Chris Porter

Making Up The Numbers World Cup Podcast | Episode 1 | Part 2

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Part 2

In part 2 of Making Up The Numbers Podcast, Joe Breeden describes his race run and how it felt to be on the Red Bull live feed for the first time, before George gives Mojo’s Chris Porter a call.

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Podcast Transcribed

George: So you looked pretty focused in the start gate.  Was that focus or was that bricking it?

Joe: No, I felt good in the start gate to be honest.  Really excited, really keen, warm up went well, everything was good and I would say I was maybe just a bit too keen.

George: Yeah?

Joe: A bit too hungry.  I didn’t go out the gate amazingly and was a bit tight throughout the first couple first corners but after that…

George: There’s like a table just off the start…

Joe: Yeah that’s it.

George: …and some people like you could see some people were really keen and they landed to flat almost on the other side and then you saw like Pierron and Bruni, they’d just…

Joe: Just floated out.  Yeah that was one of the bits where I was paired in a spot where I shouldn’t have been and I was just a bit too keen there really.  But no, like when you know it’s the final and you know you’ve qualified well and you know you’re on TV, I mean you have to focus all in yourself and hit your lines but there’s always that little bit of spark that just makes you go that bit faster.   

George: Yeah, I say yeah [laughter].  

Joe: But I mean yeah, it is a really strange feeling.  I don’t know how you can kind of describe it but it definitely pushes you on more, that’s for sure.  

George: Talk us through the run then.

Joe: Didn’t last for long.  [Laughter].  Yeah, as I say, went out the start alright, a bit tight.  

George: Yeah.

Joe: At the top after that, pretty good.  There was one…  

George: Were you doing that inside, just before they’d disappeared into the woods?  Were you inside in that bail?

Joe: Right at the top?

George: Yeah, so did the first two corners and just before you went into the wood there was like that big left hander.

Joe: Okay yeah.

George: Were you inside…

Joe: Yeah, I was on the inside on that.

George: Yeah. 

Joe: I think most were to be honest, there was a couple who wasn’t.  So yeah, did all that and there was actually a line I’d changed in the morning because the line I was on, the little rut on the outside of it had blown out, someone’s gone over the top of it, followed by another few riders who’d gone over the top of it, so it was just blown out, so that morning I had to make a change of line.  

George: Right.

Joe: I practiced it you know, just to try and hit the line but then when I come into it in my race run, I slowed up a lot.  Had it pretty slow and just after that I started trying to shift on again and was trying to basically make up for… because I knew I was slow in the previous part, and that’s exactly where I crashed, just after that.

George: So what actually happened in the crash because…

Joe: Yeah…

George: …it looked it could have been any number of things.

Joe: Yeah.  A few people have said different things.  One person said “Oh did you blow your hand off the bar?”  Another person said “Oh did you have to jump off because the tree was coming too quickly towards me?”  

George: You got some nice scratches on your arms.

Joe: Yeah I got a few.  But no, I come round the corner, there was a route that crosses pretty much the whole track and you have to turn across it and I turned the front over it, thought the back was gonna follow beautifully, but instead no, I’ve moved my body weight far forward like towards the front of the bike to take the next impact and push through down a drop.  And meanwhile the back had gone light, caught the start of the route, slid along the route and by this time the back was coming round and I just had to abort really.  It was coming right round on me, there was…

George: It was a fast crash.

Joe: Yeah, nothing I could do.  It happened like that.  I didn’t know.  

George: I’m gonna see if I can find it on Red Bull.

Joe: Yeah.

George: So you were 2.6 back when you crashed and I reckon, I had looked at it, I think you lost about 10 seconds.

Joe: Yeah I had a look myself.  I worked it out to be about that.  Because I did get straight back on and I pushed on…

George: Yeah you did push on didn’t you?

Joe: Yeah because I was just trying to salvage any points I could.

George: Was that like pure annoyance or was that…

Joe: Yeah, I…

George: …did you lose your cool a bit or you know, not lose your cool but…

Joe: I certainly lost my cool and my focus and the whole thing has just broken up really.  But my reaction is just still just get down to the bottom as fast as you can and I’ve learned like the hard way in the past that I’ve given up and actually I could’ve still got a few points or whatever.  So I think it’s always just give 100%, so I went down, got back on and gave it 100% and I did manage to score a few points.  So that helps, you know, you never know that might be the difference.

