Mountain biker Filip Polc: “I try to reach super speeds”

Filip Polc
Filip Polc

Photo: Mediamax

Downhill mountain biking (DH) is a type of mountain biking practiced on steep, rough terrain that often features jumps, rock gardens and other obstacles. Downhill bikes are heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes and feature front and rear suspension with over 8 inches (20 cm) of travel, to glide quickly over rocks and tree roots.

Riders start at intervals, often seeded from slowest to fastest. Courses typically take two to five minutes to complete and winning margins are often less than a second. Riders are timed with equipment similar to that used in downhill skiing. The biker reaches up to 25kmph speed on the speedway. It’s one of the most spectacular sports in the world.

A few days ago Downhill master, repeated champion of downhill and legend of mountain biking Slovak Filip Polc visited Armenia. Here he took part in Red Bull Local Hero race which is held in different countries. Armenian downhill riders attended Polc's master class and had the chance to communicate with him.

Mediamax Sport exclusive interview with Filip Polc.

Mountain biker Filip Polc

-Filip, I suppose you loved to get bikes as a present while you were a child.

-Definitely, every child likes getting bikes as a gift. I was very small when I got my first bike and at the age of 3 I was able to ride it without extra wheels. I spent a lot of time with my bike and that habit continues even today.

-Does your first professional bike still “breathe”?

-No. But I keep the frame of that bike until now.

-How many bikes do you own right now?

- 4. And I use each of them. One is downhill bike, the other one is road bike, the other two are endure bike and cyclo-cross bike.

-Winter is almost here. Is it more convenient to drive a car or bike in this weather?

-It depends on the distance and also on how much snow there is right now. If the snow is too much, it would be harder to pedal, but in case of downhill ride it is ok, and I don’t have problems with it. 2 years ago I was going on 116 km an hour speed on snow and it is fun to go fast. (Laughing).

-Do you use bike in your daily life or car is more convenient.

-I really like to drive cars. This year, I became the BMW ambassador that’s why I love test the cars and feel the speed. But when I have to go to the city where there is too much traffic, I take my bike and reach the place quicker.

-Mountain biking is…

-An extreme and crazy sports. I try to develop super speed and go through difficult obstacles. Yes it feels like it is crazy, but it’s a professional sport, you really have to be prepared physically and technically. It becomes crazier in the city while riding on the steps. Mental training is also very important.

Mountain biker Filip Polc

-Races are supposed to be followed by funny incidents.

-I don’t know if it is funny or not, but once I crashed a spectator during the race. Yeah, it wasn’t funny at the moment but really funny later. But usually I try to keep calm.

-What is more difficult- to go up or down the mountain? 

-To go up. In case of downhill I don’t have to concentrate so much, I can handle the bike pretty good, so enjoy the process. But I also enjoy the uphill. Once you get to the very pick you feel yourself powerful which is the best feeling. (Laughing) Despite everything I always try to go fast.

- Is the most complex part of this sport riding bikes through the stones?

-Yes they are harder to control. But also in city when you fly over the steps it’s also a cool challenge. Sometimes even jumping the steps is harder, because you have to be really precise. In the city it is difficult to practice because there are lots of people around and you also can’t go with full speed because of cars.

-Severe injuries are very likely in downhill races. Have you received any serious injury throughout your career?

-It was inside bleeding, I almost died. It was my mistake and the consequences were really bad. It happened during training and photo shooting. I was able to go back to sports only three months later.

-What’s the best thing about extreme sports?

-How many bikes do you currently have and what is the price of the most expensive bike?

-What did you know anything about Armenia before your visit?

-I have been in different countries of the region for the past few days. I knew that Armenia is famous for its brandy. I searched in web and read some info in Wikipedia. Armenia is a small country like Slovakia with lots of mountains.

Mountain biker Filip Polc

-And finally, how to start with mountain biking. What are your tips?

-It’s a growing sport. Every kid with a bike, has the big potential to start mountain biking. It’s a beautiful sport- you ride a bike, breath the fresh air instead of computers. I would advise those young people just to find passion in the bike, follow the healthy lifestyle, and try to find time daily to go for a ride. Follow these tips and start to feel better and comfortable while riding a bike.

P.S. As a big speed lover Filip admitted in the end, this was the longest interview in this life.

It should be noted that the interview lasted only 9 minutes 48 seconds.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Filip Polc
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan


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