Winter Training with Rémy Absalon

INTERVIEW //

For many years the Absalon brothers are dominating the mountain bike racing scene. ACROS supports Remy Absalon and the Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team for the second season now with hubs and bearings. Remy knows how to handle a mountain bike and is dropping the hammer on his enduro bike in the EWS and at the Megavalanche. Reason enough for us to take the opportunity to visit him at home to spend a typical day of training and hand him his new material over for the upcoming season.

For many years the Absalon brothers are dominating the mountain bike racing scene. ACROS supports Remy Absalon and the Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team for the second season now with hubs and bearings. Remy knows how to handle a mountain bike and is dropping the hammer on his enduro bike in the EWS and at the Megavalanche. Reason enough for us to take the opportunity to visit him at home to spend a typical day of training and hand him his new material over for the upcoming season.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-3
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-3

The Absalons come from the Vosges, where Rémy Absalon still lives and trains in his home ground. In addition to his life as a thoroughbred professional and racer, Rémy is also team manager, guide and organizer of bike races. Together with his girlfriend Marine he manages and organizes constantly new projects.

The Absalons come from the Vosges, where Rémy Absalon still lives and trains in his home ground. In addition to his life as a thoroughbred professional and racer, Rémy is also team manager, guide and organizer of bike races. Together with his girlfriend Marine he manages and organizes constantly new projects.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-88
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-88
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-143
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-81
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-143
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-81

In winter, Remy regularly swaps his mountain bike for the road bike or his motocross machine. He also keeps fit with running and fitness. Remy finds the perfect training environment only a few steps from his front door. The Vosges provide perfect terrain with their trails and quiet roads. After the morning mist had dissolved, we went to Remy’s home trails for our photo shoot. Of course, we also took the time to ask him the necessary questions and to learn more about his plans for the new season:

In winter, Remy regularly swaps his mountain bike for the road bike or his motocross machine. He also keeps fit with running and fitness. Remy finds the perfect training environment only a few steps from his front door. The Vosges provide perfect terrain with their trails and quiet roads. After the morning mist had dissolved, we went to Remy’s home trails for our photo shoot. Of course, we also took the time to ask him the necessary questions and to learn more about his plans for the new season:

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-6
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-7
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-9
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-6
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-7
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-9

Remy, what’s your plan for 2018? Will there be changes?                                              

Nothing changes in the team itself. Eliott Trabac stays aboard, as does Marine (Rémy’s girlfriend), who takes care of the management. Eliott is getting stronger and it would be nice if he could  make his breakthrough in the Enduro World Series this year. In addition to the races, we also shot videos in 2017 and have some plans for 2018 as well. There will definitely be some interesting projects for us to pursue this year! Like last year I will not participate in all races of the Enduro World Series this season, because I also want to have some free time for other events like the Mégavalanche. To participate in one or two multi-day stage races is still on the plan. I know that the Enduro World Series is very important because of media attention, but only the top five are interesting for the final ranking. So I think that we should not miss the opportunity to participate in other nice competitions if we cannot make it into the top five. But of course I will attend the first runs of the EWS.

Remy, what’s your plan for 2018? Will there be changes?                                              

Nothing changes in the team itself. Eliott Trabac stays aboard, as does Marine (Rémy’s girlfriend), who takes care of the management. Eliott is getting stronger and it would be nice if he could  make his breakthrough in the Enduro World Series this year. In addition to the races, we also shot videos in 2017 and have some plans for 2018 as well. There will definitely be some interesting projects for us to pursue this year! Like last year I will not participate in all races of the Enduro World Series this season, because I also want to have some free time for other events like the Mégavalanche. To participate in one or two multi-day stage races is still on the plan. I know that the Enduro World Series is very important because of media attention, but only the top five are interesting for the final ranking. So I think that we should not miss the opportunity to participate in other nice competitions if we cannot make it into the top five. But of course I will attend the first runs of the EWS.

acros-remy-absalon-2018-16

Are you still enjoying the EWS races?

Unfortunately, the stages are getting shorter and shorter with a duration of 2-4 minutes, which is not really my cup of tea. So I do not compete in one or the other run. But the stages of the EWS races in Chile and Slovenia look good on paper.

Are you still enjoying the EWS races?

Unfortunately, the stages are getting shorter and shorter with a duration of 2-4 minutes, which is not really my cup of tea. So I do not compete in one or the other run. But the stages of the EWS races in Chile and Slovenia look good on paper.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-12
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-70
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-12
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-70

Do you see any big changes when you look at the evolution of the EWS?

I notice that everything has become more professional. In addition to that the organizers want to show that Enduro can be practiced everywhere, which is why some competitions take place not in the high mountains but in hilly regions, which is less interesting for me because of the shorter stages. And it is impressive to see that the level of riders has also increased significantly in local competitions. Everyone trains more seriously, in the EWS this is even more noticeable! I do not like some things – some EWS runs require a lot of preparation and effort. If you want to place yourself well you are almost forced to arrive a few days beforehand to explore the stages in advance by foot. We also film some stages to study the ideal lines later. I’m watching my videos, though I do not really like that, but I do it because I have to. But not all stages are explored by me by foot in advance. That’s why I prefer to compete in competitions like the Mégavalanche, where riding on visibility is a priority.