George: The UCI points or is that?

Joe: World Cup…

George: Oh World Cup Overall yeah.

Joe: Yeah that’s it.  So you never know when 3 points later in the year might make a difference between a top 20 or whatever.  It can add up to make the difference so I just cracked on as well as I could after that.

George: Was it 3.14?

Joe: 3.14 I did, yeah.

George: So if you take the 10 seconds off, that’s 3.04.

Joe: Yeah, top 20 that would have been, which was what I was going for really.

George: Yeah.  You’re in the mix there aren’t you?

Joe: Yeah, right in the mix, it’s really good to see that.  And just such a little mistake, but it pays.  

George: Any injuries from it?

Joe: No, luckily enough I got away with it.  I slid just into the ground, no trees, nothing like that, so that’s lovely.  I just got a few scrapes and bruises, but nothing that will slow me down.

George: Cool.  And do you wear armour or is this…

Joe: It’s a funny one because I normally always wear elbow pads…

George: Yeah.

Joe: …and that day was the first time I didn’t and of course I landed on both my elbows and ripped them apart.

George: You’ve always, everyone wears knee pads, but it’s the elbows that get it.

Joe: I know, I know.   

George: I did a training day with Jack [s.l. Reddy 0:49:01.1] at… Where was it at

George: It’s the only time I’ve ever not worn elbow pads. 

Joe: And it was the only time you’ve hurt your elbows as well?

George: Yeah, I ended up, I just remember ringing my wife and I’d had like a few bad injuries and we’d spent our wedding anniversary in hospital just before that because of a crash and I just remember ringing her and saying “yeah, yeah, everything’s fine, yeah, yeah, just stopping in at a hospital on my way home and getting my arm stitched up, oh it’s fine, don’t worry” and she was horrified like.

Joe: Yeah.

George: But yeah, always worn elbow pads ever since then.

Joe: Yeah, it’s probably a sensible decision for sure.

George: So have you watched the live feedback?

Joe: Yeah I did, as soon as I flew home the following day, got home, I was knackered, so I just put the feet up and watched the whole live feed through.  I think it’s important to analyse it, see what everyone was doing because when we’re there racing like, I don’t get to see any of it.   

George: Do you not?

Joe: Well no, not really like I was warming up and then racing and I got to see like the last 10 riders, something like that, but I mean there’s so much going on there and the big screen is quite far away.  You can’t really see what’s going on.  So no, I always get home and analyse the race, see what lines people are on, how they are riding it and I just think you can learn quite a bit from it really.  

George: Yeah.  So Loic took the win.  I think a few people had predicted he’ll win the whole thing this year, it’s the only thing missing really isn’t it?

Joe: Yeah, it’s the consistency from him.  He looked brilliant all weekend, didn’t only look fast, but really smooth and controlled.  

George: Danny, 2nd.

Joe: Yeah.

George: To me that Danny Hart run, that reminded me of Danny two seasons ago.  Remember in Andorra when he was…

Joe: A bit more, yeah.

George: Yeah.  

Joe: Getting a bit more rowdy.

George: Yeah, I was talking to him up at the Hamsterley race and I said I didn’t know if like last season he looked a lot more in control.  There were no wild moments and I didn’t know if he was going for like the top five overall or whatever, but he said he wasn’t but it was good to see I suppose.  

Joe: Yeah, yeah.

George: I don’t know whether that’s the right thing to say but to see Danny riding like that, right on the edge.

Joe: Yeah.  I think that comes down to confidence.  If you’re 100% confident, you’re really prepared to push that edge.  If there’s something not quite right, the bike’s not quite setup or mentally you’re not quite 100%, or physically whatever, then you kind of just step back that little bit.  Safety reasons, I imagine.  It’s just you’ve not quite got the edge.  But Danny definitely looks like he’s sharp this year and he definitely looks like he’s confident and everything around him and he’s really prepared to push that edge and ride the limit.  

George: Big talking point obviously is Bruni and Danny both running the 29 front 650b rear.  

Joe: Both 1 and 2.  

