“I tried to stay consistent and it paid off”: An interview with FISE MTB Champion 2017 Mehdi Gani
This year’s FISE World Series has been one to remember for Mehdi Gani. The French rider blew the crowd away at every stop, flipping and whipping his way to the 2017 MTB Slopestyle title. We caught up with the current champ to get the secrets of his success.
When did you first get into mountain biking?
I started riding BMX first. Then a friend introduced me to mountain biking, which was something like 10 years ago.
You are 2017 FISE MTB Slopestyle champion.
What was the FISE World Series like for you this year and where does it compare to other mountain biking contests?
I’m really happy overall this year. I got 3rd in Montpellier, 4th in Edmonton and 3rd in China, I just tried to stay consistent this year and it paid off. FISE events are part of the FMB World ranking so they are important events with fun courses. My favourite event of the season is Montpellier, the crowd is amazing there and the cool thing about FISE is that you can watch other extreme sports too.
How do you prepare for a mountain bike contest? Do you have any pre-competition routines? Or any superstitions?
Before a bike contest, I don’t really change anything about my routine. I go to the gym a few times a week and I just try to ride a lot to feel comfy on my bike and confident on my tricks. I throw salt over my shoulder before all my runs and I always have my four-leaf clover in my pocket! No, I don’t have any superstitions.
Where is your favourite place to ride in the world and why?
I really enjoy riding in Queenstown, New Zealand. They have amazing dirt jumps, going there is like a dream for a lot of riders.
What was the French scene like for mountain biking when you were starting out? Do you think the scene has improved today?
When I started 10 years ago the French scene was already good, but Yannick Granieri was one of the only French riders doing the biggest international events. Now the French scene is stronger and you can see a lot of Frenchies at most of the biggest events, which is awesome.
What do you see in the future of mountain biking?
I think the future is going to be crazy. Every year the jumps are bigger on the events and the level of tricks are more insane. I think there are no limits.
What advice would you give to aspiring mountain bikers?
I think that if you trust yourself, if you work hard and if you’re having fun, you can achieve all your goals.