Finley DaviesWhat is it with the UK and wonderkids at the moment? If it isn't Harry Schofield crushing it in Tea and Biscuits or Crosby Zoomerman hitting big doubles then it's Finley Davies being the youngest competitor in the FMB Dirt Wars contests.
Finley is 11 years old but has been competing in the Open category of the UK's premier dirt jump series, which is rated as bronze level by the FMB, since he was 9. At his first event, he was almost turned away as the insurance only covered riders 13 and older. However, the organisers were so impressed with Finley's skills, they upgraded their cover on the spot to allow him to compete. He finished 4th in that event and went on to finish 3rd overall for the series that year.
Two years later, Finley is still progressing and has now picked up sponsorship deals from Commencal, Halo, Gusset, Ride Concepts, Ride 100% and Madison. We caught up with the dirt jump phenom to get to know him a bit better.
I am 11 years old, from Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.
How did you get into mountain biking?
I got into mountain biking from riding BMX bikes for racing and skateparks, this is where I learnt the basics and soon moved onto riding in the woods and discovering MTB.
Who do you ride for?
One of my first big sponsors was Halo wheels, I now have support from Commencal Bikes, Gusset, Ride Concepts, Ride 100 Percent, Maddison Clothing.
What bikes are you riding right now?
My rides for this season were the Commencal Clash 27.5, and the 24” Meta hardtail. My new ride is a custom 24” Commencal absolut DJ bike.
How did your custom bike come about?
Being a UK rider we found that we couldn’t get a 24” dirt jump specific bike, so we asked Commencal if they could design one for me and other young riders and they said yes!
The absolut 24” build is designed around the 26” absolut for adult riders, and the scaled-down version has everything I wanted in a junior DJ, such as DJ geometry, 24” wheels, 26” forks and built to stand the strength of riding huge jumps.
What's it like competing at FMB events as an 11-year-old?
My dirt jump riding started when I rode FMB competitions, I love competing in these and riding with the pros, learning new courses and pushing myself to land perfect tricks for prizes.
What are your strengths?
If I was to talk about my strengths I would say, people often compliment on how mature I am and that I have a good trails etiquette with a natural talent and an ability to read jumps.
What are your weaknesses?
My weaknesses would be my lack of confidence in believing myself in learning new tricks as quickly as others.
What has been your biggest crash?
During my time riding mtb, I have had a few crashes and injuries, but I would say my worst was knocking my front teeth out trying a double flip! Although it was to foam it hurt far more than my previous accidents.
What's your favourite trick?
When I am riding I love to throw old school tricks, and usually a backflip, as I learnt these very soon after my 8th birthday so am comfortable with them now.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My highlight in my MTB history so far is taking a 3rd position in the FMB Series of Dirt Wars overall in my first year of riding dirt jumps at 9 years old. The youngest to ever compete!
Where's your favourite place to ride?
My favourite place to ride is La Poma bike park Barcelona so far, but I would love to try thousands of more places.
What's your favourite non-bike website?
Along with my love for bikes, I also have an admiration for cars, mostly sports cars and spend time researching different models.
What's your motto or saying?
As a rider I haven’t really got a motto or saying yet, the locals have given me a few nicknames though! And Mum would say all she ever hears when I ride is. “ Coming “ as when I set off I like to warn her and people I’m en route!
What makes you happy?
I’m usually at my happiest riding my favourite places and eating, I really just ride, eat, repeat.
What does the future hold for Finley Davies?
I’d say that I’d like the future to hold a mostly injury-free time, where I can continue to grow as a rider, with the possibilities to ride around the world as I love to travel and eat and ride overseas. Maybe even be lucky enough to get some rider invites along the way.