Andreu Lacondeguy | Find Your Young Talent
Find your young talent

It’s inside us all. It’s up to everyone to find their young and undiscovered talent, to overcome conventions and pursue our dreams with passion and confidence.

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Andreu Lacondeguy

Red Bull Rampage Winner

“I can’t even remember my first day riding, it’s just something I’ve always done. I grew up in Sant Pere de Vilamajor, a little village next to Barcelona, Spain, where I rode bikes around town with my friends every day. It all started from there; we’d build jumps, go to the forest and ride trails. I started with cross-country and then switched to BMX racing when I was 10 because I enjoyed jumping more.

“I was too young… but I entered and raced.”

“I was already doing tricks back then, we’d go to the skatepark and ride bowls and all the trails in the area. Then I switched from BMX to downhill racing and jumping, and as soon as we got into downhill, we would freeride all the time – it was the thing. Even on the downhill races we would do jumps, tricks and stuff.

“When I was 15 I wanted to race the World Cup but I was too young, you have to be 16 – but they didn’t really have it figured out, so I entered and raced. The next round was in Schladming in Austria, but when I got there I wasn’t allowed to race, so I signed in for the four-cross instead and flipped the last jump, they gave me a shaver as a prize – I couldn’t even use the thing!

“From there I went to Austrian King of Dirt with my brother Lluís for a dirt jump event. We met up with the Norwegian crew – and then we were asked to be a part of New World Disorder, the most classic of freeride movies. It’s not the oldest, but maybe the most famous freeride movie series of all time, it’s what we grew up watching and it’s why I got into freeride mountain biking. I remember watching it, saying, ‘This is what I want to do, it’s so sick,’ so when we were asked to be a part of it we were super stoked.

“Filming for New World Disorder was like a Hollywood movie for us.”

“We were just having fun, we didn’t even speak English back in the day, so we weren’t thinking about making this our job – but when we started filming for it, that’s when everything started. The filming trips were insane; a helicopter, a sound guy and RED cameras – it was like a Hollywood movie for us. After some years filming for them and going on these huge trips, I landed a double backflip on my mountain bike and won Kokanee Crankworx in Whistler. That was crazy, but in the years after that, I wasn’t so stoked anymore – I saw the sport going towards smaller jumps, a lot of wood and some weird features; it was going a different way and I wasn’t so motivated.

“There were a few years where I didn’t ride those contests but then, in 2011, I signed with YT and got into downhill biking again. As soon as I tried their downhill bike – the Tues – I got stoked; it fitted me perfectly – it was an insane bike for jumping and I felt like I could trick the thing, it kinda got me back into tricking a big bike and riding it more. I was pumped. So I started getting into bigger jumps, bigger bikes and filming downhill stuff. I think it helped me a lot, I got stoked on biking again… it was good for me.

“The Tues is my favorite bike ever – the way I see it is almost like a freestyle motocross bike: it’s super progressive, you just switch springs for downhill or jumping, it’s such a toy – it’s like a little dirt bike that you can just trick. And the Capra is a bike you can pedal up whatever you want, then you can shred it like a mountain bike. It’s good for jumping – it’s an incredible beast. The Capra is the bike that people see me ride less, but actually, it’s the bike I ride the most; when I just go for a pedal ride, or go out with the dogs, or check out the moto jumps, it’s a super easy bike to ride and you can ride everything.

“It’s sick to see how fast these bikes can go. Aaron Gwin rides the Tues, and he’s the fastest dude I’ve seen on a bike. I follow World Cups a lot and it’s insane how fast these dudes can go, there are other riders that can go insanely fast too, but when Aaron’s on the grid it’s like, ‘Watch this guy go, he’s gonna shred this course!’ And it’s sick to see his style too, he just goes over stuff. I’ve met him a few times and he’s pretty chilled, he knows what he’s doing. It’s crazy to see how he can go from being super chilled to being so wild on the bike.

“YT stands for good times and that’s exactly what YT means to me; everything related to YT is a good time for me. It means bike riding, it means a sick company behind me, giving me the sickest bikes and making riding easier for me.

“Marcus Flossman, the big boss in YT, is super chilled – he’s always down to listen and see what I’m up to and want to do; that’s why YT is sick because they’re a super mellowed up company but they know what they want. And Stefan Willared, man just look at the bikes. It’s insane how, any problem or question you have with the bike, he just knows the answer. They’re an insane company and they also make insane bikes so it’s perfect.

“YT got me into big bikes and feeling pumped again.”

