“A couple of weeks ago I opened up my email to find a email from Jacob asking if he could join our team. I had never really seen his name at any race we have done with the team so I decided to check him out. I was really surprised with what I found. For such a young guy he really has had so many great results. In my trawling I also found few videos of this young guy doing some crazy stuff on his downhill bike, a talent for sure. In recent years he attracted the attention of TBSM who have been supporting him, but we have been lucky enough to get our hands on him haha. I can see a lot of potential in him and he will be a valuable asset to our team.” Ondrej Slezak
Jacob, you’ve been around in the NSW racing scene for some time, how does it feel to move up into a sponsored team?
Yeah its sick! I get to learn from the best in the biz, the secrets, tips and tricks, race prep and all that kind of thing! The level of support has been incredible so far and I feel that the team has welcomed me with open arms. For instance Ondrej leant me one of his personal bikes for the Rockytrail JetBlack 12 hour and the week prior as well which was really good of him. This was really helpful as the larger, 29′er allowed me to smash out some swift lap times. Although after riding the hardtail for my share of 12 hours, it has been pretty rough and I’m used to the plushness of a dually for longer enduro races.
Has it changed your attitude to racing at all? Do you now see racing to be more serious or do you approach things the same?
Yeah absolutely infact I’ve intensified my training. I’ve been hitting up the road a lot more just for the additional stamina and endurance. Although its difficult with the final years of school and the mounting level of work. School is still a big focus for me and sometimes I find it difficult to find the time and motivation to train. I manage to get out 2-3 times a week for a ride. Once or twice during school days and once or twice on the weekend for a longer ride with the boys!
What races are you planning to focus on this year?
Mainly on longer marathon type races as that is what I am better at. I will for sure add in a few shorter distance events to mix it up. Over the next year my focus is more to learn from the guys as much as I can. I certainly have a lot of it to do haha.
What is your role within the team?
I don’t have a specific role in the team. Just a Junior rider i guess!
How are you finding the guys on the team so far? They are pretty outspoken and larrikins in general.
The team is awesome! There a very funny group of guys! In the three weeks I’ve been riding for the Bernard Riders I have already learnt so much. Its the little things that count like where to mount your lights on the helmet for night laps, nutrition and I think the biggest of all pacing your self during long races/rides. In terms of the riders everyone is really nice and accommodating which has been great! I’m still learning everyones names! (There are some pretty difficult ones).
Well Thanks for your time Jacob, see you on the trails.
You can support the Bernard Riders and Jacob through Facebook or by checking out their website : http://www.bernardriders.com.au/