Race Special Interview: Keith DeFiebre goes behind the scenes with Mark Weir regarding his 8th victory in the 2010 Downieville DH race.
DeFiebre: Congratulations Mark on victory #8 at the Downieville DH race. This victory must have been very special?
Weir: Thanks Keith. Each year the competition seems to get better and the race itself is more prestigious then ever before. After two years of watching other riders claim high honors it is now great to be back on top. The best riders in the USA come to Downieville each year, like my team mate Jason Moeschler(WTB), Nathan Riddle(SRAM), Adam Craig(Giant-Rabobank), and Ross Schnell(Trek). It is survival of the fastest and most fit out there and I was determined to prove I am the champ!
DeFiebre: Tell me about your winning set up, what did you run on race day?
Weir: First I want to thank all my key sponsors- WTB, Shimano, Santa Cruz Bicycles, & Fox Racing Shox. For race day I went with my Santa Cruz Nomad- equiped with a Coil Shock, and on the front I ran Fox Racing's awesome 36 Float front fork. I had Shimano XTR for my controls, a 10 speed rear cog 11-36 and a 40 tooth chain ring on the front. The 40 tooth chain ring was a little stiff on the uphill sections, but I knew it was key to fight through the pain and push a big gear on the climb. I ran the WTB Stryker XC Wheels mounted with the heavy version of the Wolverine 2.2 All Mountain TCS tires and a WTB Valcon Carbon saddle. I wanted to run the 900 gram dual compound tires that were more heavy, but also more resistant to flats. I am super lucky that all of my sponsors make the best stuff on the market, and I get to race the very best equipment available.
DeFiebre: You started off 2010 with a few victories at the CCCX DH races in Monterey, then you ripped off wins at the Spring Thaw event and Ashland's 12 Mile Super D race. You were on a winning streak heading into Downieville, did this give you a touch more confidence before the main event?
Weir: In the past, when I am going good, I have posted some serious win streaks from event to event. Of course this gives me confidence and shows me my training is right, my diet is right, and my power is in order. I never get caught out thinking I can just show up and win. You know better then anyone Keith, to win races there is no secret formula. You have to work dam hard to succeed, train incredibly hard to be your best, then still come up with more desire and more focus to go fast when your on course. At the top level we all have talent. It is things like family support, mental strength, and inner peace that can make the difference between being first place or being bitter your not first place at the end of the day.
DeFiebre: After 8 victories in the Downieville DH race, you will forever be linked to this event. You must have mad respect for the trail systems there and how far MTB racing and riding has progressed over the years in Downieville.
Weir: Trail stewardship is the key to Downieville's successful future. I respect those trails more then I can say. Yuba Expeditions and the people of Downieville have a great thing going and I will always be a advocate of the trail systems and the super riding Downieville offers. The Downieville Classic is now a huge event. It is key for everyone to enjoy the trials properly and to show that MTB riding is positive for the community. When I race there, I am having fun on every single switchback, not looking to cut corners or make some new race day portion of trail for a faster line. If everyone respects the trails then the future of MTB riding in Downieville will be strong, and the racing will be fare.
DeFiebre: It must have been great to have your son Gus up on the podium with you! You really looked like a proud dad?
Weir: Gus will be faster then me on a bike! All he thinks about is riding, he really is amazing. I can not do what I do without the support of my wife, my family, and my friends. Being able to bring Gus up on the top step of the podium with me brings joy to my heart!