George: Yeah and that means that the first 2 Enduro World Series will be won like that as well and then 1, 2 at the first World…

Joe: Martin Maes was that, is it yeah?

George: Where was he this weekend?

Joe: Yeah everyone thought he was gonna turn up.  

George: Yeah he said, I’m sure he said somewhere he was gonna do the first two rounds of each and then make a decision about what he was doing but…

Joe: No idea, I haven’t heard anything.  

George: I suppose if you’ve won the two Enduro World Series you’re in a good position to win it.

Joe: I think he wants to really win the EWS Overall whilst Sam Hill is still in it.

George: Yeah.

Joe: I think he wants to make sure he gets that ticked off before Sam retires.  But then the other thing that I haven’t heard anyone say or him say or anything, but when I was speaking to a mechanic the other day he was like “well how incredible would it be if he won the EWS Overall and the World Cup Overall in the same year?  Just imagine that.”   Winning one race of each in the year, everyone talked about it and it probably got him on a great contract.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him give that a go within the next couple of years.

George: Yeah.

Joe: That would be quite something if he manages that.

George: Yeah, that would be amazing.   So the 29 front, 650b rear, have you tried it?

Joe: I haven’t, no.  

George: No?  What are your thoughts on it?

Joe: Without a try I can’t give you any detailed reports on it but it’s obviously not slow, that’s for sure.  I know with a few bike brands I think it was that started, I may be wrong, but more because they literally didn’t have a 29 inch frame.

George: Frame to fit the back wheel in, yeah.

Joe: So they just went and had one instead of two but that’s obviously not the case with Specialized or Saracen.  Because I know Matt Walker, Danny’s teammate, is on the full 29 and I know Specialized have just developed this bike, new for 29 inch wheels or now 29 650b.  So God knows, without trying it, it’s obviously fast, it’s an interesting theory, you’ve got the front to truck over stuff but you’ve got the rear to steer better.  Yeah, I’m happy with 29 back and front.  You know, I haven’t got the time or the equipment to go out and spend a lot of time testing something else.

Chris Porter

Chris Porter
Chris carries a ‘travel guitar’ with him.

George: Well one man who has been running this setup for ages now is Chris Porter, Mr Mojo Rising and Mr GeoMetron bikes and we’ve got Chris on the phone now.  Evening Chris.

C: Hello George, how are you doing?

George: Very good thank you, very good.  You’ve been running the 29 front 650b rear setup for a bit.  Can you talk us through the advantages of that?

C: You could say it in two ways.  You could talk about the advantages of that setup or the disadvantages of others.  In saying that you’ve also got to bear in mind that what suits one person isn’t gonna suit everyone.  

George: Yeah.

C: But if I just talk through what I find when I’m riding it because that’s the relevant thing for me and if I find it then some other riders are gonna find it too.  So I came across the sort of odd wheel sized thing whilst trying to get onto a 27.5 setup years ago and couldn’t fit the 27.5 rear wheel into the bike.  So it was a ride on a Foxy Forward Geometry bike with a big front wheel jammed into a Fox 26 inch fork with the fork brace cut out with a hacksaw.  That was the first time I tried it.

George: Okay.  

C: It felt really weird.  It felt like it wasn’t steering enough.  It felt like I was struggling to get around the turns and on one of my timing tracks I had a massive crash, threw the dummy out of the pram, kicked the bar straight, jumped back on the bike, finished the track.  And it was only after I’d passed my normal finish point with the stopwatch that I noticed hang on a minute, that’s the same as my fastest ever time.  So I had to go back up and do it again, tried to be a bit more careful where I’d had the massive crash and it was a really big advantage.  So moving from the sort of 2 paired wheels to a 29, that went through another step.  So when we first built the GeoMetron which it should have been the answer to all our dreams.  It pretty much was.  We were all going faster everywhere on it.  

George: Yeah.

