The awesome people at Young Blood Media House put together this killer video of Downhill MTB rider, Ryan Frerichs ripping the newly built Downhill course at the Thaba Trails in Joburg. We caught up with Ryan to chat to him about the video and his Downhill career:
Full name: Ryan Frerichs
Machine of choice: Trek Session 9.9 for 2014
Years racing downhill: 3
Sponsors: Rockstar Energy Drink, G-Form Protection, Airoh Helmets, 100% Goggles, Racestar Graffix and Racestrong Training Academy.
How did you get into Downhill and what attracted you to the sport?
I raced motocross for nearly 20 years and had been following downhill since I had seen a Honda downhill prototype bike photo, which ironically was being ridden by South Africa’s 3x World Champion, Greg Minnaar. I had an off weekend and borrowed my friend Matt Smith’s spare bike to race a local provincial and was only a couple of seconds off the top Elite time. A year later I had my own bike and had started to focus on downhill full time.
Tell us about your shoot with Young Blood Media House. Where did it take place, how long did you shoot for and what were you trying to capture?
This shoot took place at the newly built course at Thaba Trails, South of Joburg. All in all it took 3 days of filming and we were looking to create a video that portrays what downhill is all about from the riders perspective, and we wanted to make a film that’s really easy to watch, looks exciting as well as showing the passion in the guys who ride downhill.
What is your favourite part of that course?
This course has really well built berms and the lower section has 3 step downs in a row which are awesome to scrub speed off and get the bike sideways.
“I just think about the key sections in my mind and focus on being relaxed so that I can get into a good flow”
What do you think of the final edit?
It came out exactly how I had visualized in my mind, and the YBMH crew really blew me away with how they made it come to life. They were so awesome to work with. The crew also wanted to have creative, artsy shots and I think they got it spot on.
What have been some of your highlights during the 2013 season?
I was really happy with the end of the seasons results where I got 2 consecutive podiums at the National Cup Series. My favourite being 3rd place overall in front of my friends and family at the Thaba National, surrounded on the podium by some really big names in South African downhill.
Where are you currently ranked in SA and in which class?
I ended the National Cup rankings in 5th position in the Elite class.
In your opinion, what is the best downhill course in SA?
The World Cup track in PMB is one of the best with the sheer size of everything. Massive +20m table tops and rock gardens. I enjoy it because there are sections that are so fast it feels like I am back on a motocross bike. Cape Town also has some awesome courses, Contermanskloof being one of my all time favourites.
What goes through your mind when you are in the gate about to start a race?
I am always so nervous before the start, but it’s an excited kind of nervous. I just think about the key sections in my mind and focus on being relaxed so that I can get into a good flow.
What does your training regime consist of for downhill?
I follow quite a strict and planned out program which includes road and trail riding, lots of gym work especially strength endurance work and power training as well as riding motocross, BMX and of course downhill training.
What goals do you have for your Downhill career and where would you like to see the sport take you?
In 2014 I want to qualify in the top 80 at the World Cup in PMB. That’s the main goal as of right now but I would be lying if I didn’t say I would love to be at the level to challenge for the SA title when the National Champs comes round. Further than that I would like to travel the world riding my bicycle on the most epic of downhill trails whether its racing or for fun.