Do you see any big changes when you look at the evolution of the EWS?

I notice that everything has become more professional. In addition to that the organizers want to show that Enduro can be practiced everywhere, which is why some competitions take place not in the high mountains but in hilly regions, which is less interesting for me because of the shorter stages. And it is impressive to see that the level of riders has also increased significantly in local competitions. Everyone trains more seriously, in the EWS this is even more noticeable! I do not like some things – some EWS runs require a lot of preparation and effort. If you want to place yourself well you are almost forced to arrive a few days beforehand to explore the stages in advance by foot. We also film some stages to study the ideal lines later. I’m watching my videos, though I do not really like that, but I do it because I have to. But not all stages are explored by me by foot in advance. That’s why I prefer to compete in competitions like the Mégavalanche, where riding on visibility is a priority.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-39
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-39

Who impressed you the most over the past year?

Five racers were really outstanding: Sam Hill, Adrien Dailly, Greg Callaghan, Martin Maes (though not always on the podium) and Damien Oton. If you look at their stage times, that’s another league.

Who impressed you the most over the past year?

Five racers were really outstanding: Sam Hill, Adrien Dailly, Greg Callaghan, Martin Maes (though not always on the podium) and Damien Oton. If you look at their stage times, that’s another league.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-68
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-68

What do the boys do a bit better than the others?

Take the example of Martin Maes. He was already talented in terms of riding  technique from the start, but lacked physical strength. This is now past, because he has greatly increased in this point. In the race you have to be able to give 110% percent on all stages, be it downhill or in intermediate sprints. Now add the luck factor and you have the winning formula. Martin had the speed in his legs, but had bad luck last year.

What do the boys do a bit better than the others?

Take the example of Martin Maes. He was already talented in terms of riding  technique from the start, but lacked physical strength. This is now past, because he has greatly increased in this point. In the race you have to be able to give 110% percent on all stages, be it downhill or in intermediate sprints. Now add the luck factor and you have the winning formula. Martin had the speed in his legs, but had bad luck last year.

acros-remy-absalon-2018-29

What about doping in enduro racing?

The question arises more often when you look at some performance explosions in more detail. The involvement of the UCI could therefore be a good step in this area.

What about doping in enduro racing?

The question arises more often when you look at some performance explosions in more detail. The involvement of the UCI could therefore be a good step in this area.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-28
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-30
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-28
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-30

The discussions with the organizers of the EWS and the UCI are still in progress

I dont know. For the past five years we have heard that the topic is being taken care of, but so far nothing official has been done.

The discussions with the organizers of the EWS and the UCI are still in progress

I dont know. For the past five years we have heard that the topic is being taken care of, but so far nothing official has been done.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-76
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-76

After all these years in racing, are there any places that would be a dream destination for you?

Of course I have been able to travel a lot with the Enduro World Series, but I would like to do something in Alaska. Although I have nothing concrete in mind yet.

After all these years in racing, are there any places that would be a dream destination for you?

Of course I have been able to travel a lot with the Enduro World Series, but I would like to do something in Alaska. Although I have nothing concrete in mind yet.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-147
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-148
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-147
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-148

Together with Marine, who also manages you, you are expecting your first child. This will certainly change a few things this season, right?

Marine and I will discover this together and see how things develop. Marine will not be able to join me at the races in the beginning of the season, but once the races are in Europe, I think we can all go to the competitions together with the baby. We are also lucky that our parents offered their help. Honestly, we have not thought too much about it yet, but we do not intend to turn up too many habits.

Together with Marine, who also manages you, you are expecting your first child. This will certainly change a few things this season, right?

Marine and I will discover this together and see how things develop. Marine will not be able to join me at the races in the beginning of the season, but once the races are in Europe, I think we can all go to the competitions together with the baby. We are also lucky that our parents offered their help. Honestly, we have not thought too much about it yet, but we do not intend to turn up too many habits.

acros-remy-absalon-2018-65

You also spend more and more time on the e-bike. Is that fun or is it the request of your sponsors?

When I asked for an e-bike last year, Scott was quite surprised. I just like it. During my training sessions, I avoid the shuttles and lift rides. At the end of last year, I also took part in the Catalan Enduro with an e-bike. I did not want to go too far with my classic MTB in November, during my build-up phase, and that was the right decision. Also this year I would like to go more with the e-bike.

You also spend more and more time on the e-bike. Is that fun or is it the request of your sponsors?

When I asked for an e-bike last year, Scott was quite surprised. I just like it. During my training sessions, I avoid the shuttles and lift rides. At the end of last year, I also took part in the Catalan Enduro with an e-bike. I did not want to go too far with my classic MTB in November, during my build-up phase, and that was the right decision. Also this year I would like to go more with the e-bike.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-21
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-47
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-21
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-47

E-bike racing is in the development phase, how do you see the developments in this area? Are e-bike competitions necessary? 