C: And then we realised hang on a minute, Fox had come out with a 180 fork and we put the 180 fork on and it steered even better.  Of course we didn’t use any more travel.  The air sprung shape works for 160.  When you try and get 180 out of it, it doesn’t, so we were still using 160 travel but the bike was higher at the front.  So there’s one of the advantages.  It’s quite a complex one.  So maybe we’ll come back to that one and we’ll start with the simple stuff.  If you believe that 29 wheels roll over bumps better then you’ve got to believe that they’re gonna be faster over certain types of bumps in certain speed type scenarios.  And if we need the rollover on the front wheel because we are behind the front wheel and when the front wheel contact actually hits the bump and slows the bike down, we are forcing it into the ground.  We certainly need that bigger wheel and better rollover for the front.  Look to the back of the bike, the wheel is behind us, there’s no weight on it.  When the contact patch hits the bump edge on the front, the rear wheel has got no weight on it.  So it pulls over just fine.  

Then we go back to that same statement.  If we believe that the 29 wheels roll over bumps better so they do not slow down over bumps, then they also do not speed up over trail features.  So if you wanna be travelling along a really technical trail where there’s no room to pedal, a lot of stuff going on, you know the kind of bandwidth of what’s coming at you is so fast and so packed that you literally have to keep the feet level and try and aim for combinations and features and trail.  If you’re doing that with a 29er you’re not gaining.  But with the 27.5 rear wheel, that working of the rear wheel on the trail actually does have some benefit.  

George: So are you saying that the 650b rear wheel will pick up speed better than the 29?

C: Shit yeah.

George: Yeah?

C: Definitely.  For me, for me.  You know we always come back to that caveat, yeah, definitely.  If you were looking to find speed on a trail on a 29er wheel, you’ve literally got to find bigger obstacles to use to play with.  So yeah, on my mind, yes, I’d say it does.   

George: So I think I’ve heard you talk as well before about turning the different arcs of the two wheels in the corners.  How does that affect it?

C: So that’s going back to that complicated point I was alluding to a minute ago.  So if you imagine when you turn the bike from left to right and from right to left and the front wheel flops this way and that way and the whole bike is leaning over.  If you imagine the rear axle describing an arc, it describes an arc that sort of reaches its maximum height when the bike is pointing dead ahead and it falls away to the right and it falls away to the left.  So it describes a small arc.   

George: Yeah.

C: And if you imagine the head tube doing the same thing, but the head tube is much higher and it describes a much bigger, wider arc as you lean the bike over.

George: Yeah.

C: So you end up with the whole frame of the bike describes a sort of cone shaped arc.  I describe it as a roll axis.  The motor cycle designers describe the roll axis as something different but I describe it as a roll axis.  The steeper that arc, so the higher the front end in relation to the rear axle, the more steering you’re gonna get from that rear wheel when you’re leaned over.  And that’s the thing for me that is the key to why I like the 27.5 rear even with the 29 front because I find that changing the front wheel to a 29 upsets the steering less than changing the rear wheel to a 29.  There’s all sorts of reasons why but that’s the one I think…

George: Sorry go on.

George: Have you found any disadvantages with it?  I think I heard somebody say something about on jumps it can be difficult on jumps to manage.  

C: No I don’t see that.  You know, I really don’t see that at all.  I can’t see any sort of physics or physical reason why that should be a problem and no, I just don’t see that at all.  I’m not the kiddie for the jumps anymore, but I didn’t see like Bruni or Danny Hart struggling with it to be honest, and you know, I don’t see Martin Maes struggling with it either.  

George: That’s what I was gonna ask you next.  I was gonna ask you what did you observe about Danny and Loic’s bikes at the weekend?

C: I mean what I saw straight away about Loic’s run, I mean apart from the fact his bike was really composed and there’s another good point on that.  So remind me to come back to that in a minute.  What I noticed most of all, apart from the fact that Loic and Danny were wearing much skin suits, which have a bigger impact, it’s gonna have a bigger impact on the time than the 27.5 to 29 wheel pairing for sure.  But if you look at what Loic was wearing, he was wearing white pants or white at the top and you look, the first time the camera pans and follows him down the track you can see he’s got burn marks on the ass already on the 27.5 wheel.  So he has no room to run the 29 wheel on that bike.  If he wants to run a 29 wheel in that bike he’s gonna have to do two things.  He is gonna have to stay 15ml higher and if he wants to remain in the same riding position then that means the bottom bracket and the handlebars must rise by 15mm.  

