Ryszard Syryczyński catches up with Red Bull's Yannick Granieri in Austria, ahead of today's Vienna Air King event...
RS: How was your off-season?
YG: After Red Bull District Ride I've been back to France and then I've been riding. There's really no off-season in France. We can ride pretty much the whole season. And I've been just digging my place, BB's place. We did a jam over there, that was pretty sick. I've been skateboarding, motorbike, pitbike, all the toys I have in my place. Just riding for fun.
RS: Could you tell us about some troubles with the very famous BB's ranch?
YG: The BB's ranch doesn't exist anymore for the moment. We had to destroy it cause the neighbours were like pissed at us. There are some rules in France that you're not allowed to build stuff higher than a certain height and obviously our jumps were way bigger. So we had to destroy it. But the neighbours, who put all that shit together, they moved, sold the house. So now we're gonna wait a little longer, a few months, and then we're gonna build it again – bigger and better I think.
RS: How are you enjoying Vienna Air King?
YG: I really like Vienna as a city because that was my first contest, actually, four or five years ago. I was pretty excited about it. And every time I come, it's the first event of the year, we're always like super pumped to come back 'cause you see your friends again, you can party and hang out with them. You can show your new tricks and all kinds of stuff. I haven't ridden yet but it looks like it's gonna be a lot of fun again.
'We're always like super pumped to come back to Vienna Air King'
RS: What do you think about the course?
YG: I think that the course has been the same eversince I've been here, four years or something. It's a normal event, not a slopestyle, 'cause it's on the concrete, on the flat. So it's not like they can do different stuff. It's basically a step-down into three dirt jumps in a row. I think that this year they made the step-down a little longer 'cause last year it was a little hard to get the first jump. We've got more speed and that's pretty much it.
RS: What are your expectations for this year?
YG: I had a good year last year. I was really happy about my season, in a general, even if sucked in some contests but that's a part of the game man. So I'm really excited to be in the game and I'm really pumped. I've been working a lot this winter, I had a lot of fun. I've been learning tricks with fun, that's the best way to learn them. I'm really happy to be here again and I really want to be on the podium this year. So yeah, that's the goal, have fun as much as I can, travel, ride a bike and be on the f**king podium. That's what I want. We organize Crankworx in France, that's pretty cool.
RS: What type of rider would you consider yourself to be?
YG: I'm definitely more a slopestyle and dirt jump rider, that's for sure. Where I live, there are no big mountains like in Utah or wherever. Most of the time, I'm riding my hardtail bike and sometimes my slopestyle bike and a little bit of downhill bike. But I'd love to ride slopestyle more because for me it's real mountain biking. Dirt jump contests like Vienna Air King are cool, cool for everyone but it's not really our stuff. In the mountain bike name there is “mountain”, which means that we have to be on the mountain. But whatever it means, it's cool.
This event, in the city, showing our sport to everyone, that's cool. I'm definitely looking forward to doing Rampage again, 'cause it was such a good experience two years ago. I'm gonna be there for sure cause that's, for me, the best event. It's like a f**king real mountain bike, you need to be crazy to go on that contest. You need to f**king turn off your mind, grab your balls, put them in your mouth and just go for it. I think it's cool cause now, if you're on the FMB World Tour you have to know how to ride a dirt jump bike, slopestyle bike, freeride bike and a downhill bike, all at the same time and know how to trick it. So that's the hardest part, that's why all of the European guys will not ride as good on big freestyle, freeride event as the Canadian guys and as American ones cause we don't really practice that much. But this year we're gonna kick your ass, so get ready for that!
'You need to turn off your mind, grab your balls, put them in your mouth and just go for it'
RS: Who would you imagine standing on the podium with you?
YG: There are always new faces coming up, like that kid from France, Louis Reboul, he lives five minutes from my place. We are riding together, he's really cool, he's super good. There are all those Swedish guys, never seen them face to face but they are f***ing good on their bikes. Also German riders, they are coming from everywhere. So we never know but Sam Pilgrim is obviously gonna be on the podium and Martin Söderström will be on the podium and maybe Sam Reynolds so it's gonna be between them. There's also Andreu [Lacondeguy], I don't know, there are too many guys. But hopefully I'll be on the podium and my friends will be on too, like Sam, Andreu, the other Sam, Martin, all these guys. I'd love to be on the podium with all of them. There should be like a podium for 10 guys, that would be the best.