Fresh after his win at the opening round of the UCI MTB World Cup Cross-Country which took place at the Cascades MTB Park,Cascades on Sunday 13th April – VELOlife pinned Julien Absalon (BMC) down for ten minutes…
|VL: How was your race?
JA: Ended well ! But I had a bad start and found myself in fifteenth / sixteenth place then I had to work hard to get back to the front. I caught the leading group and then it was Nino (Schurter) and me together. I was stronger on the climbs, he took more risk on the down hills which is maybe why he punctured (he was also riding tubeless tyres which are lighter but more risky). I have been here for five years now and had some bad luck so I was really happy to win after five years !
VL: What do you think of the Pietermaritzburg course?
JA: Pietermaritzburg is one of the riskiest courses on the circuit, this was the first course that started adding artificial sections to it, this makes the course hard and very tricky. The last few years the rest of the circuit started adding similar artificial section but Pietermaritzburg still remains one of the hardest course.
VL: What is special about your BMC?
JA: A few years ago I was winning the races on a 26inch bike but 29inch took over the racing scene. I was battling to find the right 29 inch bike, for a while I was not be able to race on the highest level and got frustrated. I then rode the BMC; the geometry was much better and I was able to keep the same position I had on my 26”. My 29 inch bike turns as fast as my previous 26inch bike but with the advantage of 29inch wheels. I believe the right bike for cross country is the BMC TE01.
VL: What does your bike weigh ?
JA: My bike is light with 8.8kg, I could make it much lighter but then I sacrifise on safety.
VL: We hear you have been testing the new electronic shifting, can you tell us more ?
JA: Yes, I have been testing with Shimano for the past two years. I am proud to be part of the exciting development – it is going to cause a small revolution in mountain biking soon… It will be launched in May at Albstadt, Germany.