If that happens and he rises the bottom bracket and his handlebars by 15mm then the front wheel, in order to compensate, is gonna have to go forward a long, long way.  Now I wouldn’t argue with that.  I’d say you know, the front wheels should all be a bit further away but Loic was in his comfortable position.  He felt confident behind the contact patch of the front wheel when he was low enough to buzzing his ass on a 27.5.  He can’t run the 29 on that bike.  And I think that’s…

Joe: I can see the benefits for Loic with a 27.5 rear a lot because his natural riding position is quite far over the back of the bike, so he’s the kind of rider who would struggle with buzzing his ass on a bigger wheel a lot.  The same with Danny being quite a short rider.  You know the short riders have always struggled to get on with the 29ers more because of literally the simple reason of buzzing their ass.  

C: Yeah I think packaging is really important.  I just went to a smaller sized bike this week just to try something and somebody was using my XL bike for a demo and it had a 29 rear wheel in and immediately it feels more dynamic because it’s a smaller bike but the downside of that is that I need to get down behind the back more because the front wheel is closer to me, so I need to move further back.  But I’m immediately buzzing my ass everywhere and again this is another reason why I’d run the 27.5, some guys don’t need to do it.  

George: That was gonna be my next question Chris.  Do you think for a taller guy, like say a Minaar or Joe here, do you think that it would be an advantage or a [s.l. distill 1:05:25.4] better going on 29 29?

C: To be honest you should take the two questions separately.  If it’s a packaging issue and you need the bottom bracket to be low because the front wheel’s too close, then it’s still gonna be an issue, I mean you’ve still got to get down to a certain height to make your centre of gravity in the right place behind the front wheel, so it’s a separate thing.  I’d say Minaar would still ride well on a 29 29 pair.  He would ride well on a 27.5 pair and did.  He’s ridden well on a 26 pair and he’d ride well on 29 27.5.  You know the fact that Greg won almost first time out on his 29 V10, it’s no surprise really.  You know, he’s won at Fort William quite a few times in the past.  He’s a pretty damn good rider.  I don’t think, it’s not about the size of the rider.  I think you should try it.  If it works for you, that’s great, and if it doesn’t you try what works for you.  And that’s another point, you know, I just don’t think enough guys have training with a stopwatch you know, because you can find that stuff out.  I’ve really enjoyed sort of looking at what Neko Mulally has been doing this year with the hybrid and the 29 testing because you know, he’s actually testing stuff and reporting his times.  To me that’s really interesting and important.   

George: Cool, and do you think that this is the end of it or do you think that we could see the return of a 26 inch wheel out back?

C: The question is probably mute because there’s no tyres.  You have to run the wheel size that has the best tyre for the job, full stop.  You have to run the best tyre.  It’s still one of the most important things on a downhill or bicycle race bike, so you have to run the tyre that’s the best and if that happens to be 29 up front, 27.5 out back I’m really happy about that, that’s great.  If I have to learn how to run 29 pairing, you know, I’ll bitch and moan for a bit but we’ll get round it.   

Joe: The other way to potentially see it is that they make the best tyres around the best wheel size.  

C: They make the best tyres upon the wheel size that allows them to sell another whole bike to the customer, is what I would say.  Now it’s the only reason we went 29 then 27.5, then 29 again, and now at least hybrid you can just bang a 27.5 in your 29 that already has too high a bottom bracket and you’ll be golden.  You’ll have a slacker head angle, your bottom bracket will be in the right place and life will be good.  The only bad thing is that your seat angle will be wrong but if you’re downhill racing, again it’s irrelevant, it doesn’t matter.   

George: Chris, thank you very much for your time.  

C: No worries, no worries. 

George: Pleasure speaking to you.  

Joe: Thanks Chris.  

George: Back to this weekend just gone, Loic 1st, Danny 2nd, Troy 3rd, Charlie Harrison with a wild ride in 4th.

Joe: Yeah, I’ve been mega impressed with the commitment. He’s come out with this year.  I mean last year he was consistent top 20 but he was never anything more and this year he’s just come out fighting.  You can see in his riding style he’s so, like so aggressive, he looks so strong and just really hungry for it and the riding incredibly well.  So I was so stoked to see him up there and I think everyone like really enjoyed watching his run because it was just flat out like…

George: It was flat out, yeah.

Joe: So I think he’s definitely the guy to watch this year.