I do not think that there is currently a racing series that is really intended for e-bikes. Currently there is a separate category for e-bikes on the existing races. But a real e-bike format has to be more. For e-bike enduro races, I think the stages have to be much longer. It will be much more important to be tactical, as you have to keep an eye on your battery so that the power reaches even to the finish. But we are following the development very closely. Also regarding to the organization of our own race, the Enduro des Hautes Vosges. Currently, it takes too much energy to develop a separate course for, for example, fifteen participants in an e-bike race. But we will watch the developments closely!

E-bike racing is in the development phase, how do you see the developments in this area? Are e-bike competitions necessary? 

I do not think that there is currently a racing series that is really intended for e-bikes. Currently there is a separate category for e-bikes on the existing races. But a real e-bike format has to be more. For e-bike enduro races, I think the stages have to be much longer. It will be much more important to be tactical, as you have to keep an eye on your battery so that the power reaches even to the finish. But we are following the development very closely. Also regarding to the organization of our own race, the Enduro des Hautes Vosges. Currently, it takes too much energy to develop a separate course for, for example, fifteen participants in an e-bike race. But we will watch the developments closely!

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-50
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-50

Do you think there is a future for an e-bike world championship?

That is hard to say. I think the e-bike is something more for do-it-yourselfer in the context of competitions. You should already be very strong at the moment if you want to compete in special e-bike enduro races, especially if you want to be faster than 25 km / h. This is definitely easier with a normal MTB. I think we are in a transitional phase. In my opinion the current racing formats make little sense for e-bike competitions.

Do you think there is a future for an e-bike world championship?

That is hard to say. I think the e-bike is something more for do-it-yourselfer in the context of competitions. You should already be very strong at the moment if you want to compete in special e-bike enduro races, especially if you want to be faster than 25 km / h. This is definitely easier with a normal MTB. I think we are in a transitional phase. In my opinion the current racing formats make little sense for e-bike competitions.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-110
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-126
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-107
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-110
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-126
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-107

What relationship do you have with your sponsors, especially with ACROS?

When the team was founded, we wanted to have direct contact with the brands and not a team manager in between. I’ve always wanted to do more than just race and help develop specific products. With ACROS, for example, we are currently working on the development of products for e-bikes. Our material sponsors receive constant feedback from me about what works well or less well. In addition, I think it’s great to do other projects with my sponsors besides the competitions. We want to offer our partners more than just racing. Together with Marine I founded the company Irwego with which we offer MTB workshops. For me, this is always a good opportunity to get feedback from hobby cyclists on all types of products. Every year we organize about 20 workshops, so our schedule is always well filled.

What relationship do you have with your sponsors, especially with ACROS?

When the team was founded, we wanted to have direct contact with the brands and not a team manager in between. I’ve always wanted to do more than just race and help develop specific products. With ACROS, for example, we are currently working on the development of products for e-bikes. Our material sponsors receive constant feedback from me about what works well or less well. In addition, I think it’s great to do other projects with my sponsors besides the competitions. We want to offer our partners more than just racing. Together with Marine I founded the company Irwego with which we offer MTB workshops. For me, this is always a good opportunity to get feedback from hobby cyclists on all types of products. Every year we organize about 20 workshops, so our schedule is always well filled.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-127
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-127
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-119
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-109
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-119
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-109

You and your brother Julien practice very different disciplines on the bike, but as far as your careers are concerned you are in the same phase: partly team manager, partly on the e-bike, partly racing cyclist … 

For Julien it will be good that he also takes on other new challenges by founding his own team. We will find more opportunities in the future to have fun together. Whenever possible we try to work together. This winter we have done a lot of training together on the road or with the cross country bike. At the end of winter, I visit him regularly in the south, where he lives. The weather is just better there.

You and your brother Julien practice very different disciplines on the bike, but as far as your careers are concerned you are in the same phase: partly team manager, partly on the e-bike, partly racing cyclist … 

For Julien it will be good that he also takes on other new challenges by founding his own team. We will find more opportunities in the future to have fun together. Whenever possible we try to work together. This winter we have done a lot of training together on the road or with the cross country bike. At the end of winter, I visit him regularly in the south, where he lives. The weather is just better there.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-73
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-73

The final of the Mountain Bike World Cup (XC and DH) in La Bresse should be a special moment for you this year as you and Julien grew up in this region …

I will not be involved in this competition. Unfortunately I was not asked for advice regarding the course. For Julien the race is very important, we will be there and support him.

The final of the Mountain Bike World Cup (XC and DH) in La Bresse should be a special moment for you this year as you and Julien grew up in this region …

I will not be involved in this competition. Unfortunately I was not asked for advice regarding the course. For Julien the race is very important, we will be there and support him.

remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-35
remy-absalon-acros-interview-2018-35

Thanks Remy for the insight into your everyday training routine and your plans. We wish you and Marine all the best for your next joint “big project” and, of course, good luck for the new season!

Thanks Remy for the insight into your everyday training routine and your plans. We wish you and Marine all the best for your next joint “big project” and, of course, good luck for the new season!

MAKING OF – HOMESTORY REMY ABSALON

MAKING OF – HOMESTORY REMY ABSALON

2018-02-23T13:09:44+00:00