Juice Lubes have joined forces with Brendan Fairclough for 2019.
As part of the launch, Juice Lubes gave us the full interview from their video feature to share with you guys.
So Brendan. What’s happening, why are we here?
So yeah, it’s 2019 and I’ve just signed myself a few nice new deals for this year.
I’m not on a team any more, I’ve signed a frame deal with Scott and got me some other sponsors.
It’s given me a chance to get Juice Lubes on board, which I’m super excited about. I’ve got no excuse to have dirty bikes and squeaky chains now. It’s early days but I’m excited to see where we can go with that.
So you’ve got a bit of a change of approach to the team sponsorship this year?
Yeah, that’s right. I’m an old man now and I’ve been racing for ten years or so. I’ve always been on a team and always had a real good structure and been really lucky. You know, I’ve had some amazing teammates – the Minnaars and Sam Hills and whatever.
I just wanted a change and wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to be my own boss and didn’t want anyone to tell me where to go and what I have to do… although all my sponsors do that to me anyway.
So I’m kind of the ultimate free racer now. I’ve got my own sponsors and I can do what I want.
I’m still really focusing on World Cup Downhill. I’m going to least do a couple more years of that as much as I can. I’m really desperate to get back in that top ten spot where I feel I belong and and just be in the mix again.
This year I’ve got no team manager other than myself. So it all could go pretty badly tits up. Keep an eye out.
OK, so what are your plans for the year?
Full World Cup season. That’s my aim. As many Crankworx events as I can. I’ve got four big edits coming up so I need to cram them in there.
And obviously I’ve got unfinished business at Rampage. Hopefully we can just go back to the same line at Rampage, puff it up a bit. Rampage on steroids. I’ll have to take the same old crew again, Deakinator and Ollie. Ollie did say he didn’t want to come back out but we’ll persuade him…
I hear you’re finally starting a Youtube channel this year?
Yeah, I am. I’m not going to do loads of talking to camera stuff. I’m not that guy.
There’s a lot of people that are interested in what a World Cup racer does behind the scenes and how they prepare, how they get on with their mechanic bla bla. I can just grab the camera and go up to Ben my mechanic and ask “why are you doing that?”. I just want to have fun with it.
How you feeling going into season?
I’m feeling actually really good.
I had big plans this year to be a ‘no man’ and stay at home and train and ride downhill all the time. That obviously didn’t work as planned and I went to go jump big jumps in in South Africa and built stuff in Madeira.
But I’m feeling really strong, strong as I’ve ever been. I’ve got a new bike that’s super light. I think it’s a really competitive bike.
I’ve just built myself and uncompromised program. I’ve got no excuses. Everything’s good on my bike. I’ve got real good people behind me. I’m feeling strong.
Hopefully that that trend it turns into some in some results. So far the year has been really good. I’m happy.
In terms of pulling your sponsors together, how did you find that? Was it tough?
You know what, I found it really quite easy. I’ve had a really good personal relationship with all of my sponsors in the past. I’ve never really wanted an agent.
So I was in a position where I was like “oh, I like that brand think, they’re really cool people” and I could phone them up and it and it worked out really well. Everything came together really well and I didn’t compromise on anything and I’ve built built myself a lovely bike.
I’ve also got the guys at MB Cyclery, Mike and Ben, that are helping me out with mechanics this year. That’s a huge bonus. I can just pop down the shop, get in the way, leave all my bits here and it’s perfect!
Tell us about your new bike then…
So yeah, we’ve got a new bike for 2019 from Scott.
I can’t tell you too much, it’s all secret. It’s a full new bike from Scott, a ew Scott Gambler. I can’t tell you too much about it otherwise I’m going to get in trouble but you keep your eyes out. It’s going to be out real soon.
Like I said, we’ve built pretty uncompromised setup. Everything on here is picked by myself and that I wanted to be working with.
Are you pretty nerdy with your bikes setup and your engineering?