George: And Matt Walker 5th.

Joe: Yeah his first ever World Cup podium.  

George: You could see how much it meant to him as well.

Joe: Yeah, he was sat in the hop seat as I was going up the gondola for my race run, so he must’ve been sat there for around three hours…

George: Right.

Joe: …just watching everyone come down and to be honest no one went faster until the last few guys so yeah, long await for him in the hop seat but well worth it.

George: So I think it was first World Cup podium for him and Charlie Harrison.

Joe: Yeah, both of them, yeah.  

George: So Gwin 6th.  

Joe: Yeah.

George: What do you reckon?

Joe: I don’t think anyone expected that really.  He looked really strong in practice.  He’s just off the pace, pretty much as simple as that I think.  We’ll see, I don’t think he’ll stay in that position.  I think he’ll definitely come out fighting at the rest and he’ll be right up there at the top.  

George: Yeah.  

Joe: But we’ll see.   

George: Pierron 7th.

Joe: Yeah.   

George: It was a good run that.  It’s weird that you think that Gwin kind of off the pace but then when I watch Pierron’s run, I watched it back today and Pierron’s run looks loads…

George: Wasn’t that half a second or two seconds…

George: Yeah the thing is…

George: …the whole thing.

Joe: I say Aaron Gwin is off the pace, Amuary Pierron is off the pace.  But as you said, it was 1.2 seconds or 1 second, that’s like one mistake or one…

George: Closest race for a long time.

Joe: Yeah, so I mean every weekend it’s gonna be changing.  There’s probably you can name 15, 10 riders who could win.  

George: So Mark Wallis 8th, Laurie 9th, Dakotah Norton 10th.

Joe: Yeah.

George: Finn Iles, fastest on the first two sections, then lost the front.   

Joe: Was he? Because I know they said that.  I looked on routes and [s.l. rain 1:11:16.2] and his top split was actually 5th, so…

George: Was it?  Alright okay.

Joe: I maybe wrong.  On routes and rain it said his top split was 5th so I’m not sure if those stats were correct or not, but he was definitely fine, yeah either way.  He was definitely absolutely on it.  

George: Did you see Brook MacDonald’s save?

Joe: Yeah, crazy.   

George: Two wheel drift…

Joe: Yeah, he is just determined to…

George: Marcelo did something a little bit further down I think as well that was really, really similar.

Joe: Okay yeah, I can’t remember that to be honest.  

George: And then Vergier’s crash.

Joe: That was a big crash that.   

George: Not a good weekend for the Santa Cruz boys is it?

George: No, terrible.

Joe: No, they came out fighting last year and it’s not the start they were after.  I’m sure they’ll fight back and it’s a good job that Loris has come away from that crash injury free because that was a nasty one.

George: Women’s?  Tahnee and Rachel’s battle.

Joe: Yeah, it’s gonna commence all year I think that.   

George: Yeah.  Interesting stats from our teammate Neil White.  He messaged us saying he looked at the women’s winner versus the men’s winner and they’re usually 15% back.

Joe: Okay.  

George: Rachel’s run at Lenzerheide World Champs last year was exceptional, she was only 11.8 back.

Joe: Oh no way.

George: But then in Maribor, Tahnee was 15.1 and Rachel was 15.6 so it wasn’t that Rachel was you know, much slower than usual into 2nd place.  Just Tahnee laid one down.

Joe: Yeah, yeah.   Yeah, I mean between the percentage differences there between the men top result and women top result comes down to the track as well that Lenzerheide is one of the less physical.  It’s still very physical but it’s not so physical as Maribor.  Maribor there’s loads of big compressions so strength will come into it a lot more.  But no, both them girls were flying and I couldn’t predict, yeah it’s a difficult one to predict what’s going to happen all year there.  I’m sure they’ll be battling all year.

George: They were really close weren’t they?  Same this year, it was kind of noticeable how many great women riders there are.

Joe: Yeah, yeah.  

George: Tracey Hannah 3rd, Marine Cabirou 4th.  I think she had some of the fastest splits in training.  

Joe: Yeah.

George: Monika Hrastnik 5th.

Joe: I think they’ll all have a bit more competition when Vale Holl comes up.

George: The closest I’ve ever got to you is 14.3%.  

