Hi guys! Happy new year to all!
Some week ago I did this interview with Vaclav "Vashek" Kolar.
We spoke freely about personal goals, good sides and also bad sides of our world. The situation of our races, the importance of social media, the behavior of new generations, etc.
In the end a nice interview came out and you'll find lot of topics to be think of.
Now it's time to share with you. Here you are!
Ciao Vashek! First of all thank you for your time.
1. What do you think of your personal 2017? What went well and what didn't go as you expected.
I think the year 2017 was a rather successful one. I had many different exhibitions, made interesting video edits and managed to win the World Cup in Barcelona and, more importantly, I got the ninth title of World Champion in Biketrial in Pujalt, Spain. When it comes to the number of titles, I'm getting closer to legends like Dani Comas, Cesar Cañas and Ot Pi, haha . Last, but not least I was quite pleased with the 8th place at UCI World Championship in China.
2. What do you think of your level at this point in your career? Do you think you're at the best, or you can improve something technically, physically, mentally, etc.?
Of course, it is necessary to continue working hard and to keep yourself in top form. During the season, I know exactly when I’m in a good form and when I'm not at my best. Gym, crossfit, jogging, balanced diet and training on the bike itself certainly help me a lot. I was resting a little bit recently and enjoying myself on a street trial 24" bike, but it's time to get back on track and start training.
3. Goals for next season?
Surely focusing on the world races and trying to get the best results possible. I would also like to get on with our video series Bike O'clock and I have a few personal projects and goals.
4. About your opponents for WBC, in Pujalt I was impressed about the progress of Zhao Xuan. Do you think he is the most dangerous contender for you next year?
Well, first it was Dani Comas, then Raul Gutierrez, who is in a great shape and, in my opinion, is one of the best riders in the world in terms of balance and technique. Zhao Xuan really surprised me this year. He is explosive, but that’s not all in the race. He has improved a lot technically and has made a major shift over the year. I had an opportunity to get to know him better in Barcelona and he is really a good guy. There are also many younger riders improving a lot. Let’s see how everyone will do during this season.
5. If I'm not wrong, you have won 9 titles in your career. Cesar won 11 and Ot 12. Do you think you can get them?
Ot told me last year and the previous one too "Hey Kolar, stop!" hahahaha Anyway, times have changed and I really respect these former riders. I have always had them as a lead!
6. Your bike is Monty OS carbon that is beautiful. How is going with it? Can you tell us if there’s any update on the bike for 2018?
Monty M5 is a super bike and its geometry fits me. I will continue on the Monty M5 carbon bike in 2018 as there’s satisfaction on both sides.
7. Other projects besides the biketrial?
I enjoy filming videos and having fun. Nowadays, it is certainly very important to promote ourselves on social media. That's why we have launched the Bike O'clock video series with my two buddies. We will regularly release new videos to show different bike challenges and quality riding combined with tricks. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @bikeoclockteam.
8. WBC in Pujalt was a nice surprise. Taking into account the last minute cancellation of race in Bueu, the organizer did an incredible job. Have you been surprised too?
Yes, that’s true! I expected everything to be worse. It was a nice surprise and the atmosphere was great too. I personally preferred the second race where we competed mainly on rocks. Big thanks to organizers!
9, Let's talk in general. What do you think about BIU races. What is good and what can be improved. Speak freely. Critics are costructive, if they’re made in the right way.
I like both federations – BIU and UCI. I like riding bike in general and due to the fact that I started riding as a young kid in Blansko where we were training only on rocks in the woods, I still naturally prefer more technical riding in nature. Nowadays, races are organized mainly on artificial obstacles which, of course, is more interesting for general public. We are a small sport, both under the UCI and the BIU, and it is clear that races which take place downtown have a greater chance to attract public and passers-by, therefore, such races will always look better. I wonder if one day trial will be at the Olympics and I would love to experience it still as a rider, but it probably will not happen. Trial is a great sport and I think it should be ridden both in nature and on artificial obstacles. Both need a very different style of riding.
10. What would you introduce and what would you change?
I certainly think it is a bad decision to cancel prize money. For me, as a rider, it's absolutely demotivating training hard most of the year, participated in races and get nothing in return. There are a few riders including myself who take this sport professionally and give it literally everything they have, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to become really good riders. Clearly, in every sport the best athletes are ＆#118alued financially and are respected for their achievements. Unfortunately, this is not the case of our sport and many representatives are hiding behind a statement "BikeTrial is a small sport" which, in my opinion and in opinion of other leading riders, is just an excuse. The elite categories (Elite 20 and Elite 26. Ed.) were merged and it would make perfect sense to keep, or even increase, the prize money. A very sad and unreasonable decision was made instead.
11. Speaking in general, don't you think nowadays we think too much about media, sponsors and results? Don't misunderstand me. This is absolutely good for sport, organizers, families and riders, but I see that other sides are completely left behind. I sense we're forgetting the true v alues of the sport and we're focusing only on "business". Am I being too much of a critic or pessimistic?
Times are strange nowadays. It seems that everything happens on the internet. In many sports you get evaluated not based on your results, but based on your social media performance and the number of followers you have. Potential sponsors are checking your profiles and are less interested in whether you are a world champion or not. Only Olympic sports are being promoted and supported in the Czech Republic. If your sport is not among them, don’t expect people to be interested in you. Moreover, there’s almost no respect for leading riders even internally in our sport. When I was a young kid, I looked to the best and I had a huge respect for those riders. I still have a great respect towards top athletes, but today’s kids don’t and I don’t even mention their fathers... Last, but not least there are riders who just make up their results and their achievements, no matter what the reality is. All these things make me very angry!
12. Finally ask yourself a question and provide a reply. Whatever you like. Tell what you want. No limits. Hahaha.
Okay, I have a question: Until when will you ride the bike?
Till the last hair will fall off my head.
Thanks Vasho! See you soon. The season is approaching!
BikeTrial International Union