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Interview Cedric Gracia at Sea Otter
By Staff
Date: 4/14/2007
Interview Cedric Gracia at Sea Otter

Interview Cedric Gracia at Sea Otter
A conversation with Cedric Gracia Champion downhill and 4X downhill at Sea Otter.

by Stephanie Gutowski

Cedric Gracia, World Cup Downhill and 4x Rider, chatted with Daily Peloton after an early morning downhill practice run at the Sea Otter event today.

Cedric Gracia

Stephanie G - As a road racing fan I am always fascinated as to how & why a rider chooses mountain riding over road riding. How did you get started in mountain biking?

Cedric - My background in riding is all on the road. My dad and my family were all road riders.....I am the only one that chose not to ride in road racing. My dad rode in Paris Roubaix and in the Road World Championships. I was born into road biking. I started riding BMX but everyday after school I would ride with my dad. We would ride Tourmalet and Mount Blanc. This is when I was about 11 or 12. I was road racing in France back then and winning alot.

As I got older and started to ski, the road racing became harder for me so I began to shut down. My dad was very disappointed. He really wanted me to race on the road but it was too difficult for me. I road raced until I was 16-17. I switched to mountain biking because I had so much fun jumping around on my bike and it was very difficult to do the 3-4 hours of road riding every day. I was training a lot. I would ski early, go to school, and then go ride for hours after school...sometimes in the snow. I do still enjoy road riding...but just for fun. I like to ride with Brian Lopes (World Champion-4x) here in California. We were riding in Laguna Beach together. It was fun! We like to chase the roadies....some of the semi-pros and pros....and try to beat them in sprints. I did not beat them but Brian did (laughs).

Cedric Gracia

Stephanie G - When did you start competing in mountain biking

Cedric - I started competing early. I was skiing and BMX'ing when I was 6. I did BMX until I was 11 and became World Champion. I then quit BMX and did skiing and road biking. I didn't do many races in the road bike but my dad encouraged me to go riding everyday.

With the daily riding I turned into an endurance rider. I had a very high VO2-Max (the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can take in, deliver, and use in one minute). When I was 16 I had a VO2 of 74. My body was actually better for skiing and road biking. When I was doing BMX I needed alot of warm-ups before I raced. It was very difficult for me. Right now training for me...I do a lot more sprints.

It's easier for me to do the resistance and endurance training than sprints. Sprints I am terrible....with endurance training even if it's's more mental and I can keep going. It's what I have learned to do with my dad. The maximum training I do right now a day is one hour on the road or on the trainer. I do a lot of weight training. I do jumping to activate my fiber because in 4x and DH you need to be explosive and this is what I train for.

Cedric Gracia

Stephanie G - So is your focus going to be more on the Downhill?

Cedric - It's going to be more of my focus because I am 29 years old now and it's getting hard to be really good, race and compete in two or three events. I would have to train and compete on one event only to have to train and compete in the other event. Most athletes now are specializing in one event. I like competing in all the races but I want to win.

Stephanie G. - I saw on your web site that you have an annual mountain biking camp.

Cedric - I do camps for kids. I have so many kids that come to my camp. I love riding with the kids. I have parents bringing their kids from as far away as Malayasia and Hong Kong. It's amazing! The last camp had 30 was crazy fun.

Stephanie G -What are your plans after Sea Otter?

Cedric - I go home and prepare for the race in Vigo, Spain in one month.

Cedric Gracia's Bike

SG - Are you still riding for fun...or is it just work now?

Cedric - If this was not fun I would stop. If I really did stop riding I would be a team manager. I would love to work for Oakley (laughs) because I really like their product. I am very lucky because I love my sponsors...I like their products. I am very involved with the design of products that have my name.

Stephanie G - You have so many young fans...what advise would you give them?

Cedric - I tell them to start racing. My best advise to the young riders is to go faster than me (says with a huge smile)

Cedric Gracia

2007 Results
Maxxis Cup - Gouveia, Portugal - 4th
Maxxis Cup - Sant Andreu de la Barca, Spain - 4th
Urban DH - Valpraiso, Chile - 1st
Urban DH - Santos, Brazil - 1st

I just wanted to thank Cedric for taking time out of his busy Sea Otter schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him!! Good luck at Vigo!!

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