Joe: That’s not bad.  When was that?  When I was 12?

George: At [s.l. Molfrey 1:13:42.1] [laughter].

George: At Molfrey in 2016.  

George: So then it’s all about 50% [laughter].  [Over-speaking].  Did you have a bad one at Molfrey in 2015 yeah?  

George: 16.

Joe: I think I had quite a good race then actually.  

George: So Junior men, Thibaut Daprela.  

George: He looks the real deal doesn’t he?

Joe: Yeah he’s a real nice guy and extremely talented on a bike.   You could say he’s pretty much fully grown so that’s not… He’s a strong lad, that’s not really a disadvantage but his experience is definitely minimal compared to most of the other elite riders out there, so give him a couple of years and he’s gonna be dangerous for sure.  Well he already is, so give him another couple of years and…

George: I looked and his time would have been, I’d like to say top 20.

Joe: Yeah, I think he did an 05 which would have been borderline top 20 but the thing to take into consideration there is he had a noticeably more greasy track than the rest of the elites because we went out for a practice just after he had raced and the track was definitely, I would say, a good couple few seconds in the track there.  So for him to still put down such a good time in those conditions is crazy, yeah.   

George: Brits, Jamie Edmondson was 6th, Luke Williamson 8th.

Joe: Yeah I know Jamie will want more but it’s a solid start to the season.   

George: I think that was Luke Williamson’s… He’s a first year Junior…

Joe: Yeah…

George: …so that’s his first World Cup.

Joe: For Luke’s first World Cup and to go 8th is really good because it’s scary I know.  I remember well, it’s scary coming from the UK as a first year Junior and just being blown away by this big World Cup track where there’s so many fast lads.  So for him to come out with that result is really good.  

George: Junior women, like you said Vale Holl, she was 10 seconds up on Anna Newkirk and Mille Johnset.

Joe: Okay, yeah, yeah. 

George: I can’t remember where she would have come in Elite women, 8th or something like that I think.

Joe: Not sure.

George: She wasn’t as good as results previously.

Joe: Yeah.  

George: Okay.

Joe: They probably had again a wetter track I would’ve thought because of the Junior women’s.  Again I think they’re before we started practicing and the girls don’t race until after our practice, so the Elite women, so they’d have had a drier track again.

George: Okay we’re pretty close to the end now, but before we wrap it up it’s time for a bit of fun with:-

The Revolution Bike Park big questions.   

George: Three questions.  Let you go first Binzy.  

George: Question 1.  The Red Downhill question.  What’s your fantasy team this year?  

Joe: For the first round.

George: Who did you have?

Joe: I had Tahnee and Rachel, simply because…

George: You knew it would be 1 or 2.

Joe: Yeah, they scored the same amount of points as the male and I’m pretty sure most rounds they’re gonna be 1 or 2.

George: Yeah.

Joe: So I thought that was a no-brainer really.  After that, unfortunately that was all my money spent.   So I had to go and pick and choose some of the cheaper male riders.  I chose Max Hartenstein who is a 19 year old from Germany and I’ve raced against him my whole career and I think he’s…

George: I’m just writing these down.  [Laughter].

Joe: …he’s looking sharp this year.   Max Hartenstein, I think you can pick him up for about 50 grand so…

George: Have you got yourself in your team?

Joe: I have indeed. For 30 grand I think that’s a bit of a steal.  

George: Yeah.

Joe: And I had Magnus in as well but unfortunately him or Max didn’t qualify so I have had…

George: How many points did you get for qualifying 12th?

Joe: 13 I had, which was 10 more than I had for the final, so…

George: [Laughter].  

Joe: Yeah.  

George: Question 2.  The Main Line.  You started out racing on the Revolution Bike Park Team.  When you moved on, we both joined the team.  When we tell people about our time racing for Revolution, we usually qualify it with “Joe Breeden was on the team”.  

Joe: [Laughter].

George: The question is do you tell people you’re on the same team as George Thompson and Richard Binns?

Joe: No, because I wasn’t.   [Laughter].  No, I mean, it’s a great team to be on.  

George: Yeah.

Joe: Being able to ride there is just…

George: They’ve done a lot haven’t they?

