As “Muddy” joins the team at our Cali training camp we chat to our newest recruit about Downhill, water-skiing, pancakes and leaving van-life behind…
How does it feel?
Unreal! It’s crazy to have been chipping away at something for so long and things finally come together. It’s a dream come true for sure!
This will be my first ever experience on the FOX Shimano set up. Last year I was on a Devinci, racing for a badass bike shop called Summit Cycles. These guys stepped up to the plate to do as much as they could, helping me through my privateer World Cup season.
I am in a whole new World on my Trek Session! I believe a change is as good as a holiday and I am excited to kick off the next chapter of my racing career on a proven bike. I am mega impressed with our bike set up, it’s comforting to be on gear that has obviously had a lot of research and development into the final product! I’m really looking forward to meting the guys from the Trek Race shop on this trip.
How could you have achieved more in 16?
Every race after Cairns last year was spent trying to replicate my Cairns preparation and set up. The hardest part was being mostly a one man band when it comes to bike maintenance, managing my racing and season then cooking and being your own physio over a race weekend. I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself that showed on track. In the end it was more about balance and prioritising to achieve what I could with what I had to work with. I have to give a special thanks to Gabe and Nigel from Devinci Global Racing last year for on numerous occasions saving my ass and keeping the ball rolling when times got tough.
What are most excited about in 17?
I have always had strong self belief in my training and racing. To now be in the position where that is all I need to think about is wild. I am excited to see what I can do with it. I have always admired Atherton Racing’s set up and their presence on the World Cup scene and now to be a part of the programme …there is no reason I can’t put all my ducks into line and start replicating top ten finishes more consistently.
Coming from the gypsy life, living and racing out of the back of a rusty old Transit van named Treva the Reva to being centre stage in the pits with high profile riders like Gee and Rachel will be a bit of a shock to the system for sure.
What are the things you’d like to tell us about you?
From the age of six to sixteen I was flat out into BMX racing. In the later years of this period I got around with the national development squad and with the announcement of its entry into the Olympics I was definitely driven to try and get there.
By this time though I had a few years of 4cross racing behind me which was starting to become my priority. Even with a number of BMX World Championship results in the bag I fell in love with the mountain bike scene and by the age of 18 I was travelling the World racing the 4cross World Cup circuit. By this time I was riding for my mate Ricky Boyer who was importing Orange bikes into Australia. We were spending most weekends on the DH bikes punching runs and having the best time. By now I had spent a solid five years as a BMX/ 4cross gym junkie where your results were based more off how much you could squat at the gym.
Downhill’s not like that, its way more about your pure ability on a bike. I liked that. It was my early years in BMX and 4cross where I become my own self taught strength and conditioning coach that I think has made a big impact in my DH racing. It is pretty rad that the majority of my progress revolves around time riding my bike with the boring stuff coming a bit easier for me than most.
Whats the Muddy approach in a nutshell?
We aren’t on this earth to ummm… play with spiders.. haha. Find what you love and do what it takes to make it your life.
How surprised were you when you were first approached by Dan Brown??
To finish my 2016 season on such a buzz after riding RedBull Hardline and walking straight back into full time work, fixing dirty old mining machines sucked. Motivation was at an all time low as I was trying to figure out how to keep the dream alive. I was in the mid week struggle working shifts underground when the call came. The night before, I was lying in mud underneath a miner, drilling a hole to knock a broken pin out. I can’t put it into words to describe how I felt the next morning when I picked up that message with the offer of a life time , it was a childhood dream come true.
When are you happiest?
Mid race run when I know I’m on a blinder.
If you weren’t a pro rider what would you be doing?
Living the tradie life in Newcastle, water skiing and riding of a weekend.
After my season racing 4cross World Cups I returned home and made a lame grown up decision to complete a trade so I had something to fall back on when I’m old. I spent four years training to be a fitter/ machinist.
I’d probably still be doing the same if Mick Hannah hadn’t wangled me a place at Red Bull Hardline! I was hanging out with him at the races when his invitation came through, I was so jealous … apparently I went on a bit about how much I’d love to ride that course… I don’t remember
Anyway Mick is such a great guy he sneaked off and fixed it for me to get an invite … and the rest is history!
Give Muddy a follow – on Instagram : graemebobmudd and on Facebook Muddy- Graeme Mudd
Pics: Richard McGibbon