I wish. I wish I was a bit more nerdy with my bike setup. You know, over the last couple of years we’ve been testing a lot with Scott and we’ve been working on different stuff and I’ve got better and better over the years. But I’m not super nerdy, no. I could probably do with being a bit more nerdy.
And how important is it to you to have your bike setup how you like it and be working perfectly?
For sure, having your bike working perfectly just instantly takes the stress out of it. You can just get on there and do your job, especially at World Cups.
When you have a mechanic and you’ve got everything all lubed up and running well, got your gears shifting well and your forks working well… that’s obviously half the battle for a racer.
If you can have the perfect bike that takes takes the stress out of it and takes another excuse out of it. So yeah, I’m excited about that.
What are Brendan Fairclough’s favourite excuses?
(laughing) Wrong size wheels. The track is too flat and crap and pedally. The jumps aren’t big enough!
I’m trying to take the excuses out of it, you know, that’s the idea!
A lot of people thing you just go and send jumps all day and never train. True or false?
(laughing) Yeah just keep that thought. But no, it’s absolutely not true. I’ve been working really hard in the gym training hard and feel more ready than ever.
So tell us about the relationship that you’ve sat with sponsors that how you like to run it.
Yeah. Like I said, I’ve cut the middleman out this year. I don’t have a team manager which is normally how it works. I’ve got a relationship with every single individual sponsor.
I prefer to speak to everyone on a daily or weekly basis and they stay in the mix. I think that’s how mountain biking is, it’s a close-knit community. You want to build relationships and that’s what I’ve been trying to do and what I want to do for the for the future.
And long term, what do you want to do with Juice Lubes?
The plan for Juice Lubes is that there’s a huge opportunity to work with a cool brand to push forward.
We can work together to push forward with the product, get feedback from me and the mechanics, put it in a real World Cup race scenario, get it down Rampage and help it go forward. I’m looking forward to working with the guys to help make something even cooler than they already have.
How are you approaching this year?
Like every other year, I’m coming in full pelt, I’m not holding anything back.
I’ve got an amazing bike, amazing kit, amazing people behind me. There’s really no excuses. I desperately, desperately want to be in the mix and around the top 10.
My only big goal is to get to the World Champs at the end of the year and get these four edits wrapped up and then top five at Rampage. That’s the goal.
Tell us how it feels dropping in to Rampage…
Terrifying, because you’ve just dug in the desert for 10 days. You’ve had no sleep, you’re scared every night of what you got to do. It’s the worst place in the world, but as soon as you walk out of there, it’s the best place in the world. There’s such an amazing group of people around you.
Who gets the chance to go and spend that time in the desert in the middle of nowhere and do that event? It’s by far the biggest mountain bike event in the World so the coverage for me and my sponsors is huge. Amazing event.
Similar question about World Cups. You cross the finish line and the clock shows green. How does that feel?
(laughing) Well it hasn’t happened in a while but it’s going to happen again. That’s an amazing feeling. I’ve had 8 World Cup podiums and just standing on the podium is an amazing feeling… I want that back.
How hungry are you for World Cup racing?
I’m hungry. But I’m staying chilled and not having my expectations too high. I’ve got a new bike, new setup, all new toys and I want to build it again. I’ve had a few years of being off the back and I want to be in the mix.
It would be easy to assume that your focus is moving away from racing and on to making video projects like Deathgrip. What’s your focus?
I love racing. I could leave racing now, go film and do freeride stuff and probably have a cool career. But racing wakes me up the morning, gets me into the gym, keeps me focused, keeps me from drinking beers every day after school.
Racing is where I came from and where I built all my all my my talent on a bike. I want to do two more hard years of World Cups at least.
But we’ll still see you doing a big whip across the finish line right?
(laughing) I dunno, maybe in seeding! Sven (Martin) keeps saying “we need to find a race where you can flip somewhere!” and I keep saying “no thanks!”.