[ad3]Recently in Southern California at the GT Bicycles Team Camp, we got a chance to catch up with some of their Athletes. For 2016, GT has an all new Factory team sans Athertons, but full of powerhouses. Brook MacDonald and Wyn Masters are new to the team. Brook is one of very few current riders on the World Cup DH circuit to have won an Elite race before. He’s hungry to back it up with another one. Wyn is quite ambitious and planning to race both the full Enduro World Series as well as the UCI DH. We sat down and asked them a few questions as we head into this coming season.
MTB-MAG: Do you feel like you have big shoes to fill?
BM: Not at all. Just hanging with these guys has really shown my how good the people are. They haven’t put any pressure on me; their attitude has been “go out, ride your bike and have fun”; which is good coming from a team (TWR) that was quite used to winning. I never really did that for them which is unfortunate (Brook won a round on Mondraker). My impression here is really good. I’m excited about the people at GT and on the team.
WM: Nah. I got big shoes already.
MTB-MAG: You’re on a new and very different bike. Has it been a bit of an adjustment? Was there anything in particular that stuck out?
BM: From my first run I felt very comfortable on the bike. The biggest thing that I noticed between the Trek and GT is that the GT pedals much better. At this point I’ve done 5 rides and two races. I was on Fox and Shimano before so that’s familiar, but at the moment it’s still early and I’m figuring it out. Regardless, I did feel comfortable right away.
WM: Just getting used to a bike that actually fits. Now I have space to move and I feel like I’m driving a limo. I’m really excited and impressed by the support from Fox. They really go out of their way; within a few days of getting my first bike I had already had 5 emails going back and forth helping me though setup. They have a lot of riders but they’re helping all of them, not just the top guys.
MTB-MAG: What is your favorite track?
BM: I always look forward to Mt. St. Anne, but this year I’m really looking forward to Val Di Sol for World Champs. I really like that track, it’s one of the gnarlier ones and it separates the men from the boys which is good.
WM: Probably the top section of Schladming. Not the race track, but the one above it. For actual World Cup. Fort William…good crowd and a long, rough track. I like it steep and gnarly as well. Val Di Sol is also a good one but you’ve gotta have your bike dialed. This year it should go well.
MTB-MAG: Who would you say is going to be a sick up and comer for World Cup DH?
BM: That’s a hard one because people always say : “Oh look at this kid, he’s gonna be fast…” but then come to racing World Cups and it’s a whole other level. Hmmmm…Laurie Greenland is definitely up there but we’ll see how he does in Elites. He dominated Juniors last year but then again, so did Loris Vergier. Loris did well with a podium and a couple top tens but Elites are tough.
WM: Well, Jackson Frew is on the team so I’ve gotta list him. Finn could be pretty good. If he keeps his head together he’ll do well.
MTB-MAG: Have you set any particular goals this year?
BM: I set the same goal every year and it never happens. I want to be consistently in the top 5 this year and win some more races. It’s been since 2012 and I was the only guy to beat Gwin that year. Once you win one, you won’t be happy until you win more.
WM: Pretty much have fun and be consistently in the top end of the field. Top 30 would be good, if I stay there all year I should finish in the top 20. For Enduro, I should be top 20 in every race.
MTB-MAG: What’s the coolest thing you’ve done during this off season?
BM: Probably Japan or Bali. I spent a few weeks in Japan and did a couple of their National races. That was pretty cool, totally different experience. I raced in Bali as well. Did a little bit of surfing. Those were nice trips.
WM: Went to Bali for 6 weeks. I loved it.
MTB-MAG: Wyn, what’s your best Wheelie Wednesday moment?
WM: Probably wheelie’ing on the live stream of the World Cup XC. That was good. I gotta do more of that.
MTB-MAG: Thanks guys. Best of luck this season!