“I think that YT got me into big bikes and feeling pumped again. After I signed with them I started the Fest freeride series along with a group of riders. The idea came from a lot of riders who just wanted to ride sick stuff, we didn’t want to fly to some city and ride a sketchy set-up in the middle of town, that’s not freeride. It’s cool, but it’s a street, wooden ramps, no line choices… it’s dirt jump not freeride, so we decided to start our own thing.

“In the the Fest series you ride the gnarliest courses and hit the biggest jumps while being the most chilled you can be. You just get your friends, have fun, film it and put out the edit so people can see what we’re doing – it’s rad. It isn’t a contest, it’s super chilled. Anyone can judge, but the results don’t matter; judged sport is always the same, there’s like 30 dudes there and 29 who are going to complain! I don’t think it’s always easy to judge, from my point of view it makes no sense to turn someone riding a bike down a mountain into a number. At the Fest there’s no prize money, no podium or trophy, it’s more like a chilled BBQ thing – like, a sick trick and a high five, ‘Dude that was sick – good job’.

“Rampage is the biggest freeride event there is for us; I would say, the only freeride event.”

“After a couple of years of being on the Fest and riding a lot of downhill I was super into it, so I went to Red Bull Rampage 2014 in Utah. I thought, ‘Alright dude, this year you rode a lot, you kinda need to prove you’re still there, sent it and land it.’ And it worked so good – I got the win and I was stoked. Between us, me and Zink got first and second – it was sick.

“Rampage is the biggest freeride event there is for us; I would say, the only freeride event. I’m sure that I’d never have won Rampage without the Fest, the Red Bull jumps are huge for sure, but dude, they’re not the size of the ones we built in Belgium – so you’re like, ‘These aren’t even as big as the ones I was doing just for the love of it.’ But now there’s this huge contest, so I’m gonna send it again, you know? I’m just going to go for it. And that’s what I did.

“Investing in young riders is crucial – they are the future of our sport.”

“The Fest series was good for the sport, and all these kids were there. They came, they shredded, they got awards – they’re already insane riders. Ethan Nell (YT) is a new local kid from Utah and man, he’s one of the guys who’s already shredding super hard and hitting big drops, I think he’ll represent freeride mountain biking in the future. Along with Adolf Silva (YT), he’s going to be insane, these two are already insane. And seeing how Vali Höll grew, how she’s riding and where she’s going to get to, she’s looking pretty good, just keep killing it – it’s sick.

“I think it’s key to support younger riders – even having a small contract can make such a difference; it helps focus your mind on riding, it can make such a change. I’ve seen some young riders who could be the next Aaron Gwin, but then they can’t pay for the bikes, so they get a real job and stop riding; so brands investing in young riders are crucial – the young riders are the future of our sport.

“It’s good times almost everytime I ride. Yesterday was good, today is probably going to be good, every time we’re riding – it’s good.”

“I can only see freeride getting better, but man, the sport has changed a lot. When the New World Disorder movies and freeriding were at their peak, there were huge contests everywhere with a lot of prize money and freeride bikes everywhere – and then enduro came and took over, but freeride is still there for sure. Hopefully it keeps being super sick with big jumps and budget for trips because I think it’s the sickest sport, it’s fun, and what else you can do? If you’re not having fun in life, there’s no point.

“It’s good times almost everytime I ride. Yesterday was good, today is probably going to be good, every time we’re riding, it’s good. I just love riding bikes, and one of the things I like most about mountain biking are the different styles; one day you could ride a trail, the next day you could ride the BMX park, the next you could ride La Poma – which is a biker’s paradise 20 minutes north of Barcelona with over 200 dirt jumps – it’s crazy how many styles of riding you can mix in one sport, that’s why I think I’ll never get tired of it.

“I don’t know when I’ll stop riding, I’ll die someday and then I’ll stop riding – but hopefully not too soon! I don’t think I’ll retire and stop riding though, I don’t think that exists – if I retire from freeride, what does that mean? I don’t go riding with my friends? I will never retire, I’ll just ride.

“What’s next for me is to build a sick line on my house, bring all the boys and show them Catalonia – the location is super sick, so I think it’s going to be pretty fun. Hopefully there will be more good times with YT, more biking, exploring new locations and lots of new projects, the bar is already pretty high on the Fest but I hope we can get it even better.

“You just have to do your thing and you have to go for it. If you can ride with others, do it. Go with the right crew and man – send it, because it’s sick.”

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