 Good kid, loves the game
  • 21 0
 Look at that. True professional. Looking sharp on the way to the dressing room. In a suit, not in pajamas. Thats how you do it kids.
  • 21 2
 Wow, big tongue out to all the PBA haters, proves the show is full on legit!
  • 13 0
 Yeah man! I bumped into Evan at a gnarly natural drop on a local trail near Calgary many years ago, and he was clearly a shredder. Actually, I joined instagram just to see his video from that day lol
  • 13 0
 PBA uncovered a real gem there. Such a good dude. I didn't consider that his contract is up already with Orbea? Feels like this last race has got him some better contract terms!
  • 11 2
 Wow! I'll say I wasn't I fan of the decision to crown him victor of PBA, but this completely proves me wrong. Best of luck!
  • 9 0
 I am happy to see that this has been a good venture for basically everyone involved.
  • 9 0
 Very impressive results! Orbea are crazy if they aren't trying to hold onto him for longer...
  • 9 0
 6th! Phoof, the man has got what it takes!
  • 7 0
 Watched him on the Pinkbike Academy and he just seems like an all-round great person, congrats Evan.
  • 3 0
 Was rooting strongly for him by the end of PBA. He came across as a pleasant but determined personality and I'm glad to see he's progressed and has made the most of this opportunity. The competition was great in the way it revealed character. Wish him well for the future.
  • 4 0
 I knew he was a gamer when he was the only one who knew how to service his fork!
  • 6 0
 Was wondering when we'd get an update on this guy. Great job man!!
  • 3 0
 Good for him. Seems like a genuine good dude. Pretty cool to see a decent result, too- lends a little credence to the competition he won to get here. Looking forward to the next PBA!
  • 5 0
 Totally stoked for Mr. E. Wall!
  • 4 1
 I was 100% behind making Evan winner of PBA, I just thought that the "challenges" were stupid. And a lot of the show was stupid. Imma still watch season 2 though lol
  • 1 0
 It was nice to meet Evan this year in Finale and Scotland. He is a genuinely nice guy and you can tell he has a hunger to do well at his trade. Good luck in the future Evan. Hopefully we see you full time on the EWS circuit.
  • 3 0
 Love to see this dude doing well. Hope his pro contract extended next year and beyond, he deserves it!
  • 3 0
 Hell ya Evan! Keep shreddin
  • 1 0
 Was made up when he won PBA - he just seems a really good bloke. Delighted to see how well he has done. Hope he gets a decent contract for next season. Good luck Evan!
  • 2 0
 i had a quick chat with him in Finale, chillest in town and super simple guy.. all the best!
  • 2 0
 Yeah Evan! Con....tract, Con...tract, Con...tract, Come on everyone! Let's get it going!!!!!
  • 3 1
 That's my boy! I'm proud of you, Evan!
  • 3 0
 awesome!
  • 2 0
 Maybe he can take Damien Oton's spot in Orbea?
  • 2 0
 Nah, that's going to Maes apparently.
  • 3 0
 @ratedgg13: Maes is leaving GT? did I miss something??
  • 3 0
 @peterfoley5: team rumours has suggested he might be leaving GT for orbea. It isn't confirmed, just rumours
  • 3 0
 @ratedgg13: then maybe he can take Maes spot in GT Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I picked him from Day 1 on PBA. I liked how he was very confident, yet humble at the same time. A real class act.
  • 1 0
 I bet next year he will kill it! Hopefully he gets picked up he deserves it.
  • 2 0
 Nice job
  • 2 0
 Fackin Stallion !!!
  • 2 0
 Congrats dude!
  • 1 0
 You're my boy blue!
  • 1 0
 Stoked for you Evan!
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