Joe: …amazing, yeah.  They’ve helped me massively.   And I think they started the team the year I joined, like it was the first year and then after that you boys joined didn’t you?

George: Yeah, yeah.  

Joe: They were so supportive through my, well they still are now but since I’ve started they’ve really, really helped me.

George: And it’s the best bike park in the UK.

Joe: Oh yeah.

George: You still go there on a Friday and view.  Everybody is always there aren’t they you know?

Joe: I know.  Yeah I turn up there and there’ll be a handful of pros normally because it’s just such good training for us and such mega fun.  So for me to only be 20 minutes away as well it’s like heaven to be honest.   

George: So question 3.  The Far side.  What does gee up or die mean?

Joe: Gee up or die.  

George: Are you part of that gang?

Joe: No I’m not really.

George: No?

Joe: It’s a group of lads from around me.  It’s mainly Chaos, Caid and Tanya the big names behind it.  And there’s quite a few others involved as well but I think it’s mainly just a brand they’re starting.  Gee up or die, I think it’s just go wild or die basically, just go mad and have fun.

George: Do you think you’ll be geeing up or dying this weekend [over-speaking].   

George: Hopefully.  

Joe: I don’t know, it’s just a saying that they’re trying to make into a brand I think.  It’s got a lot of potential for sure.  Look at what Fifty2one have achieved with their brand there so…

George: And what’s the other one from South Wales as well?

Joe: Oh Daft Punk or let’s have you [over-speaking].

George: Yeah, yeah.

Joe: Yeah, that’s doing crazily well for the owner.  It’s literally just you know, clothing with the let’s have you logo stuff on and people are buying it simply because of the brand image.  And so it’s all marketing, it’s how you make the image look and if you do a good job on that side I’m sure you’ll sell some clothing and stickers or what else.

George: So final bits, what are your hopes and aims for the rest of the season?  

Joe: The goal for me is I wanna win the National Overall.

George: Right okay, yeah.   How did you do in Rheola?

Joe: I finished 7th which was alright.  I finished 2nd overall last year.  Brayton just beat me.  So I’m in it to try and win the Overall this year.

George: You’ll be up at Fort William in two weeks?

Joe: Yeah that’s it.  I’m actually heading up on Monday so I can get some sneaky…

George: Oh are you?

Joe: …practice in.  Yeah, do some test… 

George: [Over-speaking] Danny Hart.

Joe: Yeah.  Another goal is top 20 World Cup Overall, which looked good until I crashed at the weekend.  But no that’s still the same goal.

George: Yeah?  

Joe: And to medal at National Champs which is on home turf, Revolution Bike Park, so…

George: Yeah, got to take that one.  

Joe: Yeah, that’s it, they’re my main goals this year and I’ll fight for them as hard as I can.

George: And social media links.  Where’s the best place to follow you?

Joe: Instagram is my main activity.   That’s pretty much my only source, well my main source of social media really.

George: And what’s your…

Joe: @joe_breeden17.  So yeah, drop us a follow, that’s me.

George: Cheers for coming on the show Joe, we really appreciate it and best of luck for the season.

Joe: Yeah thank you very much for having me on boys and…

George: No probs.

Joe: …see you at the races.

George: Cool.  Thanks very much for listening everyone.  If you made it this far, well done.  With this being the first one, we’ll probably all look back on it and think it was terrible, so things are only gonna go one way from here.  If you’ve got any feedback though, please do drop us a message through on Instagram to @makingupthenumbersracing.  Thanks again to our sponsors Hope Technology, Revolution Bike Park and  We’ll be back with another episode after the Fort William World Cup.  We’ll end with the words of multiple masters World Champion Alastair McLennan, who once told me “the only thing we all have in common is that we’re all going as fast as we can.”  See you next time.   

Joe Beerden MUTN podcast singletrack
Joe Beerden, episode 1 guest in the studio

After taking a 17 year break from exercise, George rediscovered mountain bikes in 2008. Six years later, at 40 years of age he started racing Downhill and the following season somehow ended up on the Revolution Bike Park Race Team. As the other members of the team fought for podiums and National Series victories, George searched for mid-pack mediocrity. In a bit to add some value #makingupthenumbers was born; a blog about their race weekends and in particular life towards the back of the field.

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