The MTB world champion, Julien Absalon, talks about his career and the values of his young team.

MTB is a vocation and Julien Absalon shows it. He is one of the strongest cross-country specialists of all time and, during his career, he won two Olympics, the World Championship four times, the European Championship five times and the World Cup seven times. An outstanding list of prizes that the French champion remembers as an intense adrenalin-and-competition combination.
Today he is the mentor of his Absolute Absalon team that Sidi is proud to sponsor, where he shares his experience with young bikers and helps them cultivate their talents and give free rein to the passion for off-road. 

In my life I tried out many sports, but I would get fed up in no time. I started with MTB very late; I did not have any expectation, I just thought that it would be an addition in the list of the many other disciplines I had quit. But it was love at first sight, and I told myself, “This is really what I want to do!”

When I think back, it’s hard to remember my victories – some are like wonderful dreams, awesome moments, and it is not easy to make a ranking, but there is something I will always remember: the intensity of competition. That is the dimension I have loved the most. Then, there are unquestionably my two home victories in the World Cup – special moments indeed – and my two Olympic titles, of course. The first one was surreal, to say the least. The race in Athen took place like in a dream. I was ‘on a cloud’ that had the shape of my life and I was focused as never before. Once I crossed the finish line, I did not realize I had won, and I kept on walking on clouds for many weeks. The media asked me thousands of questions, but I wasn’t really ready to answer. It was an extremely intense moment and it was not easy to deal with it, because I was very young.

After I stopped racing, I had a clear idea in mind. I wanted to continue my career in a different way than usual. I understood that I still had something to say and wanted to share my experience with budding bikers. That is how the Absolute Absalon project got started. With the team guys we are carrying out an important work. We want to convey values such as perseverance, motivation and rigor, always along with fun, because the mountain bike is, first and foremost, a passion for all of us. And I am convinced that this is what unites us.