It's the first time at White Style for Pavel Alekhin & Ryszard Syryczyński caught up with him there.
Is this your first time here at White Style?
Yes. I haven't been here before, but every time I've heard the name “Leogang” I always imagined myself riding big jumps and big competitions. So I'm really stoked and happy that I'm finally here!
And how do you like the course?
I can't say it's much bigger than I imagined before, but it's really sick and the main thing I'm afraid of is speed. As I'm riding brakeless, I think it will be pretty hard to choose whether I need to put them on or not.
It's not a regular dirt-jump contest, it's a big slopestyle event, with really big jumps, very big step-down etc. Why won't you just put your brakes on, like all the rest of the guys?
The first reason is that I've been riding mountain bikes for almost eight years now, and during all that time I was riding brakeless. So you can imagine how hard that would be for me to have something strange on my bars, behind the grips. And I can't imagine doing just simple, chilly tricks at the competition like this. If I'm going to a big contest, I want to land something new, or at least try something new, do as many tricks as I can, but all of them are connected with barspins, tailwhips, rotations and stuff like that. I've got no gyro to help me to rotate the handlebar as much as I can.
Most of the scene doesn’t know any riders from Russia, apart from you. What is the scene like in Russia? Are there many good riders?
I think the bike scene in Russia is specific. We've got (Kirill) Benderoni, who is pretty famous worldwide because he's a really crazy rider. He loves to do really huge drops. And also we've got a lot of really talented freestyle riders/dirt jumpers, like Andrew Strizhak, Alexander Belevskiy and lots of others. But the main thing about them is that 95% of them are brakeless. I don't really know why, but maybe it's telling something about the Russian bike scene.
But why, most of the time, it’s just you visiting international contests?
That's a hard question for me. It's pretty easy to go to the visa centre and to get the visa to Europe. But the problem with Russia is that the dirt jump contests, are not that big, especially compared to the big international dirt events. We also don't have any slopestyle courses.
What about your jumps, “The Pit” for example?
First thing is that they are illegal. They are placed in a really big pit and it's impossible for the government to bring the bulldozers and other machines to ruin them. Everything we've built there, we've made ourselves. But maybe in the future something will change because just two years ago BMX Freestyle has become an official sport in Russia and two years ago the first official dirt jump championships were held. So hopefully this year there will be a lot of official dirt courses and that might bring a lot of new people to the scene.
In your recent video, you're practicing a new trick (backflip triple tailwhip) at freezing -15 degrees. How does it feel to push yourself and progress in such conditions?
You know, it's pretty fun to ride on the snow because it's not like a foampit, but it's possible to make some mistakes. You can jump really high at a really big dirt jumps and if you're gonna crash, you won't feel anything because it's cold and there's a lot of snow. We don't have any indoor jumps or anything like that, so conditions like those are the only ones we've got!
What about your new tricks? In your previous video, from the summer, there were some really crazy and new tricks like backflip triple barspin or backflip barspin to tailwhip and now you're practicing flip triple tailwhip. Are there any other tricks that you want to do anytime soon?
Of course I've got some new tricks, which hopefully I'll land in the upcoming season. I like to push the tricks to the limits, so when I pull a trick, like for example backflip doublebarspin, and I feel that there's still some time in the air, I'll try to add some other small trick to that combination, over and over again. I think that this defines my style the best.
What are your plans for this season? Do you want to take part in more of the FMB World Tour events?
Yes! I've got a lot of opportunities coming my way, My sponsors are supporting me and giving me the chance to visit those huge events. So for the upcoming season, I plan to compete in many more contests, especially in the ones, where I don't need to put any brakes on!