Yellow Jersey
Rider Profile: Rico Bearman
Monday, 2 November 2015, 6:00 AM

NZ Bike interviewed Rico in 2012 after winning the World Championship title at the World Champs in Birmingham, at age 9. In 2013 at the Worlds on home ground Rico got tangled up with a USA rider and had to relinquish the title. At the 2014 UCI World Championships in Rotterdam, Rico repeated his winning form to take the W1 plate again. NZBike caught up with Rico to find out where he is at and what is coming up in the coming year.

Photo © Clinton Tudor

NZB:  When did you first start riding bikes and where?
RB:  I started riding a two wheeler at 3 years old while hanging out with the Westlake Boys Cycling team.

NZB: What sparked your interest?
RB:  Always just wanted to ride.

NZB: The year you started racing BMX.
RB:  2008.

NZB: Memory/story of the first time you ever raced?
RB:  My first race I crashed 2 laps out of 5 beacause I keep trying to get faster and faster down the start ramp.

NZB:  Can you remember your first bike? What was it like?
RB:  My first bike was a red 12" Mongoose . it was awesome as it was my first bike that I could jump off things.

NZB: Three achievements you are most proud of.
RB:  Winning in America, beating the Aussies while being the NZ mighty 11 captain and winning the world champs.

NZB:  What is your local track? Is this where you grew up riding?
RB: My club is Waitakere.

NZB: What was your worst racing experience?
RB: Haven't had a bad experience yet, I guess crashing but that’s part of BMX.

NZB: Who has inspired/influenced you most in BMX?
RB: Sam Willoughby and Corben Sharrah.

NZB: Who is your mentor? How has this person contributed to your riding?
RB:  My Dad tries to help me get better.

NZB: How do you balance your riding with school?
RB:  Its not been an issue yet, always get my school work done on time.

NZB: Your parents must be very proud of you. How have they supported you in your cycling career to date?
RB:  Yes i think they are, they are always there to take me to races and make sure I am happy and having fun and make sure my bike is working well.

Photo © Clinton Tudor

NZB: What is your favourite racing/training area and why?
RB:  I like to go and ride in Rotorua ,get to jump lots there and have fun riding with my mate Lachie.

NZB: Training – how and how much do you train?
RB: Probably two times during the week if the Auckland weather lets me. Don't do too much traing yet , plenty of time for that when I get older.

NZB: How well did you do at Nationals this year?
RB:  Did really well, I won.

NZB: What was you lead up to the Worlds this year? Did you travel overseas for any competitions? How did you go? What rank where you in the US?
RB: This year was quite a hard build up as the weather wasn’t so great this year and the tracks were closed quite often. We travelled to the worlds and stopped in America for 10 days and got to do a lot of training in California which was awesome.  I did three of their major races and managed to win all three and I got awarded stand out rider by USA BMX for my efforts.

NZB:  At 9 years of age you were a 3x World champion. What happened at the 2013 Worlds in NZ? How did it feel to lose that title last year?
RB:  I just made a mistake at the start and at the world level those little mistakes turn into big ones pretty quick. I was quite sad that I lost. I really wanted to win in my own country. I was upset because I knew I was riding really well going into the finals.

NZB: Did that give you more motivation to train and win it back?
RB:  It totally did, I wanted to race as much as I could against the riders that beat me that day and then have the chance to win it back.

NZB: 2014 Worlds – Tell us about the racing and how it felt to take the number one spot again?
RB: It was awesome, I was so happy to win it back . I just felt so good on the race day and I just concentrated on what I wanted but relaxed at the same time. i just had fun riding that day.

NZB: What is your prerace routine?
RB:  Just try relax and have fun.

NZB: What is your ultimate goal in BMX?
RB: Win the olympics.

NZB: Do you have time for anything outside of riding?
RB:  Yes I play rep soccer, our team just went to Australia and won the Gold Coast soccer tournament. Also play lots of sports for my school.

NZB: What is your favourite movie?
RB:  I like the Grown Ups movies and Redbull tv.

NZB:  What's in your iPod?
RB:  Linkin Park, Labyrinth and some of my Sisters music as we have the same iTunes. And some of that is not so good.

Originally published in NZ Bike Issue 79, February 2015


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